This carefully crafted program combines inspiring keynotes with informal activities, deep think tanks and time to build real relationships.



Breakfast & Welcome

Conference MC: Chris Savage, Director, The Savage Company


International Opening Keynote: The Three Client Trends That Will Change How Agencies Are Selected

Brent Hodgins, Managing Director, Mirren (US)

For more than a decade in their partnership with Harvard Business Review, Mirren has been working closely with clients to track exactly how they select each agency. Not based on their misleading direction to agencies, but based on what they actually do.

Mirren’s latest research is in: more change is expected over the next 18 months than what has been tracked over the last decade.

The key sentiment from clients is that agencies have not kept pace with the evolving needs of brands in the current market environment. However, within this growing divide, several significant revenue growth opportunities have opened up for agencies to immediately capitalise on. Brent will reveal this new insight at The Agency Leaders Symposium on September 3rd.


Partner Keynote:


Session details TBA.


Panel: Tackling Procurement Highs and Lows

Joel Solomon, former Volkswagen Head of Procurement, now Director of Digital Transformation at SAP
Peter Horgan, CEO, Omnicom Media Group
Amber Collins, former Coles GM Brand and Media
Michael Napolitano, MD, TBWA Melbourne
Darren Woolley, Founder and Global CEO, TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultants

Do agencies need to take back the power from procurement and help loosen the so-called savage grip that it has on the industry right now and what does taking back control look like? How much power do marketers themselves have and what is breaking point?

We look at the relationships between procurement, marketing teams and agencies and how this is impacting the industry. We question what the best approach to dealing with procurement in RFPs is and what it takes to say no to pitching. From being brave enough to make early judgement calls to negotiating the dark arts of RFPs, all sides vow to open up about the constructs, realities, challenges and the future of grappling with procurement.


Coffee Break & Networking

Sponsored by Verizon Media


Keynote: Building Trust In An Age Of Cynicism

Justin Di Lollo, Founding Consultant, Hakluyt

Public cynicism is stronger and more virulent than at any time in history. This plays out most obviously in the world of politics, but is also deeply significant for agencies seeking to drive a position of trust up and down their value chains. That’s the bad news. The good news is that addressing trust in a cynical environment doesn’t need new thinking – just a more rigorous and structured application of good business practices.



Lunch and networking down by the pool at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Resort


International Keynote: From London, to Prague, Russia and Shanghai, How Running Global Media Offices Shapes You As An Agency CEO

Rupert McPetrie, CEO, MediaCom China

Session details TBA.


Wine Tasting




Workshop: Future-Proofing Your Agency: Laying a Rock Solid Foundation for Growth

Hosted by Brent Hodgins, Managing Director, Mirren

In addition to the complex and shifting competitive landscape, there are certainly a few signs the economy could be in for an unsettled ride in the near future.

Are you prepared?

Whether or not the economy shifts, laying a solid foundation for consistent growth over time is critical. When you factor in the continued trends that involve the shift to project-based work, fee reductions, in-housing, consultancies, and marketing technology, this becomes even more important.

In this hands-on workshop, you will collaborate with other agencies, as you work through a series of principles, methods and exercises to begin future-proofing your agency – even identifying new revenue opportunities.

You will conduct several audits of your positioning, target clients, talent, and service offering to ensure you are innovating quickly enough. In fact, you will outline next steps to begin implementing as soon as you leave the workshop.



Relax + Recharge


Pre-Dinner Drinks Reception

Hosted by Ashton Media



Sponsored by REA Group


Sir Martin Sorrell
Dinner Speaker: Sir Martin Sorrell

The Change Agencies Don’t See Coming And Why S4’s Model Is The Answer

Sir Martin Sorrell is Executive Chairman of S4 Capital, which is building a new age, new era, digital advertising and marketing services platform for global, multi-national, regional, local and millennially-driven clients.

Sir Martin was CEO of WPP for 33 years, building it from a £1 million “shell” company in 1985 into the world’s largest advertising and marketing services company with a market capitalisation of over £16 billion, revenues of over £15 billion, profits of approximately £2 billion and over 200,000 people in 113 countries. Prior to that, Sir Martin was Group Financial Director of Saatchi & Saatchi plc for 9 years and worked for James Gulliver, Mark McCormack and Glendinning Associates before that. S4 Capital PLC recently merged with MediaMonks and MightyHive, and is listed at the London Stock Exchange under SFOR.L.

Sir Martin supports a number of leading business schools and universities, including his alma mater, Harvard Business School and Cambridge University and a number of charities, including his family foundation. He is married to Lady Cristiana Falcone-Sorrell and has four children and seven grandchildren.

Sir Martin Sorrell will be appearing via live interactive video link.



Breakfast & Welcome

Conference MC: Chris Savage, Director, The Savage Company


International Keynote: Challenges this Global CMO has Working with Creative and Media Agencies

Mark Cripps, Global Chief Marketing Officer, The Economist (US)

The average tenure of a CMO is less than four years. And no wonder. From orchestrating delicate brand stewardship in a fragmented media landscape – trying to persuade increasingly fickle customers, through to navigating delivery of both short and long term, growth and contribution objectives – the top marketer role has its fair share of challenges.

