Ikon's Hardwick returns to launch new venture

By By Paul McIntyre | 23 March 2012
Ikon co-founder Gary Hardwick.

EXCLUSIVE: Ikon co-founder Gary Hardwick is back in business in Australia as the founding chairman of a start-up company servicing media agencies and advertisers with a bundled suite of licensed US technology platforms across social media, ad exchanges and data management.

Hardwick’s New York venture Ikon3 recently split with Droga5. He will remain in New York but is founding chairman of Kinected, which has three other expat Australians as co-founders who have returned to run the company from Sydney.

Former MediaMind vice president for sales and client services Mick O’Brien is chief executive of the new venture. Ross McNab, the former global business development director at MediaMind in the US, is chief revenue officer, with a fourth partner to be announced shortly. Kinected will expand its footprint into Asia later this year.

The company will initially launch with four platforms: MediaMath, a demand-side platform; Unified Social, which buys ad space across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; Bluekai for data management and TagMan which tags ads in real time for attribution.

“I was having really interesting meetings in New York with technology platforms that could deliver capabilities to advertisers but had no plans for Asia Pacific. It started to make a whole lot of sense to create a bundled, integrated stack of the best technologies in the US and then represent them in Australia and New Zealand and then South-East Asia and beyond. There is a huge opportunity for these markets to tap into what is happening in the US,” Hardwick told AdNews.

This article first appeared in the 23 March 2012 edition of AdNews. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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