Social media agency Society names Simone Blakers as MD eight months after last boss left

simone blakers

New Society boss: Blakers

IPG Mediabrands has finally found a new boss for its social media agency Society, taking Simone Blakers from Rapp DDB to be its managing director.

The agency has been without a leader since Nicola Swankie departed in July of last year. Swankie had taken the role after David Fairfull made an 11th hour decision to remain with rival agency We Are Social last June, having accepted the MD role with Society the previous April.

Blakers joins from DDB’s digital agency, Rapp, which she has led for almost four years. Prior to that she headed M&C Saatchi’s digital shop, Mark, for two years, and has also had stints at GPY&R in Sydney and Euro RSCG and Ogilvy One in London.

Since Swankie’s departure the agency has been overseen by Dan Johns, group commercial director of IPG Mediabrands.

“We were attracted to Simone because she is a highly successful and experienced agency leader with strong strategic, creative and data-driven credentials,” said Johns. “These experiences are exactly what we need to lead Society into the future.”

Former MD Swankie

Former MD Swankie

Blakers said: “As a strategic marketer at heart, I’m excited to be joining Society at a time when social marketing is coming of age. The industry has evolved to move beyond organic engagement, providing huge opportunities to not only achieve great reach and performance but also effectively utilise rich data insights for creative storytelling.”

The agency has a team of approximately 40 offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Blakers joins Society this week and reports directly to Dan Johns.

According to LinkedIn, Swankie left the agency last July to join, and is now working as a freelance strategist in Melbourne.

DDB is in the “final stages” of its hunt for a replacement for Blakers, with group CEO Andrew Little overseeing the agency in the interim.

He said in a statement: “We are also delighted to announce the promotion of Magdalena Kusyk to Managing Partner RAPP Sydney. This is a richly deserved promotion as Mags has been instrumental in growing the CRM business and strategic offering for DDB Group.

“Mags is working closely with AL in leading the business until the new MD is appointed.” Andrew Little DDB Group Australia CEO.”

Alex Hayes


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