The Creative Agency 50 will count down the top 50 most influential and powerful creative agency executives in the country and examine how they positively influence the industry, their organisation, and the client’s business.
The criteria assessed two things.
Firstly creative reputation is the person and their agency producing the work that is disrupting the client category.
Secondly, industry impact, are they making a difference personally to their clients, staff, the industry and the broader society.
Managing Director of BRING, Universal Music for Brands
Adam Ireland has been with BRING – Universal Music for Brands since 2019 and was appointed to managing director earlier this year. He is a leading voice in building cultural capital with fans via music.
BRING has developed campaigns with partners including American Express, BWS, FIFA, The A-Leagues, NBA 2K and Wild Turkey.
BRING’s team has won multiple local and international accolades – AWARD, Clio, and a 2023 ARIA nomination for best use of an Australian Recording in an Advertisement.
Under his leadership, he founded the inaugural BRING Artist & Brand Summit (launched in 2022 at VIVID Sydney in 2022 and set to be held this year at SXSW).
Ireland also leads the SXSW and Universal Music partnership with the highly anticipated Amex x Universal Music House experience.
Founding Partner, Today The Brave
Jaimes Leggett founded full-service creative agency Today The Brave in 2022, following an illustrious career spanning the UK and Australia.
Before founding the Sydney-based agency, Leggett held leadership roles at some of the world’s most iconic agencies, recently as Group CEO of M&C Saatchi AU/NZ.
A little over ten months since opening its doors, Today the Brave has attracted clients, including MECCA, the University of Sydney, Zambrero, AMP North, News Corp and HOYTS.
Cameron and Morris Bryant
Partners and Founders, Sparro
Cameron and Morris Bryant founded Sparro in 2013. Previously, the brothers had worked together at online appliance retailer The Winning Group.
In starting Sparro, the brothers had a clear vision: do digital marketing right, spend time working with people they love, and achieve the ultimate work-life balance.
Under the brothers’ leadership, Sparro has won (and retained) some of Australia’s biggest brands, including Webjet, Destination NSW, Catch.com.au, Estee Lauder Companies, the NRMA, Petbarn, Domino’s, Temple & Webster, Bing Lee, Showpo and many more.
Managing Director, BCM Group
Phil McDonald is the managing director of the independent creative and media agency, BCM Group.
The agency specialises in digital marketing, media planning and trading, brand strategy, campaign creation and PR.
BCM is home to many specialists working together under one integrated roof. The agency places exactitude at the heart of its work, ensuring precision and accuracy.
BCM’s long-term clients include the Queensland University of Technology for the past 20 years, Crimsafe Security Systems and The Dairy Company.
CEO, R/GA Australia
Michael Titshall is the CEO of R/GA Australia, a role he has been in since May 2019.
R/GA is built on a culture of collaboration, bringing creative and technology talent together to spark fresh approaches. It describes itself as a company of reinvention and strives to embrace the change that technology brings to the world.
The agency offers services across communications, brand design and consulting, experience design, technology strategy and engineering, media planning and buying, and relationship design.
It also has specialist practices: R/GA Health and R/GA Ventures.
Founder and Creative Director, Akkomplice
Kenny Hill is the founder and creative director of Akkomplice, an independent creative agency all about creativity and delivering real commercial results.
Hill’s career began at JWT London 25 years ago. His career has seen him do stints at M&C Saatchi, DDB 303Lowe. After acting as managing director at M&C Saatchi in Melbourne, Hill founded Akkomplice in 2014 with a reputation for big-picture, strategic thinking.
The agency specialises in brand strategy planning, campaign development, social media management, brand identity design, consumer activations and new product ideation.
Now approaching its tenth year in business, the Melbourne-based indie is going from strength to strength.
Beyond Akkomplice, Kenny gives back to the industry as a much-respected mentor for The Marketing Academy Australia.
CEO, whiteGREY Australia
Lee Simpson stepped into the role of chief executive officer Australia of whiteGREY in 2018.
He took the helm of the Australian arm of the 100-year-old Grey network during its lowest point. It was a year after the failed union of Grey and The White Agency, and his task was a complete turnaround of the agency with its new positioning: “Tension Creates Extraordinary”.
Its culture was recognised by Diversity Council Australia for inclusivity and delivered an increase in revenue and profit.
Lee also led the agency to recognition for Creativity (Cannes Pacific top ten), audacious ideas (Fast Company World Changing Ideas), Innovation (No.1 Australian agency AFR Most Innovative Companies), and Effectiveness (WARC top 10 in APAC).
