The Agency 50 will count down the top 50 most influential and powerful media agency executives in the country and how they positively influence the industry, their organisation, and the client’s business.
1. Real power is positively influencing your industry, your organisation, your category and your client’s business
2. Your role in the industry is a table stake to the top 50, but what you do with that power counts.
3. The media industry faces many issues and challenges around ESG: including DEI, environmental sustainability, workplace safety, ad fraud, transparency, and more.
4. The Agency 50 is about recognising those who not only have positions of power and influence but are actively using their position to encourage the industry to address these issues for the benefit of their clients, employees, businesses and their business partners across the entire media supply chain.
Nunn Media, Founder
Matt Nunn is the managing director and founder of Nunn Media, established in 2002.
Nunn Media has over $400 million in annual billings and is Australia’s only independent agency with a global market footprint. The Nunn Media group has more than 200 staff across Australia and the USA with clients including Bendigo Bank, JB Hi-Fi, Levi’s, Baker’s Delight and Melbourne Airport.
Earlier this year, Nunn Media announced Melbourne Airport had appointed it as its media agency of record to guide strategy, planning, and activation across all digital and traditional marketing channels. Later, Nunn Media announced its appointment as media buyer for Bakers Delight, Australia’s largest bakery franchise.
As a business leader, Nunn cultivates high-performing teams with a focus on developing the strengths of individuals, building team chemistry, and a ‘get it done’ mindset.
Nunn also applies these principles on the basketball court as an NBL1 head coach, where he recently coached Knox Raiders senior men’s team to win the 2023 NBL1 national championship.
Mark Jarret is the chief executive officer of PHD. He has described his “first passion” that drew him to communications planning as understanding what motivates and drives people.
He has over 20 years of experience in both Australia and the UK. He has worked across almost every major category, including alcohol, finance, FMCG, automotive, telecoms, travel, government and QSR.
With Jarret at the helm, PHD is one of Australia’s fastest-growing media agencies, combining the latest industry insights with great creative minds to produce strategic and planning innovation.
Simon Rush is the chief executive officer of JOY, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Rush, a respected media identity in Australia, attributes the agency’s success to its deliberate tendency to fly “under the radar,” with most of their clients attained through referrals.
JOY prides itself on a dedication to recognising and releasing a brand’s potential in every aspect through holistic optimisation.
The agency’s work over the last 20 years has won awards at every major domestic and international award event in media, creative, digital, and social.
A few of the agency’s notable wins over the last few years include DeLonghi Group (AU+NZ), Musashi, Nutra Life, Kismet Films, Perfection Fresh, Brooks Running and The Australian Olive Oil Association.
CEO and Advisory, Audience Precision
Haydon Bray is the global CEO of Audience Precision, which he established in 2014.
Under Bray’s leadership, the agency has achieved a global presence, working with big-name clients, including R.M. Williams, Lyre’s Spirit Co., and RedEarth Energy Storage.
Bray’s career has been marked by numerous major milestones, including becoming Australia’s youngest national media director with DMB&B before establishing Bray Media with his wife, Kerry, in 1989.
Bray also established the Media Federation of Australia and won several awards for strategy before he sold Bray Media to Carat in 1999, serving as its chairman until he chose to take time off to spend with his young family.
Managing Partner, SPEED
Ian Perrin is the managing partner of SPEED. He has over 25 years of experience in creative, strategy and media agencies across four continents.
After a long career with Mindshare in South Africa, the USA and Australia, Ian left to run the strategy agency Naked in Sydney. After that, he was appointed Australasian CEO for ZenithOptimedia, a role he held for four years.
He co-founded SPEED with Duncan Parfitt, a data-driven media agency that counts clients such as Carnival, Dulux, CFS, Taco Bell, Archie Rose, Paspaley, Boody, Clear Skincare, and Elmo, amongst others.
CEO, Hearts & Science
Jane Stanley is the chief executive officer of Hearts & Science, overseeing teams across Australia and New Zealand.
Stanley has been with the Omnicom Media Group agency since its launch in New Zealand in 2019. Her experience in marketing leadership spans over a decade, encompassing a full gamut of categories, including brand, creative, digital, CRM, and media.
Stanley is passionate about leading innovation in the marketing and communications field and, in doing so, creating an inspiring workplace for internal teams.
As a business analyst in her early career, she is deeply rooted in the power of data. She understands its ability to provide brand and audience insights that propel business growth.
Under her leadership, Hearts & Science Australia and New Zealand has added brands such as SBS, Peloton, Equip Super and Cleavers Organics to its client list over the last 12 months.
As the leader behind Awaken, CEO Chris Parker has driven its meteoric rise, resulting in over 600% growth in four years.
Parker’s leadership style is deeply rooted in cultivating a balanced, impactful, and caring team culture.
As an innovator, he champions eco-conscious media campaigns, has unveiled Awaken Brands, the direct-to-consumer arm, and advocates for the LGBTQI+ community, notably guiding others through the complexities of international surrogacy.
Parker, a proud father of three in a two-dad family, delivers in the art of harmonising personal passion with professional dedication.
CEO and Chairman, Claxon
Not being an “industry guy” was a blessing and a curse, according to Claxon CEO and chairman Daniel Willis, who built it as a company first and agency second.
