‘Surprised it’s taken this long’: Ferrier and Wright on Fein, Geer, and Colter defection

Industry reaction - Adam Ferrier and Stephen Wright - Melissa Fein, Sam Geer, Chris Colter leave Initiative

“I’m sure they’ll do well. I think at some stage soon, the entire industry will be working for Greeny.”

“I think at some stage soon, the entire industry will be working for Greeny,” Thinkerbell co-founder Adam Ferrier told Mediaweek of Initiative’s top brass defecting to join Mark Green‘s Accenture Song.

Last night, news broke that Initiative’s three most senior leaders – CEO Melissa Fein, MD Sam Geer, and chief strategy and product officer Chris Colter – will soon be joining Accenture Song to set up a full service media unit.

Ferrier is surprised it took so long for Accenture to make such a move.

“What’s interesting here is that everyone knows that traditional advertising agencies and traditional media agencies are doing it tough, and their models are struggling to keep up and adapt with change,” he said.

“Creative and media services need to be joined up, and applied through the entire EX and CX of a business. Accenture Song have done a tremendous job of positioning themselves as business transformation, and having strong media, or context thinking within their offer is fundamental – I’m surprised it’s taken this long.”

Thinkerbell is a full-service agency offering creative, media, and PR services. Ferrier said that on a personal note, “It’s great to see ambitious, talented, nice people going to work for other ambitious, talented nice people.

“I’m sure they’ll do well. I think at some stage soon, the entire industry will be working for Greeny.”

Adam Ferrier

TrinityP3’s media business director, Stephen Wright, added that Fein, Geer, and Colter’s departure from Initiative was “significant” as “one of the best pitch teams in Australia”, adding that “Initiative’s new business record was testament to that.”

“Accenture’s move overnight has the potential to significantly realign the media agency sector in Australia and will be watched closely by clients and competitors alike,” Wright said.

“Initiative Australia has done a lot of work to establish itself as a leader globally and the opportunity for Mark Coad and the team now is to bring fresh eyes and build the next evolution of their product.”

Stephen Wright

Mediabrands CEO Mark Coad confirmed the news to staff in an email sent on Thursday at 6:26pm and seen by Mediaweek.

“Suffice to say, Mel, Sam, and Colts are still very much part of Initiative’s team and will be working at their usual high-octane and professional pace over the next few weeks/months. They have been very respectful and will give the agency and its clients their time and expertise to ensure a smooth transition,” he wrote.

In an official statement, a Mediabrands spokesperson said: “While we respect that there are many questions to be asked and answered, no further comment will be made at this time. Further details will be provided in due course.

“At this early stage, we acknowledge the tremendous contribution that Melissa, Sam, and Chris have made to Initiative and the wider IPG Mediabrands company.”

See also: Updated: Melissa Fein, Sam Geer, and Chris Colter leave Initiative for Accenture Song

Top image: Adam Ferrier and Stephen Wright
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