Previously, Lee worked at some of the world’s most highly regarded agencies (e.g., AMV BBDO London), helping create famous work (e.g., TAC’s Meet Graham); and has 150+ Awards (including Cannes Grand Prix x 2; D&AD Black Pencil).
Founder and Creative Director, Common Ventures
James Crawley is the creative director and founder of the independent advertising agency Common Ventures, which was established in 2012.
After marking ten years in the business, the multi-disciplined agency has a single focus on delivery for their clients. Their accounts span various topics, including government, alcohol, tourism, finance, aged care and retail.
In August, the creative agency was appointed by the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) to manage the strategy and launch campaign for a new government service, BetStop, following a competitive pitch process.
Group CEO, Bastion
Since 2019, Jack Watts has led and driven Bastion’s growth to become the largest independent Agency in Australasia with a growing presence in the USA.
As Group CEO, he is hands on day-to-day with Bastion’s global team, client base, service and geographical expansion.
Watts is driven to ensure that anyone – client or colleague – that walks through one of the many yellow Bastion doors around the globe has a world class experience.
Managing Director, 303 MullenLowe Perth
René Migliore has been managing director at 303 MullenLowe Perth for the past year after three years as a joint managing director.
With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, he has worked at a senior level in both creative and media agencies across Perth and Melbourne, including Initiative, DDB Melbourne, The Brand Agency and Leonardi (Melbourne).
As managing director at 303 MullenLowe Perth, he is passionate about doing everything he can to support clients and the agency in delivering unconventional thinking and exceptional outcomes across strategy, creative, media and business solutions for clients.
Migliore’s experience across brands includes IKEA, BankWest, Red Rooster, Cash Converters, Australia Post, Seek, The Westin, BRW, Bunnings Warehouse, Water Corporation and LotteryWest.
Managing Director and Partner, AnalogFolk
Since 2011, Matt Robinson has been the MD and partner at AnalogFolk, a global independent agency with offices in Australia, Europe, Asia, and the US.
The Agency prides itself on demonstrating that social media and smart use of data can drive creativity and effectiveness. This was recently proven with their first Gold Effie win for Hyundai, a nod to its skill in melding data with creativity and helping clients build brands using digital channels.
The Agency’s other accolades span from Spikes to The Webbies. However, for Robinson, launching the Australian office and earning multiple ‘Agency of the Year’ titles stand out.
Robinson’s career in advertising spans 25 years across media agencies, creative shops, digital agencies, and client-side roles in Australia and the UK. He has held posts at agencies, including TBWA, Y&R, Dentsu, MediaCom and Agency.com, working with brands like Afterpay, Curtin University, Rekorderlig, Canon, Tabcorp, Pernod Ricard and eBay.
Robinson is a regular contributor to trade publications and a regular judge for multiple industry awards.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Apparent
Phil Smith is the founder and chief executive officer of Apparent, established in 2009.
The agency has grown to have a global footprint with clients covering Australia, Asia Pacific, the USA, and Europe.
Smith has more than 25 years of experience in the industry at the forefront of professional communication services, both client and agency side.
Apparent is a full-service, data-informed customer engagement agency that builds innovative customer communications and experiences that realise the promise of the connected world, helping businesses find, get, keep, and grow customers.
Under his leadership, the agency has focused on driving customer engagement by linking digital opportunities and channels with the fundamentals of direct marketing: integrating strategy, creativity, and digital and social media through a direct filter.
Douglas Nicol and Damian Pinkus
Founder and Creative Partner, The Works part of Capgemini
Douglas Nicol and Damian Pincus power the creative vision of The Works agency.
The creative agency, which recently placed fourth on the Great Places to Work in Australia, commits itself to helping people and brands find significance across strategy, creative, innovation, digital, and production and create brand journeys that people want to be a part of.
Pincus has run businesses in the UK, Singapore, and Sydney, being recognized in the industry through multiple creative and effectiveness awards. Before starting The Works, Pincus held senior creative positions at global agencies TBWA, Batey and JWT.
Recently, he started with an aboriginal community in East Arnhem Land to launch a social and sustainable enterprise on the advisory group of Knowledge Water.
Strategy partner Nicol is a career digital, CRM and CX marketer and a “self-confessed data nerd”. He loves great ideas worthy of the consumer’s attention that make a difference to the world and his clients.
Founder and Creative Chairman, HERO
Ben Lilley, creative chairman and owner of HERO, and McCann Australia.
His first agency independent outfit, SMART, launched in 2000 and had a formidable reputation among creative agencies.
McCann acquired SMART in 2011, and Lilley was appointed Australian CEO and later McCann APAC Creative Leadership Chair.
