IPG Mediabrands names Melissa Fein as head of Initiative

Melissa Fein, CEO of IPG Mediabrands’ partnerships and brand experience agency Ensemble, has been named as the new CEO of media agency Initiative.

Melissa Fein and Danny Bass

Melissa Fein and Danny Bass

Fein becomes the third female CEO of a major Australian media agency and has spent the past nine months re-engineering Ensemble after been appointed by Mediabrands Australia CEO, Danny Bass, in February.

Before joining the agency she was national head of Generate, Ten’s client solutions division, before joining MCN in the merger of Ten and MCN’s sales.

Bass said her work at Ensemble had proven she was the right person to head the media agency.

“Melissa is the ideal executive to lead Initiative in Australia,” Bass said.

“Her media experience plus the great results she has achieved in re-engineering Ensemble will be the key to how Initiative embraces a new positioning in the market and the future of brand engagement for clients.”

He said that she had already shown “superb media instincts” and would be using Ensemble as a source to help further build the Initiative business leading a “senior team from both businesses with diverse skills in creativity, strategy, experiential marketing, partnerships and implementation”.

Fein said her appointment to the new role would focus on making the most of the group’s resources.

“Mediabrands’ broad resources are allowing us the opportunity to create a very distinctive business for this market,” Fein said.

“Clients want to take advantage of many varied platforms to build their brands. Drawing on Ensemble’s complementary skills means Initiative can challenge media conventions in this newly empowered world.”

Fein’s career course has included working with the Australian division of Mindshare’s content and partnership division in the Australian market, ESP.

Her appointment to Ensemble in February marked the start of a massive restructure of the business by Bass, with CEO Justin Ricketts and managing director Tim Hodgson both leaving.


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