James Parkinson to leave Group M Australia; promotion for Danny Bass

Bass: Promoted

Bass: Promoted

Parkinson: Europe

Parkinson: Europe

Group M trading supremo James Parkinson – the man with a two billion dollar media spend – is to move to the UK. Digital boss Danny Bass will be promoted to  chief investment and knowledge officer.

The role is one of the biggest media jobs in Australia – negotiating the combined spend across WPP’s Group M agencies Mediacom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus. Recma estimates that the combined spend of the agencies across traditional and digital media amounts to around $1.9bn.

The only agency grouping that comes close to Group M is Aegis, through Mitchells, Carat, MPG and Vizeum which amounts to around $1.5bn in client spend.

Bass – who joined Group M in 2010 – was previously national sales manager of News Limited’s The Australian and national sales director of News Digital Media.

Parkinson will move to London as Group M’s Chief Investment and Knowledge Officer for GroupM Europe from August.

The shift is the second big one at Group M in less than a week. On Monday, Katie Rigg-Smith was revealed as the new CEO of Mindshare, following the departure of James Greet to STW’s Ikon.

In today’s announcement, Group M chairman John Steedman said: “We are delighted for James on his promotion. The development of the GroupM data products he has been responsible for here in Australia is recognised globally within the group as being leading edge, and he will implement many of those products upon his arrival in Europe.

“He will be sadly missed by the group in Australia, however we are fortunate to have a great depth of talent here in Australia and Danny Bass’s promotion to head up Investment and Knowledge across all communication channels is testament to that talent.”

Parkinson said “Our team under Danny’s leadership are very well placed to take our strategy to the next phase, which is deeply satisfying.”

Bass has quickly built industry respect as a leading player in online trading. He was instrumental in developing GroupM’s demand-side platform.

Steedman said: “As James did before him, Danny will work closely with GroupM Chief Knowledge Officer Paul Simpson in continuing to evolve our data offering, which is seen as the best in the business. Along with Paul Brooks, Sharb Farjami, Seb Rennie and Nathan Cook the ‘Intelligent use of Scale’ for GroupM clients is in formidable hands.”

A new GroupM chief digital officer reporting in to Bass will be announced in due course, the company said.

Bass talked to Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes about the future direction of media trading in a podcast recorded at the Cannes Lions in 2010:


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