McCann became a creative powerhouse and the world’s most awarded agency, thanks in part to Australia’s global blockbuster Dumb Ways to Die, which won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness in 2013.
In 2018, he took a career hiatus and returned in 2020 to acquire his original agency, SMART and the McCann Australia operation from IPG.
Lilley embarked on a string of further acquisitions, culminating in the launch of a new creative Australian independent agency, HERO, in 2020, operating alongside McCann.
Outside of the industry, Lilley is involved in the broader community through the Young Presidents (YPO) Organisation, the Australian charity Igniting Change, and Richard Branson’s foundation Virgin Unite, and has served on the board of the Advertising Federation of Australia.
Founder and CEO, Dig
Paul Rhodes is the founder and CEO of Dig, an independent creative agency with offices in Melbourne and Sydney.
With a team approaching 50 in number, Dig counts RACV, Mitre 10, ALM (Metcash) Liquor, Ego Pharmaceuticals, Mondelez, Pacific Blue, McCain and many other leading brands as clients.
The ethos at Dig is “Digging deeper to grow strong brands, strong people and a strong planet”, built on the need for agencies to dig deeper to understand brands and businesses better while also ‘digging in’ to the well-being and development of people.
Under his leadership, Dig became B-Corp accredited in 2022, implementing several programs such as the Dig Thrive Employee development program, becoming carbon neutral, and helping broaden access to the advertising industry by partnering with the Western Sydney ad school in the form of scholarships.
These programs, a strong client list and work have helped the agency attract and retain great talent. Aside from Dig, Rhodes launched and co-founded the research and insights business T garage, which also gives Dig clients access to the combined power of consumer and cultural insights to fuel great creative work.
Dan Monheit is the chief executive officer of Hardhat, a creative agency known for its expertise in behavioural science.
Through Monheit’s leadership, Hardhat maintains a unique approach to their marketing work from the world of Behavioural Science; all work, from ads to activations and planning to prototypes, is built on behaviour.
The agency creates behaviour changes for challenger brands such as Virgin, DocuSign, Kogan.com and Simply Energy.
Monheit’s expertise in Behavioural Science has seen him present on the topic to thousands locally and at major international events, including SXSW in Austin, Texas.
In 2020, Monheit’s insights into human behaviour were published in over a dozen publications, and in 2022 he released his first book, The Why, The Book.
Executive Creative Director, Campaign Edge
Dee Madigan, an English teacher by trade, “sold out” to the advertising world in 1995.
Today, she is a lauded, award-winning creative director, writer for various publications, and a regular on ABC’s Gruen, Channel Seven’s Sunrise and The Latest.
Madigan is known for her ability to develop and roll out a truly integrated campaign, from TV ads and traditional media to digital and social media. She has worked on some of Australia’s largest brands across almost every category, including FMCG, banking and finance, health and education.
In addition to consumer brands, she possesses a strong social and political marketing background and was creative director for the ALP for the 2022 Federal election win.
Her first book, The Hard Sell (MUP), was published in 2014, and she was a contributing author to Mothermorphosis (MUP 2015) and Change! Combining Analytic Approaches with Street Wisdom (ANU 2015).
Founder and Managing Director, Cocogun
Chiquita “CK” King founded Cocogun in 2019 with Ant Melder. They arrived from different paths but united by an undeniable code of passion, respect, ambition and service.
Before establishing the independent creative agency, King was managing partner at DDB, group head at M&C Saatchi and group business director at Leo Burnett Sydney.
Her work spans several categories and lists brands such as Nike, eBay, Ikea, Optus, and Westpac.
She is regarded as one of Australia’s most proven agency leaders, boasting over two decades of experience building and leading teams across data, strategy, digital, creative, production and client service.
Founder and CEO, AFFINITY
Luke Brown is the CEO and founder of AFFINITY. For over 20 years, he has divided his career between integrated communications, media, and tech.
After spending a decade with some of the industry’s top multinationals, he started AFFINITY with data analysis at its core.
The agency is a data-driven CX and media agency. For the past three years, it has held the mantle as one of Australia’s most effective digital/specialist agencies.
Along the way, he’s garnered over 70 effectiveness awards. He is a regular conference speaker at local and international events, including SXSW and IPA Eff Week.
CEO, DDB Group Sydney
Sheryl Marjoram is the chief executive officer of DDB Group Sydney CEO. She returned home to Australia from London after two decades to take up the role in 2022.
While in the UK, she was McCann London’s CEO, McCann Worldgroup’s UK Chairwoman for Conscious Inclusion, and one of AdAge’s 2021 Leading Women in Europe.
