Industry Profile: Unruly managing director AUNZ Ricky Chanana

18 June 2019

Our Industry Profile takes a 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 speak to Unruly managing director AUNZ Ricky Chanana.

Time at the company:
19 months.

How would you describe what the company does?
Unruly uses emotional data to deliver incredible video advertising on brand-safe, premium sites.

What do you do day-to-day?
I'm responsible for overseeing commercials and operations for the Unruly business across AU and NZ

Define your job in one word:

I got into advertising because:
I have always been fascinated with the advertising world from a very young age. In fact I actually wanted to make ads when I was growing up, but end up falling into the media side rather creating it.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Continuously advocating for a diversified video strategy in a consumer and screen fragmented world.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
As a leader in the industry I was shocked to find out from a recent study conducted by Unltd & Everymind that nearly one in five of us showed severe or extremely severe symptoms of depression, compared to 12% in the national average, and one in four showed severe or extremely severe symptoms of anxiety, compared to 11% in the national average. More needs to be done in this space to ensure we provide better workplaces and greater flexibility. At Unruly we have launched core hours (8am to 4.30pm or 10am to 6.30pm) to offer flexibility to our teams. At the same time we have also implemented panda work, which means you can work from any Unruly office in the world for a maximum period of four weeks. You can swap your everyday office, and travel to another country without running out of annual leave for the rest of the year. This has proven to be a great incentive for our teams around the world, and we’re not stopping here.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I started my career as an intern at a boutique media agency straight out of uni, post that joined Mediasmart (publisher) to learn the art of selling, I then went on to spend ten and a half years at GroupM - media has always been my jam!

Notable ads/campaigns you have worked on:
Chanel #5. First major global campaign launched simuntainsly in 26 countries, Australia being the first one off the rank. It was a global partnership with one media vendor ie MSN and Karl Lagerfeld (RIP!) himself was involved in the success of this campaign.

Who is a great mentor to you and why?
Jon Chadwick, calculated, smart and knows his sh*t. Also an absolute stickler when it comes to putting together a slick presentation deck!

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Have an open mind, try to embrace challenges and focus on solutions rather than products
If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be: University lecturer teaching media. I absolutely love what I do and everyone knows that I love to talk. Sounds a bit cliche but I genuinely find teaching very fulfilling. Maybe it’s my retirement plan already.

My mantra is:

My favourite advert is:
Deng Thiak Western Sydney University. I am a big fan when advertising triggers an intense emotional response and at the same time fulfills a purpose.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Spotify? (is there anyone out there who doesn’t have this app on their phone in this day & age?) Currently addicted to Luminary - highly recommend if you are a fan of podcasts and want to hear some really niche and original content.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I use to do stand up comedy at pubs around Sydney back in my heyday. Got heckled a lot but at the end the free beer and pub grub was well worth it.

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