Lisa Ronson exits CMO role at Tourism Australia for Coles

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 8 January 2019
Lisa Ronson

Tourism Australia's chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson will exit the organisation in March, taking on the CMO role within Coles Group.

Ronson, who joined the organisation from Westpac where she had held a similar role, has led a number of award-winning Tourism Australia marketing campaigns, including Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns, which received a Titanium Lion award at the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival.

As one of the most high profile marketers in Australia, the shakeup is a significant loss for Tourism Australia.

Ronson now takes on a more complex role at Coles, which recently listed as its a standalone company on the ASX and overhauled its management team.

The management shakeup saw the departure of top marketer Simon McDowell and a new CEO take the helm in Steve Cain - who Ronson will report to.

McDowell led Coles’ highly successful “Down Down” TV campaign as well as its use of the big red hands in the ads and successful promotional tie-ups with MasterChef and celebrity chef Curtis Stone.

Ronson, who will relocate to Melbourne for the role, has agreed to stay with TA until March 2019 to help manage the transition and bed in Tourism Australia’s the newly appointed agencies.

“She is someone who believes passionately in the power of creative ideas and partnerships to deliver commercial results. That approach is certainly a big part of the legacy she leaves our organisation and especially evident with recent creative campaigns such as Aussie News Today, Dundee and UnDiscover Australia," Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan said.

“We will not only miss Lisa’s marketing expertise, but also her enormous enthusiasm for the industry and passion for her colleagues. She’ll be sadly missed but goes with our very best wishes and gratitude for a job extremely well done,” he said.

Most recently, Ronson led the dual pitch for Tourism Australia's creative and digital accounts, appointing M&C Saatchi as its lead creative agency and Digitas as its digital agency after a six month long process.

“I’m hugely grateful for my time at Tourism Australia. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on so many amazing projects, with talented and enthusiastic people and for such a great brand," Ronson said.

"I will miss it a great deal, especially the team and the industry, but feel that the time is right to move on and hand over the reins."

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