Over the past 12 months, Willis has overseen a considerable growth period at the independent agency, completing the journey to a fully integrated agency across media, creative, experience and data. Willis said, “That process shifted the fundamentals of how we now approach every aspect of our business.
“We have built the most amazing and talented team who are passionate about delivering, which I genuinely believe is on par – or better – than any other indie or Holdco in Australia. This makes me incredibly proud,” he added.
“We have built the most amazing and talented team who are passionate about delivering which I genuinely believe is on par – or better – than any other indie or Holdco in Australia. This makes me incredibly proud.”
Daniel Cutrone and Mel Mullins
Head of Media / Chief Strategy Officer, Avenue C
Daniel Cutrone and Melissa Mullins are the dynamic duo leading the crafts of strategy and media implementation at Avenue C.
Their leadership is about inclusive, high-paced team collaboration to produce the very best work. The independent agency’s unique point of difference is that it employs craft specialists with over ten years of experience.
The pair bring different perspectives to a client challenge. Mullins leaned on consumer insight as Cutrone leaned on the power of creative media choices, but together, problem-solve for clients’ businesses.
By immersing themselves back into their crafts, the Avenue C team works as a think tank, sharing ideas, best practices, different experiences, and previous learnings to continually improve the outputs that media can deliver.
This working relationship has been replicated across the entire business, delivering a relentless approach to media excellence.
Founder and Partner, RyanCap
Simon Ryan launched RyanCap in 2020 as a digital-first independent agency purpose-built for the new economy.
Before this, Ryan led businesses at IPG, WPP and Dentsu through significant transformation and growth.
RyanCap is a parent company to three businesses: digital media agency Ryvalmedia, data and tech specialist Foxcatcher and consultancy Tightrope.
Launched in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the company has experienced significant growth despite being founded during COVID, with new clients continuing to be attracted to its “uncomplicated” business model compared to existing global parent companies.
Ryan is also passionate about championing organisational culture and is a progressive leader who understands the elements needed to build successful, sustainable businesses.
Managing Director, iProspect
Marcelle Gomez is the managing director of NSW of iProspect, a role she was promoted to in 2022. She first joined the Dentsu group agency in 2020 as general manager.
In the role, she is responsible for driving business growth, talent attraction, development and retention, senior stakeholder management, market profile and relationships, business strategy and quality of work across the agency.
She is also a key member of the national ELT, responsible for driving national business initiatives. Collaborates with other Dentsu business units to deliver on shared objectives and business outcomes.
For over two decades, she has gained professional experience working across all aspects of agency leadership, client service, strategy and planning, and trading and investment.
Gomez’s impact as a managing director is evident through the transformative initiatives she has created and led, culminating in an employee value proposition articulating iProspect’s employee branding, supporting retention and talent attraction.
Co-founder and CEO, Keimera
Nick Behr is both the founder and CEO of Kaimera. He is also a founding board member of the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA).
Behr said of his achievements with the IMAA: “I founded it to give indies a voice, and it has gone so far beyond that to make indies better, our industry better, but also to hold the government accountable.”
Kaimera also prides itself on having executive team members review social performance, such as business impact on vulnerable communities, and environmental performance, like business carbon footprint, at least annually.
They boast a written code of ethics and that financial, social, and environmental performance is made available and transparent to full-time employees.
CEO and Chief Brand Officer, AFFINITY
As chief brand officer and chief executive officer of AFFINITY, Angela Smith has helped achieve such feats as taking Revlon from a base of declining sales to double-digit growth over the past three years.
In her IMAA Leadership Team capacity, Smith is Chair of the D&I Council and has led a one-person task force to create the inaugural Female Leaders of Tomorrow mentoring program.
Smith said: “On embarking on this mission to help close the gender pay and representation gap at senior levels, I had no idea of the complexity of the task.
“Fast forward seven months, and can I say how proud I am to have connected 15 outstanding emerging female leaders with 15 diverse industry leaders for one-to-one mentoring over the next six months? My hope is that this experience will be life-changing for all involved and perhaps make a small difference to close the gender gap.”
She further donates her time and agency resources to the Experience Advocacy Taskforce (EAT).
Chief Operating Officer, Starcom
Louise Romeo stepped into the newly created role of chief operating officer of Starcom Australia in 2023, building on passion for nurturing an engaged culture, especially among talent new to the industry.
The role brings together the craft of investment with the art of operations, positioning her to drive the agency model of the future.
Recent outstanding contributions to the leadership team at Starcom include helping them to achieve one of the biggest wins in the market in the last 12 months with TPG, the stabilisation of the team nationally, significantly reducing staff turnover rates, improving Media-i scores, the retention of marque clients within Starcom, and delivering increased product revenue year-on-year.
Romeo said: “It’s those ‘little win’ moments that led up to my promotion into the only role in the market that combines investment with operations: Starcom’s Chief Operating Officer—all while being a Mum.”
Managing Director and Founder, Alchemy One
With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Joel Trethowan’s career has seen him work at UM, Sony Pictures and Microsoft before co-founding Alchemy One in 2014.
