Redundancies hit CHEP Network following Telstra account loss

CHEP Network has made up to 40 staff redundant following the loss of its Telstra account, Mumbrella can reveal.

Based on the agency’s LinkedIn, about 10% of its headcount has been affected.

Earlier this month, Telstra announced a major shake-up to its agency roster, dropping The Monkeys, CHEP and DDB, in favour for a bespoke agency +61 – a collaboration between OMD, TBWA and Bear Meets Eagle on Fire.

The telecommunications giant spent $248 million in advertising in FY22, meaning the account loss was felt hugely by the agencies. Mumbrella understands Telstra was CHEP’s second biggest client.

A CHEP Network spokesperson told Mumbrella: “CHEP can confirm that a number of roles were recently made redundant across the business.

“Out of respect for those involved, we have no further comment to make.”

Mumbrella understands 60% of the agency’s employees working on the Telstra brand have been moved internally to other clients and offerings.

Meanwhile, Sheryl Marjoram, DDB CEO Sydney Group, told Mumbrella today: “DDB has enjoyed 16 years of partnership with Telstra, and we wish them the very best. The scale of account held by DDB over the last few years means minimal impact will be felt in our business.”

On the new agency roster, Telstra’s CMO Brent Smart said: “We are excited to build something new in the Australian market with +61. This partnership will give us the best of both worlds – an independent creative agency powered by a network agency; the creative vision of the team at Bear Meets Eagle On Fire combined with the strategic and integrated capabilities of TBWA.

“It will allow us to achieve a new level of creative and media integration, with our exceptional media partner OMD the third and equal partner in the model.”

Telstra is the third recent big client loss for CHEP, after it parted ways with IKEA in April, and eBay earlier in the year. IKEA now works with Host/Havas on its creative, and eBay with Special Australia.

The agency has also suffered a number of people losses as in February, Justin Hind, former CEO, left CHEP to start his own agency, Reunion. Hind officially launched Reunion in June alongside his wife, Dominique Hind, and former-boss, Stephen Knowles. In August, Melbourne managing director and chief operating officer Andrew Drougas also departed CHEP, before taking up a role at Howatson+Company in September.

In May, the agency made an unconfirmed number of redundancies due to restructuring – a similar trend seen across agencyland in recent months.

CHEP’s client roster now includes it’s largest client Samsung, as well as Michael Hill Jeweller and OnePass, among others.

The Monkeys declined to comment when approached by Mumbrella.


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