Baxter unveils "Big Boutique" positioning

By By David Blight | 3 June 2011
UM chief executive, Mat Baxter.

EXCLUSIVE: UM chief executive Mat Baxter has undertaken a restructure of the agency, with a new positioning, the formation of specialist divisions and a series of hires.

The agency is to adopt the moniker “The Big Boutique”, which Baxter (pictured) said is a reference to UM’s status as one of the country’s top billing media agencies, while incorporating its stated ambition to be as specialist and fleetfooted as a smaller boutique operation.

“The Big Boutique draws on the strength and accountability of the big agency model, as well as the service, creativity and innovation of the boutique model,” Baxter said.

“We were doing well before, but we want to do better. The restructure just adds the cream and the cherry, rather than re-baking the whole cake.”

Five national specialist divisions have also been created – Intelligence & Insights, Retail & Response, Branded Entertainment & Social Activation, Creativity & Innovation, and Marketing Sciences. Dedicated teams within each office have also been built around individual clients.

As part of the changes, three national craft leaders roles have been created including a chief client officer, who has yet to be appointed.

The other two roles will be filled by national strategy director Daniel Isaac as chief strategy officer, with responsibility for a wider strategic remit.

The final craft leader role is filled by former Initiative managing director Chris O’Keefe, who was appointed UM’s chief investment officer in April.

Other appointments in the new structure include the arrival of Publicis Mojo strategic planner Victoria Sanderson as Melbourne strategy director, while UM strategist Helen Black has been promoted to Sydney strategy director.

Former Starcom Mediavest strategist, Anna Callinan, was appointed strategy director at Brisbane’s office earlier in the year.

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