Mojo agency brand disappears from Sydney as Publicis puts faith in Marcel offering

The new team at Marcel

From Publicis Mojo to Marcel: staff and client roster moves to Marcel

Mojo Sydney – the celebrated agency brand that used Paul Hogan to bring the world to Australia – has been retired by holding group Publicis after nearly 40 years

The agency’s remaining clients will be folded into Publicis’ global agency Marcel, which officially launches its Australian outpost today under the lead of Droga5 Sydney founder David Nobay. The Mojo brand will continue to be used in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Mojo was once one of the world’s best known independent agencies after being formed by Alan Morris (Mo), who died in 2007,  and Allan Johnston (Jo) in 1979.

It was the home of some of the most famous – and ocker – Australian ad campaigns of the 1980s including helping turn around Kerry Packer’s ailing World Cricket series with ‘C’mon Aussie C’mon’ and Paul Hogan’s ‘Shrimp On the Barbie’ Tourism Australia campaign.

The folding of the Mojo operations into the new Marcel agency marks the long-rumoured restructure of the Sydney arm of the Publicis-branded business after a string of account losses, including Toyota, and a struggle to recapture its creative glory days.

At the end of last year respected executive creative director, Grant Rutherford, departed the agency, with creative Scott Huebscher joining Marcel from sister Publicis-owned agency, Leo Burnett Sydney, as ECD.

Marcel will take on the 50 Sydney staff from Mojo and sister digital agency Publicis Pusher and assume control of the agency’s existing clients including OPSM, Nestle, Tourism NT, Merial, Virgin Active, Kinder and AMEX.

The agency also takes on the regional account for Tiger beer, which joins by way of founder Nobay, who brought the account from Droga5 after that agency folded at the end of last year.

Marcel’s digital lead will be Kim Hopwood, one of the founders of Pusher, which co-located with Publicis in late 2014.

Publicis Pusher will continue to operate as a brand in Brisbane and Melbourne alongside Mojo.

The head of content, Holly Alexander, director of client services, Ryan Bernal and chief strategy officer, Iona Macgregor, who was previously managing director and head of strategy at Marcel’s flagship office in Paris, all move over from Mojo and Publicis.

Publicis Australia CEO, Andrew Baxter, said: “The launch of Marcel presents us with the opportunity to accelerate the evolution of our Sydney business and offers clients an entrepreneurial team with exceptional talent.

“With digital in the foundations of its capabilities the new Marcel is built with the next 10 years in mind.”

Simon Canning



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