The agency exists to work with its partners to create transformative change and deliver monumental impact, shaping a better future for people and the planet. Its clients include Bank Australia, Square, Lyka, Biennale of Sydney, Independent Living Assessment & Vialto.
Under his leadership as managing director, Alchemy One has achieved B Corp certification, making the agency one of the few media agencies globally to earn the designation.
Alchemy One and Trethowan have played a key role in the Fossil Ad Ban campaign, which aims to ban all fossil fuel advertising and sponsorships in Australia. Trethowan has also been a board member of Comms Declare 4 Climate since 2021.
Tom and Joe Frazer
Managing Director / GM and Head of Growth, Half Dome
Siblings Tom (managing director) and Joe Frazer (general manager and head of growth) make up two-thirds of Half Dome’s co-founding team. Together, they have weathered a year that has presented some of their biggest challenges from a client standpoint.
Joe said: “We implemented structures that saw key senior people drift too far from the work, and ultimately, it was harming the quality of work we were outputting.
“Identifying this and being part of a leadership team who has proactively responded in a way that has driven rapid and significant change is both one of the largest challenges and biggest wins I have been part of.”
In 2023, the Frazers reported a 100% increase in their engagement with non-profit organisations, which now comprises 29% of their client base with whom they work pro bono.
Chief Investment Officer, dentsu
Dentsu International announced the appointment of Ben Shepherd as chief investment officer of Dentsu ANZ’s media portfolio in November of 2022. In this position, Shepard supports the Carat, iProspect and Dentsu X brands.
Shepherd boasts almost two decades of experience in digital media. Before Dentsu, he was vice president at Bain & Company, leading the FRWD marketing and customer experience practice across Australia and New Zealand.
Shepherd has also worked for OMD Australia and CHE Proximity and has been recognised with accolades from several industry bodies.
Nick Keenan, CEO of Starcom, describes his proudest professional achievement to date as rebooting Starcom after a challenging 2022.
Keenan said: “After initial success in 2020-2021, the year of 2022 was a tough one. We had to ensure we lived the values of our People Powered Growth culture, complete a cross-functional talent transformation and ensure that all leaders lived the vision, which is to Ignite Growth through Culture.”
Starcom was able to retain their talent, resign their existing business and win a large new account in TPG while also winning Miele globally.
As a leader, Keenan brings unique cross-functional training across three key industries to his practice, having worked in advertising, gaming, and quick-service restaurants.
He continues to use his leadership to position the focus of Starcom in-market as a cultural one, driven by the maxim that success comes from being a people-first business, not a technology first or data first.
Stephen Fisher was appointed chief executive officer of Hatched in January 2023.
Fisher has helped secure major accounts for the business, such as Forty Winks, Reece, and Brown Family Wine group, while maintaining high staff and client retention.
The Forty Winks win, in particular, was a testament to Hatched’s growth trajectory under Fisher’s leadership.
Under Fisher’s guidance, Hatched has introduced social initiatives such as implementing five wellbeing days yearly for its people, over and above their annual leave.
In July of 2023, Hatched launched a new Parental Leave policy that provides 12 weeks of paid leave (on top of Government allowance) plus superannuation spent for the duration of parental leave.
As a leader, Fisher believes in authenticity, respect, and being an agent of positive change, “simply meaning to lead by example,” Fisher said.
Chief Investment Officer, OMD
Marelle Salib is the chief investment officer of OMD Australia and leads the country’s largest team of Investment specialists.
Salib is passionate about architecting investment strategies that deliver growth opportunities for OMD’s clients and future-proofing her team’s careers equally. She leverages her strong media relationships and 23 years of experience in continually evolving investment products for the agency.
Through a focus on innovation and collaboration with media partners to drive outstanding results, Salib has worked across multiple award-winning integrated campaigns, including McDonald’s Chicken launch, Suncorp’s One House and AAMI Road Safety.
CEO, Havas Media
Virginia Hyland is the CEO of Havas Network Australia. She launched her start-up independent agency, Hyland Media, 17 years ago.
Her business grew and was acquired by Havas Media Australia (now Havas Media Network) in 2020. She also stepped in as the CEO of the agency that year.
The merging of the two agencies saw it develop and implement forward-thinking data and digital initiatives across a breadth of its global and local blue-chip clients.
Challenger thinking continually attracts marketers to work with Hyland and talented Havas Media Network leaders to develop result-driven ideas and campaigns that create attention and influence for marketers and their brands.
Hyland is also an active member of the media industry community; she was appointed to the role of deputy chair of the Media Federation of Australia earlier this year and has been a mentor to women across the industry.
Hyland has been invited to judge Cannes Young Lion, D&AD, and the Culture and Business awards and won numerous awards, including the NSW Finalist Telstra Businesswoman of the Year.
CEO, Attivo / Mediahub
Sue Squillace was appointed CEO of Mediahub Australia and New Zealand in June.
With over 25 years in the industry, Squillace has a proven career and a strong reputation in the media sector.
Before joining Mediahub, she was CEO of Dentsu Media ANZ, responsible for leading and growing Carat, iProspect, and Dentsu X. Squillace also founded Spark Foundry in 2004. Before this, she held senior leadership and executive roles across Starcom MediaVest Group, OMD, Bray Media and Clemenger.
