Two executives who built their careers in Brisbane have been appointed as managing director and executive creative director of Publicis Australia’s Queensland operations, as the 50-strong agency repositions to tap into the state’s burgeoning creative and business momentum.
Simone Waugh has been appointed MD and Ryan Petie as ECD of Publicis in Queensland, with the agency’s operations being rebranded PublicisQ to address business opportunities in traditional and rapidly developing industries in the state. Current clients include Sanofi, Suncorp, AirAsia, Griffith University, Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland and Footlocker.
“Queensland is the home of world-renowned businesses in areas such as game design and multi-media, visual effects capabilities that are in demand in Hollywood, leading nanotechnology development and a start-up community that is being heavily supported by Government and local business,” said Waugh.
“There is a clear opportunity for a new breed of creative agency to capture the spirit of entrepreneurialism that is accelerating in Queensland and Ryan and I are positioning PublicisQ to be that business.”
The PublicisQ business model will be introducing new formats to attract creative thinking including QSessions, where creative thinkers and industry specialists will be engaged to help solve client challenges and QPartnerships, a program to highlight Queensland’s most innovative talents in art, catering, music, plus others and work with them to create a series of projects related to building brand and consumer relationships.
Waugh started her career in Queensland. She has worked with clients across the full range of communications channels in categories including financial services, gaming, charities, education, government, FMCG, tourism, property and food. She spent a decade on the client side in financial services leading marketing and business strategy departments. Prior to her appointment as managing director of PublicisQ, she was head of strategy planning and client service at Publicis in Queensland.
Ryan Petie also started his career in Brisbane and has worked in creative and digital agencies in the UK and Australia, developing work for brands like Chivas Regal, Citroen, Peroni, Garnier, Bulla Dairy Foods, Evian, Reckitt Benckiser and Subway. His most recognised work is the global brand positioning for Chivas Regal ‘Live with Chivalry’, a campaign that is still unfolding across the world. He is most recently the creative director at Publicis Melbourne.
Andrew Baxter, CEO of Publicis Australia, said Waugh and Petie would form a unique partnership in leading the newly positioned PublicisQ. “Both Ryan and Simone have huge energy and insights into the Queensland market and instinctively understand the opportunities for Queensland-based businesses both at home, across Australia and internationally. They also have the resources of the Publicis worldwide network at their disposal to support their clients.
In her new role Waugh will replace previous Publicis Brisbane managing director Rob Kent who will be leaving the agency after 17 years as MD at the end of March. Kent said, “Both Simone and Ryan are home-grown and exceptional talents and I am confident they will be highly successful as a management pair. Simone has been groomed as my successor over several years and I wholeheartedly support her appointment to the role. There is no-one more capable and deserving for the job.”