Publicis in Brisbane has re-engineered the agency to increase focus on strategy by forming a team with depth of experience across brand and consumer experience, channel planning, social media and digital.
Managing director Simone Waugh said: “Building one of the strongest integrated strategy teams in Australia has been critical to us, knowing the best of strategic thinking fuels the best of creativity.
“We’ve brought together a team of six so far to integrate social, digital and CX strategy with brand planning.”
Mike Redfern, Publicis’s strategy director, has worked closely with Waugh and the Publicis leadership team on the rebuild of agency’s strategy offering in the past 12 months, which has seen the appointment of David Smerdon as strategy director of Publicis in Brisbane.
Smerdon has over 15 years’ industry experience in both media and creative agencies, and before joining Publicis, he was strategy director at Clemenger Brisbane.
“After nearly eight years at Clemenger, I’m excited by the sheer scale of the PublicisQ team, while still being agile and legitimately client-focused,” Smerdon said.
“Our capabilities are complemented by our partnership and direct access into the technology /development muscle of sister business Sapient. The integration of strategy and digital into creative is firing well for us.”
Also joining Publicis on strategy is Helene Thorsen, who joins from Vizeum and Isobar in Denmark as strategist. Local talent Scott Isaac has also been appointed as a strategist with social specialist expertise.
Waugh said: “We’re the first agency in Australia to work with Google Experimental Labs in New York to implement best-practice content creative with one of our national clients, Suncorp.
“We’ve invested in our talent, spending time on the ground with Google, and now we’re about to implement the model for our clients.
“We have one of the best multicultural agency mixes of people which brings diversity of thinking and experiences to the table.
“We have people who have moved here from Sweden, South America, Scotland, London and other cities in Australia, purposely choosing Publicis for our focus on strategic creativity.”
Picture (L-R): Laura Walkley, Helene Thorsen, Mike Redfern, David Smerdon, Georgia Crawford and Scott Isaac.