Dentsu Mitchell redundancies necessary for “business evolution”

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 17 March 2016
Shaun Briggs

Following a batch of redundancies at Dentsu Mitchell in the traditional media and account services departments, the company has promoted Shaun Briggs to the newly created role of GM Melbourne as the company undergoes a “business evolution”.

Speaking to AdNews, MD of Dentsu Mitchell Adrian Roeling explained that this month the business was forced to make the redundancies as it moves to bolster its digital model – as well as further push its multicultural offering. The redundancies impacted 3% of its 150 staff and will allow Dentsu Mitchell to staff the business around its new strategy.

“Over the past three years we have been on a bit of a journey,” Roeling says.

“It’s essentially a very exciting time in our business evolution, and our recent changes in structure are designed to continue the fantastic growth we have achieved over the past three years.

“We have increased the scale of the agency by 140%, and are currently in the top five agencies in Australia according to RECMA – but we have to keep optimising to deliver the best we can.”

Roeling says Dentsu Mitchell, which was rebranded from Mitchell & Partners in July 2015, is focused on its 'x5 model' which zones in on communication design; digital experience; creative content; category insight and business intelligence.

“We essentially calibrate our client service teams based on our understanding of our client’s business requirements, and consequent communication objectives. We haven’t “re-modelled” our traditional media services as such, I would say we have re-calibrated our core agency service to deliver our brand promise,” Roeling added. 

He says the network has an “aggressive investment” in category insight, business intelligence, content and digital platform expertise and that it's only through deep category and business understanding that communication agencies can these days “develop and deliver innovative and effective solutions in a digital and content driven world”.

Step by step

Roeling says as its ambition is to become a truly national business, the first stage of its new business evolution was to ensure it implemented a national management team. As a result, in addition to GM Canberra, Penny Davy-Whyte, and business director Perth, Michelle Testa, it has promoted Shaun Briggs to general manager of Melbourne – a newly created position.

Briggs re-joined Dentsu Mitchell as a group account director in 2013 after nearly six years at MediaCom.

“Given the fact that I have moved into a national role, it was important to have a leader focused on the Melbourne office operation,” Roeling says.

“Shaun is highly respected in the Melbourne market, and has a great rapport with clients and staff alike. Importantly, Shaun demonstrated a great vision for the Melbourne operation during our interview process. We couldn’t be happier than to be promoting from within for such an important role.”

Roeling says the company is also honing in on its multicultural offering by creating a bespoke tool, Dialect, to communicate with multicultural Australia – particularly as 27% of Australians are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD). 

“Failing to connect effectively with CALD audiences means that not all Australians are communicated to effectively,” he says.

“Dentsu Mitchell has identified this gap and this tool aggregates and visualises multicultural data, combining multiple data sources to determine relevant CALD media and channel opportunities.”

Dentsu Mitchell sits under the Dentsu Aegis Network, alongside sister agencies Vizeum and Carat. After nearly a decade at Dentsu Aegis Network Australia, last month AdNews revealed that its CEO Luke Littlefield left the business – with Simon Ryan, former CEO of Carat, stepping up to replace him.

Also last month, the Dentsu Group reported global revenue growth of 12.8% to JPY818.6 billion (A$10.2 billion) in the year to 31 December 2015.

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