As CEO of Dentsu Media, she led the media business back to positive growth and significantly improved performance and reputation whilst building solid client partnerships.
She is also no stranger to building high-performing teams to deliver strategic, integrated, and innovative client solutions that deliver long-term brand value.
Outside the industry, she is a board member of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Fundraising Committee, where she co-chairs annual events raising more than $2 million annually.
Squillace also advocates for diversity, health, and well-being in the workplace, firmly believing that business success comes from putting people at the centre of everything for employees.
Founder and CEO, Match & Wood
Lyndelle O’Keefe leads the independent agency Match & Wood as chief executive officer alongside her husband Chris, who is chief operating officer.
Together, the couple have combined their skills – O’Keefe as a strategist and Chris in investment, negotiations, and management – to create the agency that aims to foster the next generation of media talent.
Lyndelle’s career spans over 20 years in media agencies such as MediaCom and Initiative Australia.
As a leader, she is hands-on with the business, running the agency openly and authentically.
O’Keefe’s focus on craft and empowerment with Match & Wood’s team members sees the agency consistently having top performers at MFA courses, NGEN, and Young Lions competitions and on stage as subject matter experts across the industry.
Chief Operating Officer, The Media Store
Jacquie Alley is the chief operating officer of The Media Store. She is a second-generation independent agency owner passionate about people and purpose in the industry.
Under her leadership, The Media Store has reimagined itself over the past year and undergone a period of growth off the back of a significant client, which has allowed the agency to double the size of its team.
Among The Media Store’s wins this year is the Travel Texas account for the Australia and New Zealand markets. The agency was also appointed to a new pro bono client, Cure Cancer.
The Media Store also claimed number 13 on Australia’s Best Workplaces of 2023 in the small business category.
Alley is also an active member of the industry’s community, particularly in the independent agency sector. Earlier this year, she was elected chairperson of the IMAA.
Strategy Director, Initiative
Chris Colter, chief strategy and product officer at Initiative Australia, has been an instrumental factor in the transformation and success of the agency.
He is responsible for the overall quality of our client’s connections strategy and architecture, liaising with regional and global teams to ensure consistent application of evidence-based courageous thinking.
Colter is one of the industry’s most respected and accoladed strategists. He has helped some of the country’s most prestigious brands take the brave leaps necessary to impact culture and grow their brands.
He has led some of the most famous and effective campaigns in recent years, such as Meat and Livestock Australia’s Spring Lamb, LEGO’s Star of Christmas and Tourism Australia’s Aussie News Today and Dundee. Colter is also co-chair of the MFA Awards and MFA EX.
Initiative Australia dominated at the recent MFA Awards, winning ten trophies, including five for its LEGO City Goes Nitro campaign and two awards for the Cricket Covers for NRMA Insurance and the Grand Prix.
Jessica White was appointed as chief executive officer of Kinesso, IPG’s tech-driven performance agency, in September 2023. While she is new to the role, White has been part of the IPG family for nine years.
Before her new role, she was CEO of a full-service digitally led performance agency Reprise following a 6-year stint in various senior positions in NYC, across Initiative and Matterkind (formerly Cadreon).
She boasts nearly two decades of experience in the media industry – both agency and client-side – the majority of which has been spent leading the development and implementation of data-led transformation in media and brand communications for agencies and brands.
White has a reputation for being an expert critical thinker in an ever-changing environment and a visionary leader.
CEO, UM Australia
Anathea Ruys, chief executive officer of UM Australia, continues to make a significant impact at the agency and across the media industry.
Under her leadership, she has focused on three key people pillars of the agency – reducing ever-increasing workloads, offering employee well-being support, and retaining talent in the media industry by ensuring exciting career pathways.
With 2.5 years in the role under her belt at the agency, Ruys has introduced policies and programs to support UM people in managing stress and challenges that help families be stronger, more resilient, and more engaged.
This has resulted in UM Australia previously being accredited as a Family Friendly Workplace – the only agency in Australia to have achieved this.
The agency’s latest family focus policy, Family Flex 8, introduced in August 2023 under Ruy’s guidance and encouragement, has seen UM employees invest nearly 900 hours in activities that reflect their family values.
CEO, Bohemia Group
Paul Hutchison is CEO of M&C Saatchi-owned media agency, Bohemia.
Prior to relocating from the UK to Australia and joining Bohemia last year, Hutchison was chief executive officer of Wavemaker UK. Prior to that role, he held a number of positions such as head of planning and chief operating officer.
Hutchison also worked at Vizeum (now iProspect) and was a Senior Account Planner at advertising agency DLKW (now Mullen Lowe).
As a craft media planner and client leader, Hutchison has built partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola, BMW, Heinz, and Vodafone.
Hutchison prides himself on being a people-first, commercial-driven action-focused leader with a love for building, nurturing, and developing talent and teams to create growth-driving agency client partnerships.
CEO and Founder, This Is Flow
Jimmy Hyett is the CEO and founder of This Is Flow. For the last four years, the agency has driven consistent triple-figure growth and delivered results for clients.
