GroupM global boss confirms new Mediacom CEO while Canon moves to Mediavest

The global president of GroupM has said Mediacom Australia has found a new local boss to replace former CEO Mark Pejic, who left the agency in June.

Mediacom-Signage-700x438The news comes as the agency, which faced a major misreporting controversy earlier this year, faces new challenges with Canon understood to have moved its $11m media account to Leo Burnetts/Mediavest and law firm Slater & Gordon understood to be pitching its $9m media account.

In an interview with Mumbrella Asia, Dominic Proctor declined to reveal the candidate but confirmed “we have identified a replacement for Mark”.

Asked when the appointment would be announced he said: “Quite soon. I think the Australian market has had enough rumours to deal with and I’m not going to fuel that fire by giving you any more. But it’s a good appointment, we are very happy with it and it will be announced soon.”

News of the departure of Canon Australia and the Slater & Gordon pitch come as the agency seeks to rebuild following revelations that misreporting happened in the post campaign reports for TV audiences for three of Mediacom’s biggest clients – Foxtel, IAG and Yum! Brands, owners of KFC and Pizza Hut.

Both Foxtel and IAG subsequently moved their media account to sister GroupM agency Mindshare.

canonBoth Canon and Slater & Gordon have been contacted for comment. Mediavest declined to comment on whether it had won the Canon account.

Canon’s creative agency is Leo Burnett which works on strategy for Diageo under its Connect model, using sister agency Mediavest as its buying shop.

Jeanine Nieuwenhuizen, Slater and Gordon’s head of client experience and insight, told Mumbrella: ”The media pitch to be the Australian agency for Slater and Gordon is currently underway.

“We have invited several media agencies to the pitch including our incumbent, Mediacom, who have accepted the invitation to participate.”

Earlier this year Mediacom saw a major shake up in its senior ranks. At one point the positions of CEO, finance director, Sydney GM, and GM – Westpac were all left vacant following a series of resignations and changes within Mediacom.

CEO Pejic left to take the role of chairman for rival media agency group IPG Mediabrands in Melbourne.

All maintained the departures were unrelated to controversies involving misreporting and value banks. Mumbrella does not allege otherwise.

Finance director David Reid has since been replaced by Publicis’s Stephen Meares and Mumbrella understands that former Sydney MD Geoff Clarke has now been replaced by head of entertainment division TED James Sneddon.

Asked about whether GroupM had found a replacement for John Steedman in the role of GroupM Australia CEO Proctor noted that they were not “as far down the line” in that appointment.



“(John Steedman) is staying on a non-exec chairman until such a time as he decides to go elsewhere,” said Proctor. “He took a long vacation – and at his age he needed one – and he’s back early September as a non-executive chair to oversee the entry of the new CEO at Mediacom and in general to keep a watchful eye on things.

“In all major markets we have strong heads of the group as well as the agencies. The search has started but it’s by no means as far down the line as Mediacom. That was a priority. And as Steady is still in the business it hasn’t been as urgent.”

Mediacom had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publishing.

Mediacom Australia has today also announced it has acquired a stake in Rapid Media Services, the media arm of full service agency Rapid Media with offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

It has been affiliated with the Mediacom network since 2001.

Nic Christensen, Alex Hayes and Steve Jones 

Update 4.58pm:

Canon has issued the following statement:

“Canon has changed considerably over the past 18 months as we focus on delivering consumer experiences across our organisation.

“The changed nature of our programs has prompted a review of our ways of working, particularly regarding paid media.

“We will be in a position to discuss our new media agency and our program direction in late September.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.