Deloitte raids McCann Melbourne for top talent to launch its creative and media offering

Business management consultancy Deloitte has poached McCann Melbourne’s managing director Adrian Mills, head of strategy and media, David Phillips, executive creative director Matt Lawson and digital media lead Justine Mills.

The four McCann staffers are joining Deloitte Digital to launch its new brand creative and media offering.

Adrian Mills and Phillips join the consultancy as principals while Lawson comes on board as chief creative officer and principal.

Mills has a background in account management, first joining the agency in 2011 and leading the account for Metro Trains as they launched the hugely awarded Dumb Ways to Die campaign. He left in 2014 spending six months at Clemenger BBDO as a group account director, before being lured back to McCanns as managing director in July that year.

Since then he has overseen the addition of media planning and buying to the agency.

In a statement announcing the latest moves, Mills said: “Clients shouldn’t have to choose between a creative agency and an accountable agency. Deloitte offers clients the best in strategy, data, enterprise and digital skills informing a world’s best practice creative product. As we drive towards a goal of turning marketing into a profit centre, the opportunity for clients is completely transformative.”

Mills has spent six years at the agency

Lawson was previously the creative director at the agency before being promoted in June last year after the elevation of Pat Baron to national ECD. He has previously worked at Colenso BBDO, Y&R and BMF, and is seen as one of the top copywriters in Australia.

Phillips has a background on the client side, most recently as global brand business director for Treasury Wine Estates. He joined the agency in 2015 to lead its new media offering.

Mills joined to lead the digital media offering of the agency in August last year, and had previously been with media agencies including UM, Maxus, Carat and OMD.

Justine Mills departs the agency after just over a year

Steve Hallam, lead partner at Deloitte Digital, told Mumbrella the new team will “supercharge”  the consultancy’s brand creativity and strategy.

“In terms of delivering brand strategy it is being able to deliver that and not tie it to the purchasing of media and to really go to market with a very particular offering around creating brands and brand strategies.

“We have had design and creativity in the Deloitte Digital practice for a long time and it’s seen as a default and very normal, whilst this is an extension and a new offering we see it as an extension of existing design capabilities,” Hallam said.

The four appointments will differentiate the consultancy and help combine its agency and consultancy features, Hallam believes.

“We at Deloitte Digital see ourselves as this combination between both an agency and consultancy, the merging of those two products and the way we deliver that to the market will be different to the rest of the market.”

When asked if the consultancy had any further plans to acquire a creative agency, Hallam said “people are looking to join us rather than us having to seek to acquire others”.

“Potentially there is a difference in the way we would execute the strategy, but we are not looking to do an inorganic acquisition of an agency,” Hallam said.

Ben Lilley, CEO of McCann, said in a statement: “I’ve worked with Adrian for 6 years now and have seen him grow from a talented Group Account Director to an accomplished Managing Director in that time. David, Matt and Justine have also achieved great things with us at McCann and I thank them all for their significant contribution to our business in this time.

“I look forward to continuing to watch them grow and prosper. They have great futures ahead of them and leave with our very best wishes.”

In a statement, Phillips said “marketing has changed” noting the best creative talent should be working with the best strategists, data scientists and the best digital technicians.

Lawson added: “These days, the most effective creative solution is rarely just advertising and we are fortunate to be working with Deloitte’s AR, VR, innovation, interiors, design and research teams to leverage the incredible opportunity in this firm.”


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