Publicis Mojo Melbourne: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – losing Tourism Vic is a huge blow for a dwindling force

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how Publicis Mojo Melbourne has fared over the last 12 months.

If there is an agency that has fallen as far from past glories as The Campaign Palace, it is the Melbourne office of Publicis Mojo. Once a tour de force and a genuinely world class agency brand, Mojo Melbourne has shrunk beyond all recognition in recent years. So much so, it is easy to forget the agency exists, tucked away with the equally low-key Zenith Optimedia in Publicis Groupe’s tower on the Southbank.

Though worryingly quiet compared with its sister office in Sydney, there have been glimpses of quality from Publicis Mojo Melbourne this year. The agency has produced some decent work, which is reflected in its only respectable score in both the expert panel and Mumbrella reader survey: for its creativity.

Its ‘Play Melbourne’ campaign for Tourism Victoria has perhaps not bettered previous campaigns. But it has been a well-received effort, with the client having expressed approval with the results so far. Work for Cadbury bite-sized, Peter’s Maxibon and Toyota has also been solid. But so much, more than is healthy, hangs on the Tourism Victoria tender. No one in Melbourne believes they can retain the business, which they have done so with two clenched fists for eighteen years.

Update: Publicis Mojo Melbourne has lost the Tourism Victoria business, announced on September 23.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne is the big favourite, since former Mojo regional partner Tim McColl-Jones was hired this year partly for that purpose. Ogilvy looks like the second-favourite in a three-horse race.

But in Michelle Walsh, the creative director, who has worked her way up the
ranks over nine years of duty, there is a talent with staying power who has seen
it all. Melbourne clients, particularly government ones, appreciate loyalty. While
it will take no shortage of ‘Mojo magic’ to retain its prized account, it would be
foolish to write them off. Picking up a silver at the 2011 Effies was evidence that
the agency can still do the business.

To read more about Publicis Mojo Melbourne, including full details on how it was scored by both our expert panel and Mumbrella’s own readers, to view examples of the agency’s work and read its own assessment of its performance, buy a copy of the Mumbrella Creative Agency Review priced at $75. The book features an assessment of the country’s top 30 ad agencies. To buy the book, click here.


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