Industry Profile: 303 MullenLowe MD Derry Simpson

By 303 MullenLowe MD Derry Simpson | 14 March 2017
303 MullenLowe MD Derry Simpson

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

For our last profile we spoke with DT chief creative officer Jonathan Pease.

This time we chat to 303 MullenLowe MD Derry Simpson.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Eight years.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

We bring interesting people and disciplines together to solve big brand problems, influence behavior and have a lot of fun along the way.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Spotting big ideas and helping to nurture them to the point they can impact behavior for the better.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

We are 26 years old, but 2016 felt like a coming of age for 303. We became part of the MullenLowe network, opening us up to a world of talent and tools; said goodbye to the last of our three founders and the father of our agency, Lindsay Medalia; we introduced PR and Analytics into our integrated offering; we moved into the heart of the Perth CBD and into a heritage building that I think really reflects who we’ve become; and we had the best first half in the agency’s history.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

No two days are ever the same.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

I always swore I would never work in adland. A good part of my career was spent in brand management and insights teams in larger multinationals. As a client I used to look at how hard my agency team worked and wondered what kind of crazy person would choose a life like that … and now I am one of those crazy people.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Exactly where I am right now.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but should be.

I’m a planner – we talk about everything … and probably sometimes too much.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

Again, I’ve probably told them everything but … when I was a kid I sang on the Ray Martin show.

Top networking tip:

Let your work speak for itself.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Right now it’s Long Chim.

My favourite advert is:

It’s a long list but I do always love an Aussie classic like Telstra Rabbits:

Or the John Mellion VB spots: 

My must-have gadget is:

My noise-cancelling earphones.

My favourite media is:


My favourite TV show is:

Bingeworthy Netflix series like House of Cards.

The last book I read:

Probably one of the many Hairy Maclary books my two- year-old is obsessed with this week.

My mantra / philosophy is:

Adventures are the best way to learn.

I got into marketing because:

I was offered a job to move back to Perth and launch a new planning offering and it seemed like a really interesting challenge.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Mum. There’s nothing else I’d rather be.

In five years' time I'll be:

I do love the idea that in five years time I will have somehow cracked the magic formula and be effortlessly juggling three young kids, pickups, play dates, school lunches, clients, meetings, pitches, running an agency and everything else packed into a week. But even if I haven’t, I’ll probably still be doing it all and loving every minute.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Spanish reds.

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