Today’s B&T Women in Media profile is the fabulous Ellie Rogers, Facebook’s head of agency for Australia and New Zealand. Here, Rogers talks about her early career as a clown, her wine appreciation and why she believes pickles may well be the ideal career move…
My first job was a clown at my local zoo in England… I really liked dressing up as a clown but the outfit didn’t go down well on the teenage dating circuit.
I loved last year’s Jacob’s Creek Twin Pickings campaign… And not just because I love good plonk. The theme of the campaign was ‘things that are better if you did it with a mate’…like drinking. It thought carefully about how to integrate with the content and context of the newsfeed – which is largely people sharing special moments with their mates. The beautiful creative worked brilliantly for the mobile newsfeed, as it was designed specifically for the platform. Equally, the client was wholly focused not on how many people saw the ad, but how much wine was consumed afterwards, which is always good metric of happiness!
I started my media life as a TV buyer, playing good cop in broadcast negotiations and haggling over 0.1% share… I have worked in the advertising industry for 15 years, at large agencies and start ups in London and Australia. In 2004 I moved into digital, and was appalled at the lack of negotiation. Embarrassingly, it took me three months to understand that I was actually the donut here, and digital wasn’t about bargaining with publishers but creating extraordinary experiences in collaboration with partners. When I got my head around the creative possibilities our industry offers, I found my groove, won a few awards in France and haven’t looked back. I now head up our agency team at Facebook in Australia, and feel very lucky to be in the right job at the right time of my life with the right team next to me.
I’ve wondered at times whether to re-invent myself… I have worked in media since I was 21, so this is all I know. Over the years I have watched good friends move out of the industry into new worlds and wondered at times whether I should re-invent myself as a full time mother, or pickle maker (I make excellent pickle), or become a travel writer and lie on endless beaches sipping pina coladas. The reality is that I have stayed in advertising because instead of me having to re-invent myself, the industry I work in has done the hard work for me and I have had many different careers in the last 15 years. I have enjoyed the ride rom TV trader, to creative, to strategist, to digital agency lead to now working for a tech platform.
Henry Tajer’s career and approach has always fascinated me… When I was at Ikon, I watched our fierce IPG competitors at a respectful distance build an impressive commercially strong business. From my time as the co-chair on the MFA’s digital body, I saw another side of this fearless leader. I watched someone who was deeply respectful to his peers, listened carefully to the advice of the counsel and acted decisively on important decisions. When I left Ikon, Henry got in touch to help me explore options both inside and outside his group. At a tough time in my career, his interest and counsel was extremely valued. Now he has been promoted to IPG’s global CEO, I’m looking forward to watching him scale his philosophies into global products and services in this new age of media.
Facebook is a big supporter of women in leadership roles… Smart companies know that diverse leadership teams produce higher profit margins. Flexibility, for me, means leaving early every Tuesday to eat pizza, coming in after I have dropped my daughter at nursery, and working at a sustainable pace so I’m never in danger of burning out.
My biggest passion is my beautiful and very funny three-year-old daughter, Nancy May… I’m very lucky I work at an organisation that allows me to integrate my home and work life and supports me without question as a single mother. There’s nothing like having a child to re-inject your passion for your job. Having my daughter made me step up my ambitions to ensure I am a good role model, and at a practical level provide her the education and opportunities to help her build an incredible life.
I am still waiting for the moment where I feel like ‘I’ve made it’… I honestly feel like I’ve just got started and there is plenty of fuel in the tank.
And make sure you enter yourself or a colleague for the Women in Media Awards! Do so right here, right now.
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