She has also led on some of the most complex brands like Dove, SC Johnson, Expedia, BP, Asda, TSB, and Pernod Ricard and Just Eat (which she retained when the company merged to become Just Eat Takeaway) across multiple markets.
Marjoram also recorded stellar annual performances at Cannes – including a Grand Prix – in addition to many other award ceremonies.
Laura Aldington co-founded Supermassive, intending to set a new benchmark in effective non-traditional and earned creativity. The creative studio is one of Australia’s only majority female-founded creative agencies.
Aldington has spent over twenty years working with some of the world’s most iconic brands across the UK, the US, and Australia, with her leadership recognised by many of the industry’s most illustrious awards.
She is currently the deputy chair of the Advertising Council of Australia’s board of directors and chairs their committee on Reconciliation. Aldington is in the final stages of a postgraduate certificate in Organisational Coaching and Leadership.
Founder and Managing Partner, The Royals
Steve O’Farrell is the founder and managing partner of The Royals.
The creative agency specialises in strategy, communications, interactivity, R&D projects and “interestingness,” with offices in Melbourne and Sydney and collaborators working across the globe.
He has tallied over 20 years in the industry in Australia and around the globe, with several years overseas at DDB & Euro RSCG in New York. Before founding The Royals, he was an agency lead for over a decade with tenures at Havas and Sputnik Agency.
Outside of The Royals, O’Farrell is a lecturer in Advanced Marketing Practice for Melbourne University’s Masters in Marketing program.
Creative Director and Founder, SDWM
James Orr is the creative director and founder of the Melbourne-based advertising and design agency SDWM. He is a regular award show judge, tutor to young creatives, lecturer at AWARD School, and a former Head of Award School Victoria.
SDWM has been recognised with several Agency of the Year awards and was the most awarded agency in Victoria at the MADC Awards.
Orr’s career has allowed him to collaborate with some of Australia’s most iconic brands and create award-winning, including Bonds “Boobs”, Slurpee’s “BYO Cup Day”, Myer’s “Give Registry”, Spinifex Gum’s “Dream Baby Dream” and TAC’s “Zero Jersey“.
His work has been recognised internationally at every major creativity and effectiveness award show, with multiple Golds and Grand Prix at Cannes, Clios, One Show, Spikes, Sirens, LIA, NY Festivals and D&AD.
CEO, BMF Australia
Stephen McArdle has been chief executive officer of BMF Australia since 2020, bringing his tenures at the creative agency to almost 12 years.
By the time he became managing director in 2015, McArdle had already established himself as a well-known and highly respected figure to staff and clients alike. He led teams on high-profile campaigns for ALDI, Lion and Meat & Livestock Australia.
In May of 2021, McArdle was chosen as the new director of The Advertising Council Australia (ACA).
Prior to BMF, McArdle worked at several of the UK’s top agencies including M&C Saatchi, TBWA, and CHI & Partners.
Andy Fyffe co-founded Khemistry in 2020 with a vision to blend psychology, technology and creativity to influence behaviour and bring out the positive “best self” in every Australian brand, consumer and community.
Under Fyffe’s leadership, the agency has built a track record of creating impactful and award-winning activations, TV shows, apps, games, podcasts, brand platforms, research projects, events, and experiences.
Through his work, Fyffe has been involved with Australia’s first iPad-based hearing test, an Auslan children’s television series, a virtual reality zoo experience, Brisbane’s Minecraft map and a food truck finder app.
Fyffe’s work extends to digital outdoor art auctions, augmented reality Christmas cards, social enterprise beer brands, COVID-19 Mother’s Day activation, preventative mental well-being campaigns, and more.
Founder and CEO, Bullfrog
Dalton Henshaw is the founder and chief executive officer of Bullfrog creative agency.
Prior to starting Bullfrog, Henshaw was known for creating the online men’s lifestyle publication, The Tailored Man. He also plays a behind-the-scenes supporting role in the worldwide fitness brand and FMCG business, Kic (formerly, Keep It Cleaner), co-founded by his wife, Laura.
Bullfrog was founded in February 2020 and has already expanded their footprint into Sydney and the UK, catering to a growing network of clients. The agency’s growth is supported by its expanding roster of clients, including the likes of AIA Insurance, Kic, Oxfam, Linktree, Kathmandu, Ecosa and Adore Beauty.
The independent creative business brings together both business building and storytelling and prides itself on being a place where creativity is built and born.
Bullfrog emphasises creating a healthy working environment free of archaic conventions, supercharging learning, and development, and contributing owned initiatives like Fair Advantage.
Founder and CEO, Paper Moose
Nick Hunter began Paper Moose after falling in love with the world of advertising and branding and its potential to impact the planet positively.
