Industry Profile: Rob Millett at Starcom

By AdNews | 27 February 2024

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

Robert Millett: Melbourne head of digital at Starcom Australia

Time in current role/time at the company:

Eight months in my current role, but almost eight years at Starcom Melbourne.

How would you describe what Starcom does?

We identify the opportunities that lie between what brands want and people need. We then seize those opportunities by providing transformative experiences for consumers that drive business outcomes for our clients through People Powered Growth.

We uncover true insight to move people at the human level, as it is by moving people that we move our clients’ businesses forward with momentum.

What do you do day-to-day?

Depending on the day I could be auditing a client’s digital maturity, running an education session, feeding into a brief response, working on a new business pitch, or meeting with an exciting new tech vendor.

Ultimately, my focus is to ensure our digital practitioners have the clarity, direction, and support to fulfil their potential and deliver best-in-class work for our customers.

Define your job in one word:


I got into advertising/media because:

I’ve always been interested in what motivates people to make the choices they make. I saw advertising as an opportunity to explore this.

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

Key characteristics of the information age are rapid growth, innovation, fragmentation, and change. This constant change is both the most challenging and most exciting element of this job.

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

I think the biggest challenge the industry is facing is the dichotomy between creating a privacy safe Internet built around consent without losing our ability to create personalised experiences and measure their impact.

Notable campaigns/initiatives:

Since being in Australia, I have helped Stellantis launch its first hybrid-powered vehicle model and have helped lead Miele through an extensive and award-winning digital transformation journey.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?

Mark Duffy, because he’s the nicest man in media and one of the smartest too. And Lee Ellingworth-Foster, because she showed me the ropes when I was a fresh-faced Pom with no clue about the Aussie market. But I try to learn something from everyone I work with.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?

Learn to prioritise and be productive with your time. Be assertive, but be humble, and don’t forget to be nice. Show people you care.

Be resilient and learn to be comfortable with ambiguity. Be curious, flexible and collaborative, and embrace living outside of your comfort zone. Also, hire good people and put your trust in them.

Lastly, have a point of view and demonstrate impact.

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


My philosophy is:

Be the master of your own destiny and harness the power of compounding (atomic) habits.

My favourite advert is:

The first one that comes to mind is from last year by Orange in France supporting the French Women’s World Cup team. The ad was clever both in its execution and message – using AI to superimpose male players onto footage of their female counterparts to challenge gender stereotypes.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?

I’ve just subscribed to Masterclass to see what I can learn from the masters of various fields. Other than that, I enjoy binging on English TV shows and am looking for new recommendations after just finishing ‘The Traitors UK’ (which is must-see TV!).

In five years’ time I'll be:

Sitting back on a beach with my feet up while the machines do all our work for us.

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