Industry Profile: Havas Melbourne general manager – media Naomi Johnston

4 August 2020

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Havas Melbourne general manager – media Naomi Johnston.

Time at the company:
Three months. I started after lockdown and have only met my team in person once!

How would you describe what the company does?
At a time when people have never cared less about brands, we make brands matter.

What do you do day-to-day?
I engineer teams and put systems in place so that smart ideas can create sustainable results for clients. Okay I love a good buzz word.

Define your job in one word:
Wrangling.

I got into advertising because:
I wanted to own a Porsche.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Fostering a fun, productive team culture through Zoom.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
The pitch process. It is often disrespectful of agency time and focussed on the wrong metrics – media rates instead of business outcomes. And it all too often fails to enable a fair assessment of the two most important factors – smarts and team chemistry.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Mindshare, ZenithOptimedia, MediaCom, Starcom, Jumbla Studios.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
Launched the infamous Wolf Blass Green label wine in plastic bottles before sustainability was a thing.

Implemented the first ATL/BTL nation-wide roadblock across every metro, regional and national screen for REA Group at exactly 8.22pm when the highest proportion of their audience were watching.

Currently part of Havas Hustle - a nationwide Havas village initiative that offers free advice to anyone in advertising industry who has been impacted by COVID-19 and who wants to grow their side hustle.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Lyndall Campher – she taught me that conventional is boring.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Don’t be in a rush to get to the top. The fun bit is the journey. Be nice.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
On a film set in charge of the VFX team.

My mantra is:
Proceed as if success is inevitable

My favourite advert is:
My dad picks the fruit that goes to Cottee’s – I still know all the words.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Stan, Foxtel Go, Disney+, Napster.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
My mum’s name is Sylvia.

In five years' time I'll be:
Running an eco resort in Mexico.

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