Over the last twelve years, Hunter has transitioned the company from a collective of artists to a hybrid creative agency.
As Paper Moose’s chief executive officer and executive creative director, he manages over 30 staff and has worked on some of Australia’s most exciting businesses, leading projects and national campaigns for Australian Ethical, Felix mobile, Lion, BWS, Brighte, R U OK, Jimmy Brings, UTS and NSWGov.
Hunter is passionate about the power of advertising and is determined for Paper Moose to use its powers for good. His focus is on helping legacy clients transition to a kinder way of working with new businesses growing their brand around the triple bottom line of planet, people, and profit.
Founder and CEO, The Hallway
Jules Hall founded The Hallway in 2007 with a mission to build an advertising agency that could be more relevant, effective, and interesting than the rest.
Starting as a management consultant for Accenture in London, Hall moved into advertising in 2000, working at one of the city’s early digital agencies.
The Hallway was founded in 2007 after Hall’s move to Australia. Together with his creative partner, Simon Lee, The Hallway has grown into one of Australia’s top agencies, winning worldwide awards for their creativity and effectiveness.
Outside of the industry, Hall represented Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships in 1993. He has competed in most of the world’s major ocean races including five Sydney-Hobarts, winning the inaugural two-handed division in 2021.
CEO, Clemenger BBDO Australia
Dani Bassil returned to Australia this year after two decades in the UK to take up the post of chief executive officer at Clemenger BBDO Australia. She joined Clemenger following her most recent position as chief executive officer at Digitas.
During her tenure in the UK, she was one of the most highly awarded industry CEOs garnering multiple awards, including Campaign Agency CEO of the Year twice, Global Agency CEO of the Year for Women in Marketing and four consecutive years of CEO of the Year for the BIMA awards.
Under her leadership, Clemenger BBDO launched the ‘Yes Makes It Possible’ campaign.
Bassil is a board member of the Clemenger Group and has a renowned reputation for seamlessly connecting data, media, creativity, and technology.
CEO, CHEP Network
In early 2023, Lee Leggett was appointed the chief executive officer of CHEP Network.
Her career began in London at Modem Media (now Digitas). She later joined Tribal DDB, where she ran the Volkswagen, Barclaycard and Guardian business before progressing to head of account management and business development director.
Lee attended Wharton Business School in Philadelphia, having been awarded the Patricia Mann Award in 2008. In 2013, she moved with her family to Australia and joined IPG’s Initiative as CEO. In May 2020 was appointed the CEO of Australia at Wunderman Thompson.
In 2020, she was also appointed as a senior advisor to the United Nations Development Programme for her work on The Lions Share Fund.
CEO, 72andSunny Australia and New Zealand
Ross Berthinussen is the CEO of 72andSunny, Australia and New Zealand.
Since his appointment two and a half years ago, he has driven consistent growth for the agency and its client partners.
As a leader, he believes that shared values and collaboration lay the foundation for world-changing creativity.
Berthinussen has introduced a senior talent model to the agency whereby senior creatives and strategists collaborate with client partners hands-on, with no layers or hierarchies. And a WFX way of working, empowering his team to work from anywhere opening up access to the region’s best talent, regardless of location.
Recent high-profile wins for 72andSunny include Edith Cowan University, Who Gives A Crap and BCF, with more soon to be announced.
Managing Director, VMLY&R Melbourne and Sydney
Sarah Bailey, MD of VMLY&R Melbourne and Sydney is known for her proficiency in building strong, integrated account service teams. She has over 15 years of experience in brand strategy communications, creative writing, and project management.
Bailey started her career in direct marketing before moving into the sales promotion space. She had an 18-month stint client-side for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games before returning to her agency roots, overseeing the ANZ account at DDB Melbourne. While at DDB, she also led the client service group as managing partner.
Over the span of her career, Bailey has been across several major digital transformation projects and has worked with some of Australia’s most well-known brands.
CEO, Clemenger Group Ltd
Les Timar is the CEO of Clemenger Group Ltd, a role he has held since early 2022.
Timar is the CEO of Clemenger Group, Australia and New Zealand’s leading advertising, marketing, communications, and consulting network.
Timar is responsible for the overall strategy, development and sustainability of its business and offering to clients across the Group’s operating companies.
He was previously the CEO and one of the founders of public affairs and strategic communications firm GRACosway. The firm has been a Clemenger Group company since 1998 and now comprises a network of eight offices across Australia and New Zealand.
Throughout his career, he advised Australian and global clients across sectors as diverse as broadcasting, retail, financial services, telecommunications, infrastructure, property and online platforms.
