How Bohemia CEO Paul Hutchison plans to avoid ‘efficiency of process now trumping human expertise and intuition’

Six months after the appointment of its new CEO, Bohemia has tonight unveiled a new brand positioning, “handcrafted memorable media”.

CEO Paul Hutchison arrived at the M&C Saatchi Group media agency in November, having left the top job at Wavemaker in the UK to take on the role vacated by Bohemia co-founder Brett Dawson after he took on a global role with the group.


Since his arrival, Hutchison has spent time with media partners, industry consultants, staff and clients to determine how Bohemia was perceived in-market, and establish a strategy for the next era that the agency is heralding as the “new Bohemia”.

Having come across “a lot of latent positive sentiment for Bohemia,” Hutchison saw it necessary to relaunch the agency with a renewed focus on how it creates bespoke solutions for its clients with offerings that extend beyond the realms of traditional media buying.

The new positioning would also need to address the media agency sector’s over-reliance on machines and algorithms to make decision, which Hutchison said has lead to the “efficiency of process now trumping human expertise and intuition”.

Hutchison thus saw an opportunity to lean into the “hand touched” part of the media buying process, reflecting sentiments that clients do not just want an “off the shelf answer.”

The new positioning and accompanying new logo was launched officially to a room full of clients, media and industry partners at an event held Thursday night at the newly renovated M&C Saatchi Group offices on Macquarie Street.

Hutchison told Mumbrella that the agency was already doing a lot of bespoke work, but it wasn’t “telling people enough about it.”

“I feel as if we’ve gone a bit quiet in the industry, so I don’t think this is about revolution of the business that I’ve taken over, I feel it’s about elevating what we’re already doing.

“I’m really hopeful that a client will be able to pick up a media plan that comes out of Bohemia and they will be able to see that it is different to what they might’ve seen previously.”

The agency currently sits at around 50 people across its Sydney and Melbourne offices and bills out about $100 million each year on behalf of its clients, though Hutchison asserts that a lot of Bohemia’s work extends beyond their media spend, including SEO work and e-commerce projects.

Justin Graham, M&C Saatchi Australia Group CEO and newly minted global head of advertising at M&C Saatchi, said: “The energy in Bohemia at the moment is brilliant. This new positioning, backed by a suite of new products, feels so relevant to the changing needs of brands and is differentiated in the industry. It will offer an even stronger point of connection for end-to-end solutions across the M&C Saatchi Group.”

A newcomer to the Australian market, Hutchison said that compared to the UK, there was locally a stronger emphasis placed on the importance of partnership and human relationships.

He added that in terms of the work, he also noted an opportunity in “digital content optimisation” and “personalisation at scale” in Australia.

“There is massive opportunity for us to activate more on behalf of our clients around how we get the right message in front of the right person, at the right time.”

Bohemia was first acquired by M&C Saatchi Group in 2017, when the agency group saw the opportunity to launch its own media arm by throwing the struggling media agency a lifeline.

Since joining the M&C Saatchi Group leadership team, Hutchison said his experience has been “of one company.”

As the “new Bohemia” goes to market, Hutchison said that from now on it is “all about the work” that the agency creates in collaboration its media partners, “for the growth of our clients, for the growth of our industry and for the growth of our people”.


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