As a leader, Hyett has introduced workplace initiatives such as a 50% profit share, nine-day fortnights and a suite of people-focused programs called IMPACT PLUS.
This has led to the agency recently being named one of Australia’s Best Workplaces in 2023 on the official Great Place To Work list.
He also plays an active role in the industry’s community, sitting on the Board of Directors of the MFA.
Hyett also takes part in panel discussions, contributing to industry-wide talent programs and helping raise over $200,000 for mental health for the Black Dog Institute – with a core focus on developing young diverse talent in the industry.
CEO Australia and New Zealand, EssenceMediacom
Pippa Berlocher was appointed CEO of EssenceMediacom Australia in January and commenced in May 2023.
She has been described as a highly enthusiastic and passionate leader who takes immense pride in developing and nurturing teams to deliver exceptional work.
Berlocher’s proudest professional moment in the last 12 months was being recognised as the person of choice to lead EssenceMediacom Australia in establishing the new agency offering following the January announcement that Essence and MediaCom would be joining forces.
The merger created a new agency proposition of delivering breakthrough thinking for brands in the new communications economy.
Five months into her new role, Berlocher focuses on bringing two unique businesses together with the goal of true integration and one culture.
Danny Bass was appointed chief executive officer of Dentsu Media Australia and New Zealand in August 2022.
In the role, he oversees the strategic direction and growth of the Carat, iProspect, and Dentsu X brands.
Bass boasts more than 20 years of experience in digital media to Dentsu. He was previously the director of Snap Inc., formerly CEO of IPG Mediabrands Australia and chief investment and chief digital officer at GroupM ANZ.
His background has included building an industry-recognised digital trading platform to change how media is bought and sold, and he was part of establishing the digital arms of News Corp Australia.
Bass also has an industry reputation as an active workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion advocate.
He brings a leadership style inspired and influenced by his work in the for-purpose space, underpinned by his role as chairman of UnLtd.
Chief Investment Officer, Spark Foundry
Lucie Jansen stepped into the role of chief investment officer of Spark Foundry in 2022 following her stint as national head of investment.
She is responsible for $460 million a year in billings and leads investment strategy for all the agency’s clients nationally with her team of 55.
Jansen has championed excellence, consistency, and sustainability in Spark’s investment product, delivering superior client business outcomes alongside significant business wins.
One of Jansen’s core values is prioritising mental health and wellbeing. She is a qualified mental health first aider, and she ensures that health and happiness are prioritised across Spark, focusing on building supportive and inspiring working environments.
As a leader, she fosters a culture of trust, kindness, and transparency to make this industry healthier and happier. She also devotes her time to mentoring women in the business with the hope of eradicating gender bias.
Managing Director, Publicis Media Exchange
Anthony Ellis is managing director at Publicis Media Exchange (PMX), a role he has been in since 2020.
Publicis Media has a total billing of $1.3 billion and Ellis is responsible for leading the investment product and partnerships (media, data and AdTech) for all Publicis Media Agencies (Spark Foundry, Zenithmedia, Starcom, Razorfish) across Australia and New Zealand.
Ellis spent 19 years of his career working on most of ZenithMedia’s client base and was responsible for leading the investment product across all media and led some of the largest client negotiations in the Australian Marketplace.
In 2012, he became part of the ZO executive team and was appointed as the Australian investment co-lead for Publicis Media.
Ellis is also on the Board of kids charity, Bestest Foundation, which is focused on helping children that fall outside the standard boundaries of the larger established charities.
CEO, GroupM Nexus
As CEO at GroupM Nexus, Ryan Menezes has over a decade of experience in digital marketing, commerce experience and leadership skills spanning Australia, Canada, and Japan.
Earlier this year, he was promoted to the role and is responsible for executing GroupM’s digital and marketplace services transformation roadmap and leading the next era of media performance for GroupM agencies and their clients.
Menezes joined GroupM as chief technology and transformation officer in 2020. Before that, he was head of digital and commerce at Starcom, head of digital, data and technology at Publicis One, and director of digital communications at Initiative.
He also leads quarterly innovation workshops with his team. He believes that diversity of thinking is imperative to represent the rich culture of Australia.
Chief Investment Officer, Zenith
Elizabeth Baker is chief investment officer of Zenith Media Australia, responsible for leading the negotiations and investment product for Zenith nationally across our three offices – Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Baker is in command of over $450 million in client billings, which spans Zenith and Team Leon – Haleon’s bespoke entity within the Publicis Groupe.
Before stepping up to chief investment officer in July 2022, she was Zenith’s national head of investment. She was appointed in 2020 and was head of investment in Sydney for nine years.
Baker boasts a 20-year tenure at Zenith, a milestone that exemplifies the importance she places on long-term commitment, loyalty and honing her craft and relationships.
As CIO, her responsibilities encompass driving strategic investment-led solutions that deliver marketing-led growth for our clients and operational best practices across the agency.
Baker is also part of the Publicis Groupe Investment Council, which is charged with the Groupe’s strategic investment decision-making, investment product development and alignment on key standards that feed into industry bodies.
Chief Investment Officer, Wavemaker
Philippa Noilea-Tani is the chief investment officer of Wavemaker Australia and New Zealand.