Creative Partner and Global Marketing & Commerce Leader, Deloitte Digital
Nick Garrett is the creative partner and global marketing & commerce leader for Deloitte Digital.
For over 20 years, he worked on some of the world’s most iconic brands in the US, UK, New Zealand, and Australia and at agencies that operate at the business end of creativity.
Before joining Deloitte Digital in 2021, he spent four years at Clemenger BBDO, first as Melbourne CEO from 2015 to 2018. He was later promoted to Melbourne & Sydney CEO, a role he was in from 2018 to 2019.
Garrett’s passion for commercial creativity and entrepreneurial mind helped launch some of the most innovative and transformative work in the Australian market in the last two decades.
Outside the industry, he also sits on numerous advisory boards, including the United Nations Development Programme.
CEO, Ogilvy Australia
Sally Kissane has been part of the Ogilvy network for over 20 years and has led teams in Australia and New York.
Kissane was promoted to CEO of Ogilvy Australia in 2021 from joint managing director of Sydney, becoming Ogilvy’s first female CEO.
She is a well-rounded leader with experience across direct marketing and CRM, digital, public relations, and advertising. Kissane also boasts a proven track record of leading successful client engagements.
Her achievements include developing junior talent through Ogilvy’s Goliath Graduate program and holding agencies accountable for diversity and inclusion through initiatives such as Changing the Face.
CEO, We Are Social
Suzie Shaw is CEO of We Are Social, a creative agency that prides itself on being a socially-led business.
Shaw, who joined the company in mid-2015, leads the 60-strong Australian team. She is a creative leader with experience in communications and marketing across various categories.
She worked for 14 years in London advertising agencies – including a decade at TBWA London – before returning to her native Australia in 2011 to continue her career in advertising as MD and later CEO of Host.
In the industry, Shaw often features in the marketing trade press, commenting on social media, influencer marketing and popular culture. She is also passionate about championing the progress of women in leadership and is the founder of SWIMM Australia (Senior Women in Media and Marketing).
Outside the industry, she is also a member of Greenpeace’s general assembly and was recently appointed to Sydney FC’s Board of Directors.
CEO, Dentsu Creative, Australia & New Zealand
Kirsty Muddle is CEO of Dentsu Creative, Australia & New Zealand, which is part of a global network that transforms businesses and brands through the power of creativity.
Muddle focuses on bringing modern creativity to life and finding innovative ways to help clients grow their brands and form deeper, more meaningful connections with their customers.
She leads a team of passionate people across creative, strategy, production, earned attention, digital experience, entertainment, public relations, content, social media, indigenous affairs, and government relations.
Muddle’s career began in econometrics at a WPP agency in London and maintains her love for the interplay between humans and data.
She was one of the founding partners and CEO of Cummins&Partners before joining dentsu. Muddle has been recognised for her leadership with many awards and gives back to the industry.
She has served on various esteemed boards, including the Advertising Standards Board of Australia, the Advertising Council of Australia, and Cox Inall Ridgeway, a majority Indigenous-owned Social Change Practice.
Group CEO, M&C Saatchi Australia
Justin Graham is chief executive officer of M&C Saatchi Group Asia Pacific and a member of the M&C Saatchi Global Executive.
Graham boasts more than 20 years of experience and is widely regarded for his expertise in marketing and advertising. He has previously advised various listed, private, and public sector clients and helped shape the way in which customers and audiences experience their brands.
Graham joined M&C Saatchi in 2014 from Droga5 with previous global roles at BBDO. He has advised for a range of clients in the US and Asia Pacific including CommBank, Woolworths, Optus, Diageo, Qantas, Lexus, and P&G.
Formerly a management consultant, he has spent his career contributing widely to the industry, sitting on a number of panels, boards and think tanks.
Graham also regularly judges awards in Australia and internationally, is a regular media commentator, lectures at the University of Sydney and is on the board of directors of the Advertising Council of Australia.
Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Bear Meets Eagle On Fire
Micah Walker is the founder and chief creative officer of the creative studio Bear Meets Eagle On Fire.
Walker was a former creative partner at Fallon London and has been executive creative director for various agencies in Australia, the UK and the US. For the past five years, he was one of the creative leaders of Wieden + Kennedy in Portland before returning to Australia in 2017.
His work has been recognized with over 200 international and local Awards, including Australia’s first-ever Grand Clio in film for the iconic Boag’s “Pure Waters” campaign and D&AD winners in advertising and design.
Only in its fourth year, Bear Meets Eagle On Fire was named the #2 International Small Agency of the Year at the Adage’s Small Agency of the Year Awards in New York and Individual Creative Agency of the Year at the AWARD Awards in Australia.
