TAC marketing chief John Thompson quits after almost nine years of hard-hitting campaigns

After eight and a half years at the Transport Accident Commission – one of Australia’s most high profile and effective advertisers – marketing chief John Thompson is stepping down.

The TAC’s senior manager, road safety and marketing is moving on to an as yet unknown role in the industry “that is located much closer to home and should allow me to achieve a work life balance I have not been able to successfully manage in my current role,” he said in an email to contacts.

In the email, Thompson wrote:

As you may know, I am leaving the TAC today. I have spent the last eight and a half years working hard for the TAC and the broader Victorian Community to keep our roads safe and I am very proud of the achievements of the Road Safety & Marketing team at the TAC and our road safety partners (VicRoads, Victoria Police and DoJ) have made in the fight on road trauma in Victoria.  I want to thank everyone who I have worked with during my time at the TAC and wish you all the very best with continuing to reduce the effects of road trauma.

I am leaving the TAC to work in a role in the media and advertising industry that is located much closer to home and should allow me to achieve a work life balance I have not been able to successfully manage in my current role.

Before taking on the role of senior manager, road safety and marketing, Thompson was senior manager of marketing at TAC. Prior to that, he was marketing director of VicUrban.

His career has also included a stint at consulting firm Sabey & Associates and Essendon Football Club, where he was video operations manager.

Randal Glennon, the general manager of Grey Melbourne – the TAC’s agency for more than two decades – paid tribute to Thompson’s achievements in a statement to Mumbrella:

John has been a consistently brave, innovative marketer, one that has challenged the agency to maintain the extremely high standards the TAC expects from its agency partners.

The body of work resulting from the relationship we’ve enjoyed working with John and the team at TAC speaks for itself; it’s an amazing legacy.

We look forward to the next era, buoyed as ever; particularly as the team John built around him is highly talented and focussed on the same thing — creating the world’s best road safety marketing communications.

In a recent article on Mumbrella that looked back at 25 years of the TAC, Thompson defended the advertiser’s hard-hitting approach. “We do not use shock tactics. It’s about reality – without being gratuitous,” he said.

He also said that, in Victoria, the TAC brand is “more powerful that Coles, Nike or Coca-Cola.”

It is unclear who will follow Thompson as TAC’s marketing chief.

One of the last campaigns overseen by Thompson will be the Christmas enforcement campaign, which is set to launch in a fortnight.

TAC’s Christmas enforcement shoot


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