Peter Vogel returns to Australia to head merged Maxus and MEC agency for Group M

WPP has announced former MEC Australia boss Peter Vogel will return to head up the merged MEC and Maxus media business when it launches in January.

Peter Vogel to head the merged MEC and Maxus in APAC

WPP announced earlier in the year the two media agencies would be merged globally, with speculation rife as to who would take the helm of the agency in Australia with MEC Asia Pacific CEO Vogel, MEC boss James Hier and Maxus Australia head Mark McCraith all in the running.

Hier, who was previously chief strategy officer under Vogel for five years as they built the MEC business in Australia, will be the agency’s chief growth and product officer while McCraith will be leaving the business.

MEC global CEO Tim Castree made the announcement, saying Vogel would take the helm of the merged agency in January. Vogel departed to lead the agency group across the region, based in Hong Kong, in 2015.

In a statement the agency group said Vogel will lead the South East Asia hub for the new merged agency in the global organisation.

Further management is yet to be finalised.

“We’re merging Maxus and MEC to form a brand new billion-dollar revenue media content and technology agency, dubbed ‘NewCo’ for now,” Castree said.

“With such ambition, comes a need for brilliant talent to lead and inspire, and so today’s news is very exciting for us. Under Peter’s leadership, I am confident that we have the right team in place to truly blend the best of MEC and Maxus and make NewCo in ANZ a formidable future-facing agency.”

MEC clients include Netflix, Domino’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Allianz, Nestle, Vodafone and Tiger Airways. Maxus’ roster includes Hungry Jack’s, Jestar, Danone and McCraith recently led the business in forming the bespoke media offering for Westpac called Media Lab.

However Maxus has been through a tough year, losing the large Aldi media account in October last year and then the substantial Fiat Chrysler account.

Mark McCraith told Mumbrella even though he was leaving the agency he was excited for the prospects of what MEC and Maxus could do together.

“I’m just looking at it as a way to explore new opportunities when I can get back in the market,” McCraith said.

“I’m totally comfortable with Peter Vogel coming in, he’s a great guy and I have known him for six or seven years. I really like him and respect him and so from that point of view I have no qualms whatever with him accelerating the growth of NewCo and taking the Maxus clients to greater heights. He’s a great operator.”

While Maxus had some difficult times in recent months, McCraith said one of the highlights was helping the agency group retain the Westpac business.

“Retaining Westpac when they were ready to leave from MediaCom and setting up a bespoke company for them called Media Lab and that’s been an outstanding success from the client’s point of view,” he said.

He said the scale of the merged agencies would give it a real opportunity to grow further in the market.

“When it was first announced a couple of months ago I was really excited about the scalability of MEC and Maxus now compared to what it would have been on our own.”

Hier’s role will include marketing the new brand and he will also continue his involvement with TV series Marketing Dividends on Sky Business with the AANA.


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