AFFINITY abolishes account management

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 22 August 2019

Independent full-service agency AFFINITY has made three senior appointments to reflect a shift to an agency model that has completely removed the traditional account management department. 

Joining AFFINITY’s leadership team, Lisa Christie has been named group media director; Giorgia Butler takes on the role of senior strategist, brand director; and Russell Smyth is creative director.

The new appointments bring the agency's count up to a total of ten client-facing strategists.

The decision to replace the traditional account management function with an always-on strategy approach came from the agency's "commitment to great thinking from beginning to end of the process".

“Clients are loving having access to critical thinking across every single conversation and appreciate our ability to constantly add value whilst streamlining the process," says AFFINITY CEO Luke Brown.

Christie brings more than 30 years’ experience to the agency. She has previously spent four years as a co-founder and client services director at Ikon Communications and five years at Starcom MediaVest Group as strategy director.

During her career, Christie has worked with brands including CommBank, Suncorp, Sony, Vodafone, NT Tourism, Unilver, Amex, Mastercard, Kimberly Clark and Powerhouse Museum.

Butler is an Effie and IPA winning brand planner with 20 years' experience of bringing insight-led thinking to senior agency roles internationally.

She has worked as strategy director at Ogilvy Australia and VMLY&R in Sydney, and spent eight years in marketing and activation roles for youth marketing, educational gaming and brand imaging consultancies in New York.

She has also delivered award-winning campaigns for organisations as diverse as Kimberly Clark, the MCA, KFC, Colgate-Palmolive, Samsung, Telstra and Nestlé, to name a few.

Smyth's industry experience spans more than 20 years as a long-standing CD at agencies including seven years at both Batey Ads and The Campaign Palace, and eight years at Ogilvy & Mather.

During his career, Smyth has created multi-channel campaigns for clients including Vodafone, Pfizer, Milo, Kimberly Clark and Telstra.

He has also worked with both State and Federal government departments, including Transport for NSW (Drink Driving 'Plan B', Drug Driving 'MDT', Double Demerits), and on numerous Australian Government campaigns.

“We’re proud to have attracted the calibre of talent in Lisa, Giorgia and Russell," says Brown.

"They’re already demonstrating their exceptional talent in working with our data-driven approach and are making a huge difference to our clients on a daily basis.”

Christie, Butler and Smyth join the current leadership team made up of Brown, chief strategy officer Angela Smith, senior strategist, digital director Rob Mills and senior strategist, CRM director David Ryder.

Most recently, AFFINITY was appointed as Fisher & Paykel’s strategic media and digital agency earlier this year.

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