Month in a Minute: September’s biggest agency stories

Mumbrella wraps up the biggest news of the month across media, creative and PR. In September, WPP announced its new CEO and merged two of its biggest agencies; Tourism Tasmania prepared to pitch; One Green Bean's CEO resigned to join ad agency DDB; Kellogg's consolidated its agency roster and Carat named its new managing director.

September’s creative agency wrap

1. WPP announced Mark Read as Sir Martin Sorrell’s successor

Read, who is now one of the most powerful leaders in advertising, was previously the chief operating officer at WPP for six months.

2.  Communications holding group WPP formed new agency VMLY&R by merging two of its biggest brands – Y&R and VML

WPP merged creative agency Y&R and digital agency VML to create VMLY&R, an agency which will now be run by the new Y&R CEO Pete Bosilkovski and long standing VML CEO Aden Hepburn.

3. Tourism Tasmania prepares to put its creative account out to tender

Sydney-based agency JimJim became Tourism Tasmania’s lead creative agency in December 2015.

4. Georgie Pownall became McCann Melbourne’s managing director

Formerly the general manager at Publicis Mojo for three years, Pownall joined McCann Melbourne following the departure of its previous MD, Anita Deutsch-Burley.

5. Y&R Sydney’s managing director Sarah Firth exited as Katie Dally joined as GM

As part of a wider change to the WPP company’s management structure, Katie Dally has joined as general manager from her previous role as head of account management at Ogilvy Australia.

6. McCann Sydney’s managing director Adam Lee exited

Lee’s departure is part of the agency’s ambition “to become Australia’s most exciting creative agency” under the new leadership of Nicole Taylor.

7. Carl Ratcliff joined DDB Sydney as chief strategy officer after resigning from CEO of PR agency One Green Bean

Ratcliff said: “Whether on client side or agency side, I’ve always been a strategist at heart. Having run a P&L for the last six to seven years I’ve experienced all the stresses that come with that, and realised that my true joy lies in strategy, brands and audiences, solving problems, and working with creative brains and minds.”

Carl Ratcliff Mumbrella CommsCon Conference

8. CHE Proximity’s Sydney managing director David Halter also became the national chief strategy officer

Halter, who joined CHE Proximity from Clemenger BBDO Sydney in 2016, will now lead strategy across the agency as well as retain his managing director title.

9. Clemenger BBDO New Zealand’s CEO stepped down for a wider group role

Clemenger BBDO New Zealand’s CEO of 10 years, Jim Moser, has stepped down to become the CEO of Clemenger Marketing Services. Replacing Moser is Jim Gall, the founder and CEO of Melbourne-based agency Redhanded Communications, an agency which Clemenger purchased four years ago.

9. Bashful launched a new luxury agency, SMILE

Led by CEO and co-founder of Bashful, Simon Bookallil, the agency already has a roster of clients including Alice McCall, Zimmermann, David Lawrence, Noni B Group, Jag Jeans Philippines, Hot Springs and Goldwell Hair.

10. CHE Proximity confirmed it had won AGL’s creative account from McCann

Speaking on Mumbrella’s podcast, Chris Howatson, CHE Proximity’s CEO, said: “We are really delighted with this, we have actually worked with AGL for about five years now on their new energy business – their solar business – and we have the real privilege of being able to work on some bigger projects for them recently and that will expand our scope.”

September’s PR agency stories

1. One Green Bean’s CEO Carl Ratcliff stepped down as Claire Salvetti got promoted

Taking Ratcliff’s CEO role is Claire Salvetti, who has been the managing director at the agency for almost four years.

Carl Ratcliff Mumbrella CommsCon Conference

2. Eleven won the whole PR business for Kellogg’s

Just last February Kellogg’s appointed Edelman to its public relations account while the brand also worked with both Porter Novelli and Liquid Ideas on different assignments.

3. Haystac’s general manager Jason Carnew departed the agency to join Fuel Communications

Former Haystac national general manager, Jason Carnew, joined Herd MSL as managing director of Fuel Communications in a reshuffle of the public relations and integrated communications group’s senior ranks.

4. REA Group appointed Edelman to its PR account

The account win will see Edelman take responsibility for REA Group’s corporate and brand communications.

5. Commonwealth Bank appointed Luke Schepen as head of corporate communications

Schepen was previously the head of communications and corporate affairs at waste management company SUEZ.

6. Holden’s director of communications departed to join Melbourne university RMIT

Anna Betts exited the automotive company to join RMIT University as its associate director of university communications.

7. HCF’s head of corporate affairs left

Since departing HCF, she has joined insurance company MetLife as its corporate communications lead.

Sarah Kelly Mumbrella CommsCon Conference

September’s media agency stories

1. A former client of Ikon Communications, Advangen, took legal action against the agency accused of overseeing a “failed campaign”

Advangen, a company that manufacturers hair treatment products, blames the agency for a failed campaign that had a paltry impact on sales and included a TV ad that it claims completely missed its target audience.

2. The Media Store’s CEO Craig Jepsen departed

The Melbourne-based independent agency subsequently promoted general manager Stephen Leeds to the role of CEO.

3. Simon Williams became the new national managing director of Carat

Williams assumed the new role effective immediately and took responsibility for Carat across Australia and New Zealand, while Paul Brooks’ CEO role was not be directly replaced.

4. Dentsu Aegis Network opened its own platform allowing brands and independent agencies to buy media directly

The service has publicly launched after partnering with a number of independent media agencies over the past month and claims $150m in annual billings.

5. Initiative retained Officeworks’ media account

The media agency initially won the account in 2008 and has retained the business after a closed review.

6. Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) opened a Government Solutions division

Dentsu X’s head of investment, Nick Swifte, will run the new division and relocate to Canberra. Swifte’s head of investment role will not be directly replaced.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.