Industry Profile: Digitas Melbourne client partner Ollie Ward

By AdNews | 4 September 2018

Our Industry Insights 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.

This week we spoke to the Digitas Melbourne client partner Ollie Ward.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

I’ve been with the Publicis Groupe for about 18 months.

How would you describe what the company does?

We’re a connected marketing agency that brings together technology, data, creative and media specialists to help our clients transform their businesses.

What do you do day-to-day?

It’s a small, fast-paced team so I’m always close to the action. But, I also try to spend as much time looking at new opportunities to grow the Digitas Melbourne team and engage deeper with our clients.

Define your job in one word:


I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

1. I was on the path to becoming a really terrible lawyer; and
2. The moment I walked into George Patts in 2005, I wanted to work there.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Keeping on top of it all.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?

We all talk about being accountable for business outcomes but very few clients have the data infrastructure, tools or knowledge to accurately assess marketing performance. It holds us back from becoming truly trusted advisors.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

Prior to this role, I spent four years at Cummins & Partners and before that, five years in Shanghai with both Y&R and Wunderman.

Who is/has been a great mentor to you and why?

There are many people in the industry I admire, but aside from a brief stint being ‘mentored’ by Grant Rutherford, I don’t really have one.
I’d be lost without Dave Trott’s articles each Tuesday though.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?

Worry about your reputation. The longer your career, the more important it becomes and the harder it is to change.

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

Trying to work out what to do for a living.

My mantra / philosophy is:

An imperfect reality is better than a perfect fantasy.

My favourite advert is (and why):

It’s an old Peugoet TVC featuring a John Denver song that makes me tear up every single time.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? (Spotify/Netflix etc)

Spotify, particularly when paired with Google Home while in the shower.

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

I’m pretty sure, whether they like it or not, everyone within earshot is completely up to speed with what’s going on with me at all times.

In five years' time I'll be:

The oldest player to debut in the AFL.


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