President and CEO of DDB Australia and New Zealand
Andrew Little is the President and Regional CEO of DDB Group Australia and New Zealand, leading DDB, Tribal, Interbrand, TRACK, DDB Remedy and Mango. He celebrates his 24th year with the company.
As CEO, he is responsible for the network’s five creative and communication agencies – DDB, Remedy, RAPP, Mango, and Tribal. He believes in surrounding himself with the best people in the industry and dedicating himself to the success of his clients.
The advertising and communications company works with some of the region’s biggest brands, including Coles, McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Westpac, Sky, Lotto New Zealand, New World NZ, The Warehouse Group, and Dulux.
Little is also a director of OMG Australia – the largest Media Group in the region. He also sits on the global DDB board.
Aden Hepburn is chief executive officer of Akcelo, which he co-founded in 2020.
Under his leadership, the independent agency has scaled globally on the back of delivering work for brands like TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, PepsiCo, LEGO and McDonald’s.
Before leading Akcelo, Hepburn built his career with WPP and launched VML in Sydney, scaling it to 180 staff and multiple offices. He then led the merger of VML & Y&R to create VMLY&R, where he oversaw five offices and a team of 450 across Australia and New Zealand.
Hepburn has been an FWA judge, LIA judge, AIMIA judge, ADMA judge, Effies judge, New York Festivals judge, AWARD judge and Digital Committee member at The Communications Council.
Throughout his career, Hepburn has also won many awards, such as Cannes Lions, FWA’s, OneShow, Spikes Asia, AWARD Awards and a yellow D&AD pencil. He also founded the digital marketing and creative technology blog Digital Buzz.
Chief Creative Officer, The Monkeys
Tara Ford is the chief creative officer of The Monkeys. She is also a board member of the Advertising Council of Australia and the D&AD Advisory Board.
Ford was named ‘Creative Captain 2022’ in the Women Leading Change Awards by Campaign Asia Pacific. She was named ‘Global Creative Leader of the Year 2021’ by Creativepool.
Throughout her career, Ford’s work has been recognised at the highest level of every major international award show across an expansive range of clients and disciplines. This includes, most recently, the coveted Dan Wieden Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes with the ‘The First Digital Nation’ for the Government of Tuvalu.
Ford has judged and chaired major global award shows. She also helps guide the industry’s future direction, reputation, and values, as well as her work as a board member of the Advertising Council of Australia, the AWARD Council, and the D&AD Advisory Board.
In 2023, The Monkey was also recognised as Spikes Agency of the Year by Market and Spikes Strategy and Effectiveness Agency of the Year. The agency has been recognised globally at Cannes, D&AD, One Show Agency of the Year, Australia, and Effies Effective Agency of the Year, Australia.
Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Groupe, Australia and New Zealand
Dave Bowman is the chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe Australia & New Zealand.
In the role, he has partnered with Groupe CEO Mike Rebelo to bring ideas, data, media, technology and storytelling together across Publicis Groupe’s stable of more than 20 companies.
He has spent the last two decades working in creatively led companies across the globe and in innovation.
Bowman was previously Google’s APAC head of creative and leader of Google’s partner innovation team, working to make Google technology accessible, useful and exciting for the 4.8 billion users across APAC.
Throughout his career, he has been lucky enough to be recognised at the highest levels in creative industry award shows and is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
He recently launched projects at I/O, The World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, the Mobile World Congress, the Berlin Open Air Tech Festival and the UNESCO World Summit on language technology.
Adam Ferrier is the founder of Thinkerbell. He is also a renowned creative strategist and consumer psychologist.
Ferrier started as a criminal psychologist before going on to complete a master’s in psychology, which eventually led to him co-founding Naked Communications APAC.
Naked Communications embraced a strategically focused behavioural change model. Following that, he co-founded Thinkerbell, a creative agency that brings together marketing science and hardcore creativity.
Ferrier is also the author of The Advertising Effect (Oxford) and Stop Listening to the Customer (Wiley). He also co-hosts the podcast Black T-Shirts: XXL Creativity for Marketers and Disrupt Radio’s Enterprise Breakfast. He is also a media commentator on Sunrise, The Project and served his time on the panel for ABC’s Gruen.
CEO, Innocean Australia
Jasmin Bedir is the chief executive officer of Innocean Australia and has been in the role for the past three years.
Bedir, who is of Turkish background and raised in Germany, spent half of her career in Australia, working across multiple APAC markets. With a broad background, she appreciates cultural differences and understands the importance of local relevance.
