Bohemia CEO Paul Hutchison on refreshing the brand and what comes next


“For me, the most important thing so far has been listening”

In May last year, Bohemia Australia – part of the M&C Saatchi Group – announced the appointment of Paul Hutchinson as CEO, replacing outgoing CEO Brett Dawson. Hutchinson’s appointment came after he spent four years as the chief executive of Wavemaker UK, moving to Australia to tackle the Bohemia role.

Last week, Bohemia unveiled a new positioning and brand refresh that taps into a combination of intelligence and intuition to “handcraft memorable media,” celebrating the ‘New Bohemia’ at a Sydney event.

Mediaweek spoke to Hutchinson about how he’s found the Australian market, the Bohemia brand refresh, and what comes next.

Having made the move Down Under, Hutchinson says that there is one major thing that has made an impact during his time in Australia. 

“The thing that really stood out is just how open and welcoming the market has been here, and the interest there is in the plans for Bohemia. I’ve experienced through meeting many, many partners and clients, just how much positivity there is towards Bohemia – but also the interest in what we’re going to do next.

“For me, the most important thing so far has been listening – listening to our clients, listening to potential clients, listening to Bohemians. I’ve managed to have a one-to-one with all 50 of us so far, that’s at least an hour with everybody. I’m really looking at what we’ve got and what we can build on to craft the next chapter for our growth.

Celebrating the brand refresh, the ‘New Bohemia’ was launched at an event held at the newly transformed M&C Saatchi Group offices in the historic former Transport House on Macquarie Street last week, attended by more than 100 people. Hutchison says that now was the perfect time to relaunch the brand, and to solidify the message that Bohemia is sending to the market.


Paul Hutchison at the New Bohemia event

“Based on what I’ve heard, I think for the past couple of years we’ve been a little bit quiet and not as present in the market as perhaps we should have been. People were beginning to say, ‘we’re not quite sure what you’re up to at the moment and what you stand for, but we are very interested to know, because we’re sure there’s something really interesting going on’.

“There’s a lot of respect for the strategic thinking that’s historically come out of this business, the work we’ve put into market, and for the fact that we’ve developed a real hotbed of the industry’s talent. It felt like there was a positive sentiment towards the business, but it’s up to us to go out and restate why clients should want to work with us for their next chapter of growth, and why the talent in the industry would want to come and work here for their next career experience.”

Hutchison says that the main thing he hopes clients take away from the brand refresh is simple: “We want to partner with them.”

“We want their very, very best ideas, their very best insights, and their very best people to come and work with us and craft solutions for our clients. 

I’ve yet to meet a client who doesn’t think that their brand and opportunity is unique –  and they’re right, by the way. The clients I’ve spoken to are maybe slightly concerned that somewhere within the industry, things are becoming a little bit off the shelf, or maybe that computers are starting to dominate a little too much. Computers, data, and technology are really, really important, but it’s about how we use for fuel to then be led by our people.”

The relaunch of Bohemia comes amongst less-than-certain economic times, with Hutchinson noting that after a couple of really strong years bouncing back from the global pandemic, there are potential signs of a slight slowdown in advertising spend. Despite this, he says that “the opportunity for agencies is to continue to listen to our clients and listen to the challenges that they face.”

There’s still a big opportunity for us to grow with our clients, maybe in more diverse ways than we have historically. For me, that comes from asking the right questions, and listening to clients and hearing what they really need. Sometimes we do need to develop new products and propositions to answer those needs, but if we can be fast and nimble and add value, I still think there’s a great opportunity for us to partner with clients and for both of us to grow.”


Looking ahead, Hutchison sees a bright future ahead for Bohemia.

“What I’m hoping to achieve is fame and recognition for the work that we put out into the world for our clients, not fame and recognition necessarily for Bohemia primarily. We’re going to go and do a roadshow with the industry, and talk a bit more about Bohemia and what we’re doing under the bonnet

“What I want to do is galvanise around our clients and the work we put into the market for them to create market-leading distinctive works that serve their audiences and help their businesses grow.”

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