Month in a Minute: January’s biggest agency stories

Mumbrella wraps up the biggest news of the month across media, creative and PR. In January Big Red's CEO exited, VMLY&R won its first major account, Host/Havas made redundancies, Vivid Sydney hired an agency, Dentsu Aegis Network announced a new CEO and AFL appointed an agency

January’s creative agency wrap

1. Bridget Cleary departed Big Red as CEO

Cleary departs the agency after five years. Big Red has clients including Coles, Optus, BHP and News Corp.

2. VMLY&R bagged its first big client since it merged, Defence Force Recruiting 

The agency beat seven agency who made it to the shortlisting rounds including Host/Havas, TBWA Melbourne, M&C Saatchi, BWM Dentsu, JWT, Clemenger BBDO and BMF.

3. Host/Havas made a series of redundancies after losing DFR account

Mumbrella has heard industry speculation that the number of affected staff could be upwards of 70, but so far, Host/Havas has declined to comment or confirm the number.

4. Clemenger BBDO Sydney won pitch to rebrand Australia

The government tender was worth $3m and sought an agency which could create “a unified brand” and a “more consistent brand approach” which “will bring together Australia’s export strengths – such as tourism, agricultural products and education – under one Australian banner”.

5. R/GA’s VP managing director resigned

Rebecca Bezzina resigned as the VP managing director of R/GA after spending more than four years with the agency.

6. Meat and Livestock Australia released its annual Summer campaign

The ad, directed by Tim Bullock and created by Accenture’s The Monkeys, begins with Australia’s first prime minister, Edmund Barton, as he finalises the constitution act which includes New Zealand becoming part of the Commonwealth.

7.  John Gutteridge announced his return to Australia to lead newly merged Wunderman Thompson

Gutteridge returns to Australia after living in Singapore as the CEO of JWT APAC

January’s PR agency wrap

1. Huawei hired Optus’ Candice Lester as head of consumer PR and communications

Lester’s appointment comes just after the company was allegedly found to be facing a criminal investigation in the US over allegations it stole trade secrets.

2. Vivid Sydney appointed The Mint Partners to PR account

Incumbent PR firm Red Agency handled Vivid Sydney’s PR account for the previous three years.

3. Hawaiian Airlines assigned The PR Team to local PR account

The PR Team will now handle Hawaiian Airlines’ corporate communication sand public relations in both markets.

4. Roxy Jacenko and husband opened PR business venture targeting China

The owner of Sweaty Betty PR is going into business with her husband, Oliver Curtis, who was released from Cooma Correctional Centre 18 months ago after serving time for insider trading. 

5. History Will Be Kind won Webjet’s PR account

The agency is handling Webjet’s PR account in New Zealand

6. Peter Witts departed as Amazon Webb Services’ PR manager

Witts joined Amazon as manager of public relations for its web services in 2015, from his previous role as Sydney Water’s media and external communications manager

January’s media agency wrap

1. Henry Tajer was named Dentsu Aegis Network’s CEO

Tajer returns to agencies after his six month stint as the managing director of Amazon Media Group Australia

2. Dentsu Aegis Network’s Melbourne MD Sarah James quit

James is leaving the agency to join IPG Mediabrands’ Initiative as the managing director of its Melbourne operation

3. Rio Tinto assigns Zenith to media account

The win comes months after Marcel Sydney, another Publicis agency, won the creative account for the mining company

4. AFL handed its media account to PHD

Vizeum previously held the $15m account

5. Atomic 212 opened Darwin office and won media account for Charles Darwin University

Mumbrella understands Atomic 212 has also opened an office based in the Northern Territory which is lead by its general manager, Ben Carroll


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