Noilea-Tani is responsible for $ 693 million in annual billings (RECMA). She has worked with brands such as Palmolive, Swyftx, DoorDash, Netflix and Audible.
She leads a team of over 80 staff, with five direct reports across five offices, contributing to positive client referral scores, retention of Australia’s #1 New Business ranking and one of the industry’s lowest attrition rates.
Noilea-Tani is a positive disruptor and a change agent for good. She uses her position of influence to champion meaningful change and was inducted into the UnLtd Hall of Good as Social Change Maker of The Year 2022.
Leading by example, she is guided by her commitment to championing others and inspiring them to recognise their influence within our industry.
Managing Director, Initiative
Sam Geer is the national managing director of Initiative Australia and part of the driving force behind the agency’s transformations and success.
Much of the agency’s success has been born from their globally awarded culture and employee experience which is rooted in inclusion and empowerment for all.
The past year has seen Initiative Australia rise to the top over the past year with a slew of coveted client wins and projects. In December 2022, Initiative was officially ranked by RECMA as Australia’s Dominant agency.
Earlier this year, the agency was recognised on the global stage winning Gold in the Media Agency category at the Campaign UK Magazine Global Awards.
Last month, Initiative Australia dominated at the MFA Awards, winning 10 trophies, including five for its LEGO City Goes Nitro campaign and the Grand Prix.
Over the past 15 years, Geer has worked across some of the biggest brands in the world including Coca-Cola, Amazon, LEGO, Bunnings, Audi, AB In-Bev, Lion and Government.
National Head of Investment, GroupM
Claire Butterworth is the national head of investment for GroupM.
Butterworth oversees the investment and partnerships practice for GroupM agencies Mindshare, EssenceMediacom and Wavemaker. She leads best access, additional added value, and first-to-market opportunities for clients across all channels.
She has more than 20 years of experience working within the investment discipline and has been in the GroupM family for over 12 years, holding senior investment roles at MediaCom and Wavemaker before joining the Group.
Butterworth is passionate about media investment and loves working with media partners to create great work for our clients. She particularly enjoys seeing individuals and teams grow, develop, and deliver outstanding work.
With experience across all major categories, including FMCG, Telco, QSR, Banking, Insurance, Entertainment and Government, she is a regular commentator on issues affecting advertisers and media and has achieved recognition at multiple award programmes, including MFAs and Cannes Lions.
Chief Investment Officer, GroupM Australia and New Zealand
As chief investment officer of GroupM Australia & New Zealand, Melissa Hey has a passion for dealing and number crunching, focusing the last eight years of her career on specialising in Trading.
Hey has developed strong media relationships throughout her career, from major publishers, broadcasts and digital platforms. She is known for being a fierce and fair negotiator, overseeing $ 1.9 billion of advertising dollars.
Hey works with three of Australia’s largest agencies to ensure their investment team leverages strategic investment and partnerships to deliver better client business outcomes at every opportunity.
Hey has been critical to client retention, ongoing client relationships, and winning new business. Her career has seen her work across major categories, including FMCG, Automotive, consumer electronics, QSR and the finance category.
Hey is extremely agile and responsive to tight timelines while ensuring premium outcomes and is influential and powerful in both client outcomes and the media ecosystem.
CEO, Omnicom Media Group (OMG)
Peter Horgan is the CEO of Omnicom Media Group (OMG) Australia. He leads over 1,500 media and consultancy specialists across Australia & New Zealand.
Under his leadership, OMG Australia topped the RECMA annual Qualitative Domestic Report, reflecting a solid start to 2023. The group’s largest agencies, OMD and PHD, were assessed as having dominant profiles in the industry, indicating a strong performance across new business performance, client portfolio growth, and updates to staff resourcing and capability.
The business has grown steadily on his watch, and he is committed to sustainable growth via continual investment in people and driving a performance culture across the group. At an industry level, Horgan has been a vocal champion of transparency and equitable commercial behaviour.
In addition to leading OMG, he is the only agency board director on the peak client body, the AANA. Horgan was also reappointed as chairman of the Media Federation of Australia earlier this year.
CEO, Atomic 212°
Claire Fenner was promoted to chief executive officer of Atomic 212° earlier this year. She first joined Atomic 212° in 2013 as general manager before stepping up to the managing director position a few years later.
Fenner has spearheaded the independent agency’s proposition of surrounding smarter, faster, and accountable media and oversaw the strategic direction, media investment and key operations for all agency clients.
Under her leadership, she has provided a unique perspective and focus on the ongoing shift towards technology-led media buying, automation and the opportunities and challenges this presents for agencies and brands.
Fenner is also passionate about supporting the industry’s future by leveraging technological advancements to increase media accountability and effectiveness. She also recognises the need to balance this with tried and tested marketing principles.
Fenner said: “There is so much energy within the agency right now, and I am passionate about delivering technology-led strategies using machine intelligence to deliver smarter, faster and more accountable results.”
Atomic 212° boasts a robust environmental, social and governance framework. The agency has committed to complying with applicable law in its operations and attained its carbon neutrality certification in July 2022. Atomic 212° also celebrates diversity and inclusivity – women comprise 50% of its staff across senior leadership roles, 25% are non-Australian citizens, and 25% of its workforce comes from countries beyond Australia. The agency also has a presence on the MFA’s DEI advisory group.
