Industry Profile: Fairfax director of brand solutions, Michael Grenenger

By AdNews | 13 December 2016
Michael Grenenger

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.

This week we head to Sydney to speak to Fairfax Media director of brand solutions and client development. 

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Only a quick 25 years.

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

We produce Australia’s leading media brands.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

My team is responsible for the commercial performance of the Fairfax portfolio of brands as well as managing the relationships with our largest clients. All of our large pitches & partnerships are driven from this team

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

I am enormously proud of the transformation that Fairfax has undertaken from that of a legacy newspaper company to a truly digital first entity. If you look at Domain, Stan and our range of digital brands - it’s really a great story. The quality of our brands is important to me - it's why I stay here.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

That's easy - our clients. We get to work with some of the world's most exciting brands and they trust us because we know their business and we know how to solve their problems.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

Well you would have to go back a long time….last place was actually at AdNews. Pass on my love to Jamie Yaffa.

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

As long as I remain working with our key clients and creating highly valuable and bespoke solutions for them, I’ll be happy.

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

My eldest son is a Calvin Klein underwear model, in fact all my boys look like heading into that area - they get that from my wife obviously.

Top networking tip:

Patience - client networks take time, I have worked with some of my clients for nearly two decades and many are close personal friends. You just can’t build a good network overnight.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

It’s hard to beat Rockpool Bar & Grill for variety and a killer wine list or The Press Club in Melbourne - both outstanding.

My favourite advert is:

Well I am a self confessed luxury brands disciple so anything in AFR Magazine will get me drooling.

In digital format I really like what Quartz are doing with native content integration.

My must-have gadget is:

I live on my iPhone - pretty much my entire business is run from it.

My favourite media is:

All of it - as an industry we get too hung up on the delivery mechanism to the point of complete digital myopia. Forget whether it's print, digital, radio, TV or carrier pigeon. If the content experience is good enough - the audience will find it.

My favourite TV show is:

American Horror Story. Either that or Captain Pugwash. I still cannot believe they got away with those character names. Roger the Cabin Boy?

The last book I read:

The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

My mantra / philosophy is:

”Every day above ground is a good one”.

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

I wanted to work on The Financial Review - loved it back then still love it now….that and I was a really crap architect.

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

On the back of a boat. Boats are my weakness….along with red wine and swiss watches….and Cherry Ripes.

In five years' time I'll be:

Fatter and balder.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

That’s easy. Rockfords Basket Press (any year prior to 2010) or a Brunello Di Montelcino Casa De Niro,

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