Leo Burnett redefines strategy, boasts media buying and bolsters team

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 5 August 2015
Leo Burnett Sydney MD Pete Bosilkovski and head of connect strategy Emma Montgomery.

Leo Burnett Sydney has bolstered the team overseeing its overhauled strategy department as it rolls out its Connect Strategy model agency-wide.

The new model is a media-agnostic view to strategy planning which aims to provide a more comprehensive view to business problems in a “connected” world.

It offers social, PR ,digital, strategy, shopper, business consultancy data and full service media with the buying element lead by Leos through Starcom MediaVest.

The agency announced earlier this week that it was taking its Connect model and extending it throughout the agency as the Connect Strategy – effectively replacing its traditional strategy model. But today it's announced new staff and more behind the move.

Leo Burnett Sydney MD Pete Bosilkovski told AdNews the Connect way of thinking was born out of its relationship with drinks giant Diageo.

Last year Diageo restructured its agency roster with Leo Burnett taking over the entirety of its creative account and taking media from Ikon. To oversee that operation and ensure all parts of the strategy were working seamlessly, Emma Montgomery was brought in from a role at Starcom MediaVest Group in New York as head of connect.

Now, Montgomery has been moved to a new role leading the division as head of connect strategy.

The agency has also brought on three new strategy directors; Emily Taylor, Graham Alvarez and Ross Cameron.

Taylor joins from a role as head of strategy at Moon Communications which was absorbed into Ikon earlier this year. She has previously worked in a planning director role for Publicis Mojo and worked at AKQA.

Alvarez joins from fives years at Clemenger BBDO as senior strategy planner. He previously worked at agencies including JWT and Colenso BBDO in Wellington.

Cameron also joins from Clemenger BBDO where he was a senior planner for almost three years. He previously spent six and half years at Leo Burnett in London.

While strategy head Russ Mitchinson was made redundant in the change over, Bosilkovski said the remainder of the strategy department will continue on working within Connect Strategy.

He said the change is part of understanding a broader shift in the communications landscape.

“We have a guiding mantra here which is that we run everything in beta mode,” Bosilkovski said.

“When we launched connect it was really changing our model and the partnership with Diageo allowed us to explore a new way of doing things. That’s proven to be extremely successful

If you think about the market we're in now consumers are less receptive to communications, there is a lot of noise. What Connect Strategy is about actually understanding consumer behaviour and how do you shift that in this connected world.”


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