CEO, Zenith Media Australia
Jason Tonelli, chief executive officer of Zenith Media Australia, has focused on driving a leading and cultivating culture for the agency.
He has worked on developing a space where the team can do their best work across media solutions, strategic work, and investment.
Under Tonelli’s leadership, he has partnered with clients across many industries, such as Superannuation, Financial Services, Automotive, Government, Retail, Insurance, CPG and Technology.
Tonelli is an active participant throughout the Australian advertising industry, speaking at many leading industry events as a keynote speaker and a panellist.
He is also an active member of the Industry Advisory Board for the School of Marketing and Advertising at RMIT University in Victoria.
In terms of DE&I, as part of Publicis Groupe, there are four dedicated Employee-led Resource Groups (ERGs) – Égalité, VivaWomen!, EmbRACE and EnABLE – that help provide outlets of connection for its people.
Lucy Formosa Morgan
Managing Director, Magna
Lucy Formosa Morgan, managing director of Magna Australia, is responsible for leading and driving the trading strategy for the entire Mediabrands portfolio of agencies and clients.
With over 20 years of international and local experience across both the agency and publisher side, she has focused extensively on building and developing partnerships across the industry ecosystem to make advertising work better and more seamlessly for consumers, advertisers, and the media.
For Formosa Morgan, the industry has bought media in the same way for decades, and she hopes to drive change in this area to evolve the trading frameworks required to deliver better outcomes for clients.
Her experience includes Nova Entertainment as commercial operations director, where she was brought on board to centralise the pricing and inventory teams across all of audio.
Before that, she was joint national managing director and chief investment officer at PHD, having built the investment product and team up from scratch.
Formosa Morgan is a passionate advocate for climate change and leads the charge for gender diversity across the Australian media industry. She also mentors several senior executives and is focused on increasing the number of women in executive management roles.
MAGNA, along with IPG Mediabrands, has paid it forward with its annual Equity Upfront, an initiative launched in 2021 that aims to raise the awareness of Black-owned media businesses and media partners with Asian, Hispanic, and LGBTQIA+ ownership.
Peter Vogel is the CEO of Wavemaker Australia & New Zealand. With over 30 years of experience as a media and marketing professional, his career has seen him work client side, at a creative agency and in media agencies across numerous international markets.
Vogel’s career started in the automotive industry in South Africa, where he was marketing manager at Audi. Subsequently, he worked at Ogilvy and founded a media strategy agency, Nota Bene.
He spent three years in Asia as the APAC CEO of MEC. He has been with Wavemaker for the past five years and is committed to positively provoking client growth.
Vogel is passionate about the media industry and takes inspiration from developing great and diverse talent. He knows that great people create great work – and this is what clients want to grow their brands and businesses.
Wavemaker has actively embraced differences as part of its diversity, equity and inclusion. The agency is positively provocative to create growth.
The agency has made five commitments to its people: to listen continuously to its people, to educate its leaders about diversity and inclusion, and to act on alleviating bias and discrimination in its network.
Wavemaker is also committed to measuring diversity and inclusion goals across the business and to being vocal – internally and externally – about what diversity and inclusion mean to Wavemaker.
Laura Nice and Sian Whitnall
Co-CEO, OMD Australia
Sian Whitnall and Laura Nice serve as co-chief executive officers of OMD Australia.
Whitnall, originally from the UK, leverages her digital and technology background to drive forward product innovation for the agency. She first joined OMD Sydney in 2013 as Interactive Director, bringing her digital, data and technology expertise to drive results for Johnson & Johnson.
Whitnall has held roles with IAB, AANA and the MFA. She also mentors future leaders within OMD and across the industry via MFA5+, hoping to make digital, data and technology education accessible to all.
Laura Nice is driven to deliver growth and service excellence for OMD’s clients. She proudly cites her leadership style as people first. Her international client service, data, and technology experience spans all major industry categories.
Nice is also passionate about mentoring future leaders within OMD and the wider industry. It plays a key role as a mentor in the MFA5+ program. Her constant strive for improvement also saw her accepted into the highly competitive Marketing Academy program, graduating with the 2020 Cohort.
OMD has actively focused on its people and culture over the years. The agency has been certified by Great Place to Work Australia for 15 consecutive years (2008 to 2023).
OMD has also worked with OMG to develop the industry’s first DE+I Charter, which includes six key pillars: Reconciliation Action Plan, pride, cultural diversity, disability and accessibility and age.
CEO, Mindshare ANZ
Maria Grivas marks one year as CEO of Mindshare ANZ, and the past 12 months have seen the agency deliver good growth for its clients, people, and the industry.
With more than 20 years of experience, she has led a Performance Marketing agency and established a marketing effectiveness practice providing consultancy to clients in analytical measurement, audience strategy, and data and technology enablement.
Grivas has led Mindshare with empathy, energy, and impact. She has built on the agency’s culture of Good Growth and created long-term sustainable new business growth.
The development of Mindshare’s Good Growth proposition has defined its business strategy to be at the forefront of sustainability, producing tangible outcomes for clients and directly in business.
