Sarah Keith departs as MD of Publicis Media Exchange, replaced by Anthony Ellis

Sarah Keith has decided to leave Publicis Media Exchange – Publicis Groupe’s media investment arm – as managing director across the Australian and New Zealand markets, a role she has held for five years.

She will be replaced by Anthony Ellis, who immediately steps across to the role from Publicis media agency Zenith, an agency he joined in 2001 and most recently served as chief investment officer.

His replacement at Zenith is set to be announced shortly, the holding company said. Its CEO, Michael Rebelo, thanked Keith “for all that she has contributed” and said “[I] wish her the best for the future”.

Keith (left) and Ellis

“She has delivered strong results for our Groupe, leveraging her cross-media experience to add value, insight and support for our agency investment teams and clients,” Rebelo said.

Keith did not reveal her next move, but was pleased Ellis is her successor, adding: “I wish Anthony luck as he expands his responsibilities. Having worked closely with him for the past five years, I am delighted to hand over an amazing team.

“When I started building PMX, programmatic was still a specialist silo, TikTok didn’t exist in the market, and Nine was not negotiating across multiple channels. I am proud of developing a specialist team that has grown and adapted with the rapidly changing media world, building products and driving insight and value for all the clients in our portfolio.”

Ellis has held a number of group investment leadership roles within Publicis, and said he’s “looking forward to leading the exceptional investment talent that we have across our network in Australia and New Zealand; whilst continuing to grow our product to meet the needs of our clients in a dynamic media landscape.”

Rebelo commented that Publicis’ focus is on “constantly evolving our business”.

“Over the years, Anthony has played an integral role in Zenith’s national leadership team, building strong relationships not just with media partners, but also clients,” he said.

“At Publicis, we have a clear focus on constantly evolving our business to deliver client solutions based on business outcomes and value. Anthony’s vast experience will ensure the continued strengthening of our trading and investment strategy.”

Last week, the holding company released its first half results, which recorded a 13% drop in organic growth in the second quarter, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief executive Arthur Sadoun was confident in the business’ ability to brace itself against the impact of the crisis though, saying: “First, we have the products and services that our clients need. Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increased demand for all the capabilities that drove our strategy in the last few years: first-party data, breakthrough creativity, digital-first media and technology.

“The crisis has clearly accelerated the relevance of our go-to-market.”

Earlier this month, the company admitted that 34 roles were ‘at risk’ of redundancy locally, but said it has saved an estimated 80 jobs through a number of cost-saving measures. And yesterday, Mumbrella revealed that Publicis is competing in a two-way pitch against Group M’s bespoke solution, Media Lab, for Westpac’s media account.


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