MFA reveals its ambitious plans for 2023


MFA CEO: “we will continue to empower and inspire our members to create positive change in our industry”

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has revealed ambitious plans for 2023 at its annual general meeting after what has been a big year for Australia’s media agency industry.

The industry’s hugely successful MFA Awards and MFA EX, which attracted 2,500 people in Melbourne and Sydney, will return in 2023 with MFA EX Melbourne to be held on Tuesday, 5 September, followed by MFA EX Sydney and MFA Awards on Thursday, 21 September.

The events provide the ultimate proof points of media agencies’ collective purpose of We Are The Changers, launched by the industry body at the start of the year, demonstrating the industry’s ability to influence change: for clients, society, agencies, and its people. 

The AGM opened up one of the two independent media agency board seats for re-election, with Match & Wood managing partner Chris O’Keefe completing his two-year term.

The MFA will hold an election for the position, voted by independent media agency members, with the winner to be announced in the new year. The second independent board seat is held by This is Flow CEO and founder Jimmy Hyett.


Top row, left and right: Peter Horgan, Megan Brownlow and Virginia Hyland. Bottom row, left and right: Imogen Hewitt, Aimee Buchanan and Michael Rebelo

The MFA Board also voted at the AGM to reappoint six directors for a further two-year term: Peter Horgan, Omnicom Media Group CEO; Aimee Buchanan, GroupM ANZ CEO; Imogen Hewitt, Spark Foundry CEO; Michael Rebelo, Publicis Groupe CEO; Virginia Hyland, Havas Media CEO; and independent board director Megan Brownlow.

Dentsu Media ANZ CEO Danny Bass was voted on to the board, replacing Sue Squillace.

Reporting back to members on 2022 achievements, the MFA provided updates on several initiatives, including:

• The industry-wide diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, Media For All, and the expansion of industry measurement on diversity, equity and inclusion via the annual Mediai survey.
• The expansion of the MFA e-Learning program with the launch of the MFA How to Buy TV stream. Since its launch in 2017, the MFA e-Learning program has been completed by more than 4,300 people and delivered best-practice skills and practical knowledge through comprehensive courses and challenging exams.
• Establishing MFA Best Practice Audit Guidelines, improving the audit process for agencies and advertisers.
• Establishing industry best practice workplace safety standards for agencies to ensure safe, inclusive, and respectful workplaces for everyone.
• Improved Out-Of-Home measurement and trading standardisation with the OMA.
• Ongoing growth of essential programs such as NGEN and MFA 5+, with NGEN recording a 25% increase in the NGEN population.

In 2023, the industry body will continue to be a force that makes the industry better at what we do, with some of the plans including:
• The establishment of an industry ESG strategy.
• The development of an industry action plan on workplace safety, including a robust industry framework for the prevention and reporting of workplace safety.
• A new initiative attracting career changers from other sectors.
• Expansion of all MFA e-learning programs to three times a year due to high demand.
• 15th year anniversary of NGEN, celebrating the program’s success in empowering those with less than five years’ experience to build successful and long-lasting industry careers.


Sophie Madden

MFA CEO Sophie Madden said: “2022 was a huge year for our industry with the launch of important initiatives such as our three-year DE&I strategy, industry purpose of ‘We Are The Changers’ and the expansion of our e-learning program, along with the triumphant in-person return of MFA Awards and MFA EX. ​

“We also welcomed six new members this year as we continued to grow our thriving community, reflecting the full spectrum of the media agency industry – small and large agencies, local independents and multinationals, specialists and full-service agencies.

“In the new year, we will continue to empower and inspire our members to create positive change in our industry and the broader community, because We Are The Changers,” she added.

Peter Horgan, MFA chair and Omnicom Group CEO, added: “The past three years have provided a reminder – if one were needed – that by working together as a unified force through the MFA, our industry can rise to the challenge and tackle important issues to make us all better.

“I am confident we will continue to evolve in the right direction in 2023 and beyond,” he added.

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