With a US$100 million marketing budget, working with creative and media agencies to satisfy the demands of the organisation’s C-suite can prove a complex and stressful job. From performance, profit and procurement to process, product, bringing back the creative passion and dealing with agency ‘pretenders’, The Economist’s Mark Cripps takes us through the 9Ps that keep CMOs up at night (and, in turn, should be giving you insomnia).


Partner Keynote

Tell your story to an audience of the most senior leaders in adland

If you have a story to tell the most senior leaders in Adland then we can help.

Call Tim Stuart-Harris on 02 8228 6902 or email him here.


Think Tank: Pitch Consultant Hot Seat

In this think tank a trio of senior pitch consultants will take on queries, tackle misconceptions and may even give you the best advice you’ve ever had. What are the common things that clients want and common things pitch consultants do to help clients find it?

No question is off limits.

Got burning question but not keen to ask yourself? Email your hot seat question in advance here.


Think Tank: Ensuring an Ethnically Diverse Workforce & the Steps Needed to Make it Happen

Peter Kirk, CEO of Pluto Media and producer of content for Aboriginal Health TV

The Australian government has set some fairly high targets for government procurement to businesses that have indigenous representation. What does this mean and how will it affect the advertising and media industries.

Peter Kirk will discuss how businesses can prepare and work with more indigenous people, how the government tender process is going to change and what can be done to enhance indigenous representation and work

What is a diverse workforce? How do you become more diverse and what steps are needed? What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), can you afford not to have one and how do you get involved?


Think Tank: Why Aren’t we Talking About the Industry’s Alcohol Problem?

Colm Dolan, CEO, Publift

Session details TBA.


Think Tank: How to Deliver Growth and Contribution Objectives in Both the Short and Long Term

Mark Cripps, Global Chief Marketing Officer, The Economist (US)

The growing tension between delivering short and long-term marketing and business objectives is intensifying.

Whilst an immediately-gratifying focus on short-term (mainly online) metrics can have dangerous implications for long-term success, there needn’t be such a gross divide. Here, The Economist’s CMO Mark Cripps will facilitate a discussion on how to balance the complex world of short and long-term tactics—and how agencies can help their clients better embrace both.


Coffee Break & Networking

Sponsored by Verizon Media


Breakout: The Power of the Troll and How it’s Killing the Industry

Moderator: Rosie Baker, Communications Director, GroupM
Margie Reid, Managing Partner, Thinkerbell
Davy Rennie National MD, Omnicom’s Tribal
Mike Morrison, Founder and CEO, Brainlight Wellness

Trolling is severely damaging the industry, is killing morale, creativity and careers. Pushed to extremes some staff have needed counselling or have even quit after their work and skills have been torn apart. Here, we discuss the impact this has had, can go on to have and will give advice on how, as agency leaders, you can help improve the issue and ensure you are given staff the right support.


Keynote: The Silent Killer of Creativity. The Business Case for Wellbeing.

Sean Hall, Founder and Chief Energist at Energx

The data is clear. In Australia creative people are not thriving. They are depressed, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, tired and depleted. All killers of creativity and sadly, killers of creatives.

We intuitively understand that healthy employees equal a healthy business. What’s harder to understand is the true commercial cost to your business when your people are not at their best. And perhaps harder is how to create a culture where creativity and creative people thrive. By the end of this hands-on interactive session you’ll leave with an understanding of both.


Breakout: Where are the women founders?

Bec Brideson, Founder and ECD, Venus Comms

Why we don’t have more women starting their own advertising agencies – and why we don’t see more support for women who own businesses? When looking at the history of advertising globally, there’s a glaring omission of female owners across holding groups and agencies. To help change this, founder and ECD of Venus Comms, Bec Brideson, launched the Women With Agency project which advocates for gender smart procurement reform. For the first time, results from the Women With Agency project can be revealed.


Virginia Hyland
Breakout: Why you don’t need to be acquired to kickass in a competitive landscape

Virginia Hyland, Founder and Principal, HYLAND

Hyland logo

Session details TBC.


Breakout: How three ad execs took an idea over a few beers and sold it to the United Nations

Rob Galluzzo, Founder, Finch
Nick Garrett, CEO, Clemenger BBDO

When Finch founder Rob Galluzzo, Finch’sChristopher Nelius and Clemenger BBDO CEO Nick Garrett started working on what would become The Lion’s Share, they had no idea the impact it would have in such a short time. Since launching, it’s been backed by Sir David Attenborough, Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and importantly, launched with the United Nations Development Programme and founding partner, MARS Inc.

In this session, Galluzzo and Garrett will explain how a couple of industry leaders took the idea and sold it into some of the most influential people in the world, and share the lessons they learned from their journey at the beginning through to launching the program at the United Nations General Assembly.


Closing Keynote: The Changing Face of the Agency Leader

David Fox, CEO, Ogilvy
Simone Waugh, Managing Director, Publicis Worldwide Australia
Rebecca Bezzina, Former CEO, RGA
Clinton Parr, Founder, Employee Experience Consultant, A Lion & The Vibes

The agency leader role has changed and as important issues like mental health, wellbeing and strength in diversity rise to the fore, the skills required, and examples set from a modern-day leader are changing. Will business acumen and an MBA be enough for an agency leader of the future or will the best person for the job be those who have now made a beeline for the people and culture roles? Here, we question if and how the role has changed, openly talk about leadership wins, fails and predict what the future agency leader will look like.