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The Monkeys co-founder Scott Nowell quits

Co-founder of The Monkeys and group chief creative officer of Accenture Song ANZ, Scott Nowell, today announced his departure from the business.

“It’s been quite a ride, starting with Mark, Justin and I staring at each other in an empty room to now being part of the most exciting global creative agency model going around,” he said.

Nowell

“Of course, I am very proud of the work we have made and the impact it’s had. But the real joy has been the people I’ve been privileged to share this journey with,” he continued.

“Our ambitions almost always outstripped our resources, which never made things easy, so I am eternally grateful to anyone who turned up, believed in what we were doing and gave it their all. Building a place where we get to work with folk we admire both as talents and as people has been the greatest gift this business has given me.”

Since its launch in 2006, The Monkeys, originally launched as Three Drunk Monkeys by Nowell, Mark Green and Justin Drape, has grown to approximately 165 people across Australia and New Zealand, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

In 2011, the agency rebranded to The Monkeys, in a move that “remains true to their core values”. In 2017, the agency was acquired by Accenture Interactive, now known as Accenture Song. In 2019, the three founders took additional roles within Accenture. Mark Green, The Monkeys group CEO was made Accenture Song ANZ President, while Nowell and Drape became co-chief creative officers for Accenture Song ANZ.

Under Nowell and Drape’s creative leadership, The Monkeys has won every major creative award, including a Cannes Lion. At the 2023 Mumbrella Awards, The Monkeys won a HC for Creative Agency of the Year.

Just last month, the agency dominated at the 2023 Australian Effie Awards, taking home four Bronzes, two Silvers, as well as a newly introduced award, the Colin Wilson-Brown Chairman’s Awards for its ‘Government of Tuvalu’ campaign.

Nowell continued: “I’m very comfortable stepping away at this moment. We are doing the best work we’ve ever done, we are part of a formidable global team, and we have Tara Ford, Ant Keogh and Damon Stapleton running creative in ANZ. We could not be in better shape.

“We are bonded for life by what we’ve been through together, both in the business and personally,” he continued.

“I owe them a lot. And of course, The Monkeys wouldn’t have happened without the understanding and generosity of my family. Thank you.”

(L-R): Michael Buckley, former Accenture ANZ CEO, with The Monkeys’ Mark Green, Scott Nowell and Justin Drape

Green said of Nowell’s departure: “Where do I even start. We have had the most incredible partnership spanning over 17 years. We have literally grown up together and watched our families do the same. This has been our life’s work and as thrilling and rewarding as it has been I can totally understand Scott’s desire to stop and smell the roses.

“He is a pure creative soul who has done some of the best work this country has seen and I stand with great admiration as he does a final victory lap. He leaves a creative team at the top of their game with a clear succession plan and we couldn’t ask for anything more than that.

“Well played my friend,” Green concluded.

In 2021, Drape departed the agency, before launching an interactive travel platform, Exceptional Alien, alongside former M&C Saatchi Australia ECD, Michael Canning.

The news of Nowell’s departure comes after last month Telstra dropped The Monkeys from its agency roster, instead opting for a bespoke model agency, +61, a collaboration between OMD, TBWA and Bear Meets Eagle On Fire.

The agency was on the roster alongside DDB and CHEP Network. CHEP Network has since had to make 40 staff redundant as a result of the loss. The Monkeys declined to comment when approached about the account loss by Mumbrella.

The Monkeys client list includes the Sydney Opera House, Meat and Livestock Australia, Qantas, TAB, Crown Resorts and Beam Suntory, among others.

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