She has successfully led accounts and businesses from highly creative independent hot shops to global network agencies and client JV Agency.
Under her leadership, her mission is to help brands navigate the seas of modern marketing complexities.
In March 2021, Bedir also founded Fck The Cupcake, an industry movement established last year to help address gender inequality. The movement has since become a social enterprise advising brands on effective messaging on DE&I topics.
Elsewhere in the industry, Bedir is also a regular keynote & panel speaker on topics like brand experience, diversity, equality, and inclusion.
CEO, TBWA\Group Melbourne and Adelaide
Kimberlee Wells is the CEO of TBWA\Group in Melbourne & Adelaide.
In addition to her leadership role, Wells is the global practice lead for Sustain by TBWA – an international sustainability practice committed to helping brands re-engineer themselves to operate in harmony with people and the planet.
She has advised many leading brands and government agencies throughout her career, helping them realise incremental growth through creativity.
With a passion for driving positive social change, she has spoken at the UNGA SDG action zone on the vital role creative communications plays in accelerating progress for the 2030 agenda.
In 2022, she was appointed Jury President of the Cannes Sustainable Development Goals Lion.
Wells also serves as a non-executive director for the Advertising Council Australia and sits on the Advisory Board for EsFam Biotech – an Australian drug discovery company making advancements in COVID-19 and advanced Cancer treatments.
Partner and CEO, Special Australia
Lindsey Evans is partner and CEO of Special Australia.
In the agency’s nine years, it has attracted talent and built an extraordinary culture.
Special has also attracted a diverse group of ambitious local and global client partners, including Uber Eats, Tourism New Zealand, ANZ, Bonds and Virgin Australia. The agency’s strong growth path has also opened its doors in London.
Under Evans’s leadership, Special has also received a slew of accolades. It was recently named Agency Network of the Year – AWARD and Global Agency of the Year by Campaign UK.
Outside of Special Australia, she is a board director of Advertising Council Australia and a board director of mental health charity Waves of Wellness (WOW).
Margie Reid is the CEO and partner at Thinkerbell. The creative agency delivers a combined model of brand, creative, media and earned to deliver results to their clients, resulting in several industry recognitions and accolades.
Reid spent 18 years of her career leading media agencies and clients. For the past six years, she has built Thinkerbell into a growing business with a team of over 160 people across Australia and, more recently, New Zealand.
Elsewhere in the industry, she is also the director of Decade of Action (DOA), a social cause business that works with companies to accelerate the positive impact brands have on the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time.
Reid is also on the Board for Support the Girls – a not-for-profit providing disadvantaged women with dignity through the personal distribution of essential items.
Founder and CEO of Howatson+Company
Chris Howatson founded Howatson+Company in 2021 after 19 years with Clemenger Group.
As chief executive officer, his vision was to create a legacy agency brand, fully independent and responsible for re-establishing advertising as a multi-disciplinary profession valued for generating economic value.
Three years on from its establishment, Howatson+Company has grown rapidly with 120 staff and offices in the creative precincts of Sydney and Melbourne.
The agency has gone on to receive a slew of accolades, among its haul last year is D&AD International Independent Agency and London International Awards’ regional independent agency of the year for Australia and New Zealand.
This year, Howatson+Company was named the Independent Agency of the Year – Good award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The agency has also had a stand-out list of client wins this year, including UNICEF Australia and UNSW. Howatson+Company also won Mediaweek’s Ad Placement of the Monday in March for its campaign with mattress startup 10:PM.
Group CEO and Co-Founder, The Monkeys, Accenture Song ANZ president
Mark Green is co-founder and group chief executive officer of The Monkeys and president of Accenture Song, Australia and New Zealand.
Green started working at Coca-Cola before working agency side at DDB, Clemenger and Saatchi & Saatchi. He has worked on some of the world’s most renowned brands and campaigns, including IKEA, Telstra, Qantas, United Nations, Nike, Meat & Livestock Australia and Sydney Opera House.
Green started The Monkeys with creative partners Scott Nowell and Justin Drape in June 2006. They each invested $10K with a vision to create the most provocative creative agency in the country.
The Monkeys has captured the imagination of the Australian advertising industry. Many of the campaigns Green has led have been recognised locally and internationally at prestigious award shows, including Cannes, D&AD, One Show and Clio. He is also chairman of The Advertising Council of Australia.
In 2017, the agency founders sold The Monkeys to Accenture to combine the creative, brand and business-building capabilities of The Monkeys with the digital knowledge, analytics and technology capabilities of Accenture Song.
He took over the leadership role of Accenture Interactive in 2018 and leads a team of over 1000 people across ANZ.