McCann Melbourne has promoted general manager Anita Deutsch-Burley to managing director and Roshni Hegerman to head of strategy, AdNews can reveal.
The move follows the departure of managing director Adrian Mills, ECD Matt Lawson and head of strategy and media David Phillips, who all exited the agency last week to join Deloitte Digital.
The agency’s creative leadership will continue under Melbourne-based chief creative officer Pat Baron and ECD Nicole Mandile.
Deutsch-Burley has been with McCann since 2015, joining from Y&R. In her time with the agency, McCann Melbourne has continued to build on its creative and effectiveness success that begun with Baron and (now) McCann global ECD John Mescall’s global phenomenon Dumb Ways to Die for Metro Trains in 2012.
Hegerman joined McCann Sydney in 2014 from her role as planning director at BBDO India and has helped lead the strategic and creative reinvigoration of McCann Sydney, including numerous Effie awards and the agency’s standout Cannes Lions success this year.
Mandile joined the agency at the start of the year and was previously creative group head at Clemenger BBDO.
The management shake-up sees three women placed at the helm of the agency – a commendable move in the Melbourne market, which is currently dominated by male-led agencies.
Speaking with AdNews, Deutsch-Burley says Mills left the agency in a great position, which she hopes to build on.
“I am exceptionally fortunate to have inherited an agency that is in really good shape, with a very strong creative and strategic reputation. I hope to build on that as well as leverage the collaborative nature of the leadership team,” she says, adding she plans to "do things a bit differently” as well as keep McCann’s creative heritage thriving.
National CEO Ben Lilley adds that keeping the heritage of an agency like McCann, which is over 100 years old, as well as keeping relevant in a rapidly changing industry is a focus moving forward.
“Change is an occupational hazard in advertising and marketing. As we have seen, particularly in the Melbourne market, change is a constant part of agency life. They key is to maintain the same level of creative and strategic rigour as we manage the changes,” Lilley says.
“We are always looking at how we can continue to nurture and develop our staff for both the benefits of their careers and our agency. So when change does happen, we have the right people in the right place to continue the same offering to our clients.”
He says the move shows the value McCann places on its people and their career development.
“Our people are the single biggest investment we can make and we are always investing in their growth opportunities. There is talent war in the advertising industry and if we aren’t looking at every level of the organisation and thinking about career development plans – we aren’t making the right investment in our staff’s future,” Lilley says.
Since Deutsch-Burley joined the agency, McCann has invested significantly in its integrated offering, introducing full-service media in-house in 2015 and merging its strategic, media and digital and creative capabilities under a single agency offering.
McCann Melbourne has steadily built its creative reputation since Lilley, Mescall and Ashley Farr sold and merged their business Smart into the agency in 2011. In a reverse takeover, the Smart founders took control of McCann and were tasked with rebuilding the agency.
This year it was the second ranked Australian agency at Cannes, picking up several Lions for University of Melbourne and YMCA.
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