Grivas shared that her proudest reflection has been the client momentum and new business growth. “In 2023, this was reflected in the Media-I industry survey, which showed Mindshare’s happiness scores at their highest since 2018,” she said.
Mindshare was appointed as the media agency for Unilever Australia and New Zealand, home to FMCG brands such as Dove, Omo, Rexona, Streets, Sunsilk and Vaseline.
CEO, IPG Mediabrands Australia
Mark Coad, chief executive officer at IPG Mediabrands Australia, is unanimously considered by the media industry as “a great bloke, a smart thinker”.
Coad seeks change for the greater good, and his influence across the industry and beyond is far-reaching.
Coad joined Omnicom Group in 2003, first as managing director of OMD Melbourne and later as CEO of OMD Australia, where he led the business to prominence. He was later CEO of the creative agency Clemenger Harvie Edge, a role accepted largely due to his close friendship with the late industry legend and mentor Peter Harvie.
In 2012, he returned to the media as CEO of PHD Australia. Under his tenure, it won multiple Agency and Employer of The Year awards. He joined Mediabrands Australia as CEO in February 2020.
Coad plays an active role in the future of Australia’s media industry through his decade-long Board Membership of the MFA and Advisory Board Membership at ADMA.
As part of IPG, Mediabrands is dedicated to the same ESG principles of purpose, including using its marketing expertise to make a difference in communities around the world, caring for investing in its people, operating in a way that respects the environment and ensuring a fair governance structure in the company.
IPG has policies and procedures informed by its ESG principles and priorities to ensure accountabilities for all stakeholders around the world – this covers the environment, sustainable business travel, anti-harassment and equal opportunity employment policy, human rights policy, policy on board diversity and so on.
CEO of Spark Foundry
Imogen Hewitt, CEO of Spark Foundry, took the agency to the top of the 2020 new business rankings in less than a year.
Under her leadership, the Publicis Groupe media agency has continued to sustain its success and was named on the 2022/23 list of RECMA’s fastest-growing agency list.
For more than 20 years, she has worked across the industry in Australia and South East Asia in a range of positions in media, digital, creative, brand and agency management.
With a diverse background, Hewitt brings a hybrid strategic point of view to the tasks and challenges of communications and agency management now.
Hewitt said: “I am responsible for people, product, positioning and commercial success of the agency. If it’s broken, I fix it.
“Most importantly, it’s my responsibility to create a culture where exceptional people thrive. An inverted org chart. An upside-down triangle. I’m not on the top. I’m on the bottom doing my best to hold our extraordinary people up,” she added.
As part of Publicis Groupe, Spark Foundry shares the same ESG policies. Publicis Groupe has committed to climate action such as an Emissions Reduction Plan in ANZ, responsible procurement, and an employee resource group called Écologique in ANZ.
In terms of DE&I, the Groupe has four dedicated Employee-led Resource Groups (ERGs) – Égalité, VivaWomen!, EmbRACE and EnABLE – that help provide outlets of connection for its people.
CEO, Initiative Australia
Melissa Fein stepped in as CEO of Initiative Australia in 2018. She has built the agency up as one of the most successful agencies in the country.
Under her leadership, Initiative Australia has built a reputation for attracting the best clients and talent. She has driven record growth and recognition for her people and their work.
Last year, the agency was ranked by RECMA as Australia’s Dominant agency. In May 2023, it was recognised on the global stage, winning Gold in the Media Agency category at Campaign UK Global Awards.
Initiative Australia also dominated at the recent MFA Awards, winning ten trophies, including five for its LEGO City Goes Nitro campaign and the Grand Prix.
In February 2022, Initiative launched its Family Planning Funding Benefits policy, which offers its people free IVF treatment and adoption support. This pioneering policy was influenced by Fein’s experience and empathy for others in similar circumstances.
It is also the first agency in Australia to provide a game-changing benefit that aims to support its people during an emotional time and to retain team members amid a talent shortage.
Outside of the industry, Fein is a board director at Swimming Australia and Cancer Chicks. She is also a board member of the Media Federation of Australia.
CEO of GroupM Australia & New Zealand
Aimee Buchanan, CEO of GroupM Australia & New Zealand, takes the top spot of the 2023 Mediaweek Agency 50.
With more than two decades of experience in the Australian market, Buchanan is recognised as a leader driven by integrity, client-obsessed and always puts her people and culture first.
Buchanan has worked across a range of high-volume Blue Chip clients, managed complex pieces of business and worked as a partner to clients in developing communications solutions.
Under her leadership, GroupM has had a transformative effect on business performance – our people, client relationships and outcomes, and, importantly, on its sustainability agenda.
GroupM also grew its billings by 23% in 2022, regaining the top spot as the largest agency group in Australia, according to COMvergence.
In the past 12 months, GroupM has achieved its objectives; its annual engagement survey showed Employee-NPS increased by 83%, Pride in Organisation scores increased by 27%, and Belonging scores improved by 19%.
This year has also seen GroupM launch Alpha, its new sustainability strategy in Australia, the introduction of people-focused policies, the launch of EssenceMediacom, rebalancing the gender split of the executive team and supporting the Yes Campaign.