Hearts & Science acquires boutique media agency, Max & Partners

Omnicom Media Group’s youngest media agency, Hearts & Science, has acquired boutique media agency, Max & Partners.

As part of the deal, Max & Partners’ team started working under the Hearts & Science brand this month, and Gerard Max has become managing partner in the agency’s Melbourne office. Max will remain the agency lead with its existing clients, while also focusing on new business, but the Max & Partners client roster will now be serviced by Hearts & Science.

CEO Jeremy Bolt said the acquisition will bring scale and opportunity to OMG’s newest agency, which launched in Sydney and Melbourne last February, expanded to New Zealand in September, and established a Perth presence in December through a partnership with local independent agency, Rare.

“After months of discussions and negotiations I believe we have arrived at a great outcome for Hearts and Gerard, and I look forward to working with him in the continued growth of the Melbourne office,” Bolt said.

Max – who founded Max & Partners in 2012 after stints as sales director at Nine in Melbourne and general manager of Multi Channel Network, which became Foxtel Media last September – will report to Melbourne managing director Richard Smith.


Smith said: “I’ve known Gerard for many years, and we’ve been talking for some time about how we can work more closely together. As well as being a driven and talented operator, Gerard is, first and foremost, a great person and someone I hold in the highest regard.”

Max said he already had a strong relationship with the Hearts & Science team, and the acquisition allows the Max & Partners team to become part of a holding group, and access the agency’s technology and expertise.

“The way Hearts uses data to inform media decisions made on behalf of clients, while understanding the need for emotional connections along the customer journey, really resonates with me,” Max said.

“We are long-time colleagues, and as such there’s already a natural affinity between the teams. Now, we will have access to the amazing technology, as well as the breadth and depth of expertise in Hearts, and across the wider OMG network. Bringing those assets to bear is an exciting prospect – we can’t wait to get started.”

Last week, Hearts & Science named Paul Payne as chief strategy officer.


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