Industry Profile: PHD chief digital officer Stuart Bailey

By AdNews | 19 April 2017
Stuart Bailey

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 Dentsu Mitchell head of strategy in government services Eaon Pritchard.

This time we speak to PHD chief digital officer Stuart Bailey.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Five months

How would you describe what the company does?

We help our client’s find a better way to solve their communications problems.

What does your role involve?

I lead the digital vision and product and make sure we have the resources, structure, expertise, processes and tools in place to help lead our clients on their digital journey.

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

Almost doubling staff, winning a number of blue chip clients and moving into new offices in both Sydney and Melbourne. Apart from that it’s been pretty quiet.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The constant evolution and innovation. We constantly face major challenges to what we do or what our clients want to do and we get to help solve these and turn them into opportunities and examples of great work.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

Carat, Diffiniti, Mindshare, OMD.

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

My plan is to transition from CDO to a more mainstream leadership role and take my skills and knowledge into that challenge.

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

I don’t know about elephant in the room but I would like to see more people talking about the great things in our industry and focus on fixing the issues rather than using them as a soapbox. Viewability and brand safety are perfect examples of subjects that are used to discredit digital when what we should be doing is concentrating on how to fix the issues as an industry and celebrate the great work and innovations happening.

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

I’m allergic to smoke. It caused me some issues growing up in a smoking family but less of an issue nowadays that smoking is banned in so many public places.

Top networking tip:

Listen, remember but above all take an interest. No one likes it when people talk over the top or don’t listen and nothing is more frustrating than telling someone for the fourth time what your name is or what you do. Also, remember the little things that someone told you whether it’s their wife’s name, a hobby, how many kids they have and make sure you mention it the next time you meet them. I find people general like people who take an interest in more than just themselves.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Rockpool Bar and Grill is a great spot but if I want something local The Blue Eyed Dragon is always a favourite.

My favourite advert is:

Any and all John Lewis Christmas ads.

My must-have gadget is:

My iPhone. I could live without most things but I would struggle without getting access to my favourite apps on the go. Plus, it is often a lifesaver at dinner keeping my two and a half year old entertained with episodes of Paw Patrol or Blaze.

My favourite media is:

It depends. I love TV and cinema. I have always been a big fan of movies and TV shows and both mediums have always been close to my heart for this reason. I also love digital. I use it constantly throughout the day and only wish it had been around when I was younger. It has ruined the debates in pubs we used to have, as we all have the answers at our fingertips, but it has also brought some pretty amazing innovations to how we communicate, share knowledge and generally live our lives.

My favourite TV show is:

It varies but right now I’m pretty into The Walking Dead or Vikings.

The last book I read:

Any books that have Trucks. My son is obsessed with truck books and it’s all he wants my wife and I to read. On a serious note the last “non kids” books would be the Jack Reacher novel “Make Me” by Lee Child and Platform Revolution by Geoffrey G Parker.

My mantra / philosophy is:

Be the best version of yourself. Nobody is perfect and nobody is always right and we often screw up or get things wrong. Being self-aware and always wanting to improve and do better is a key motivation for me.

I got into the industry because:

It looked like a fun and dynamic industry after I left university.

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

Probably a writer or a teacher. I would love to have been a golf pro but alas a lack of natural ability and dedication put paid to that.

In five years' time I'll be:

Sipping cocktails on a beach after a massive lottery win (well we can dream).

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

A glass of red wine or pale ale depending on the occasion.

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