Maxus bids to be bolder

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 27 March 2015

Maxus, the youngest and smallest of the GroupM stable, needs to be bolder, the agency’s recently appointed global CEO, Lindsay Pattison, told AdNews.

The agency – which counts Hungry Jack’s, Jetstar and Aldi as local clients, and notched up recent wins such as iSelect at its Melbourne office – makes 85% of its billings in local clients not global
clients from the network.

That, says Pattison, means that it has “an opportunity and a responsibility” to be more nimble, because it’s not encumbered by global clients where ideas have to be signed off for clients in 20
different markets before they get off the ground.

In Australia, Maxus has been a quiet achiever, with 23% growth to $475 million in 2012/13, according to the latest RECMA data, but Pattison says she would like the agency to
be better known as “brave, nimble, agile and progressive”.

Globally, Maxus’ tagline is ‘Lean into Change’ – something it perhaps hasn’t always lived up to 100%, and something Pattison wants to push harder.

Pattison, who is visiting Australia following the GroupM global conference in Bali this week, told AdNews that Australia is one of four growth markets alongside China,
Germany and the US, that she has identified for Maxus since taking on the global role in October.

Formerly she was CEO of the UK office as well as global chief strategy officer.“Maxus, as the smallest, most nimble challenger brand, has the opportunity to be much bolder and braver. It’s a cliché, but it’s about going from good to great. We talk about being an agency that leans into change –so let’s be harder on that and give clients a reason to actively chose us and talent a reason to actively join us,” she said.

“Maxus can be more of a challenger brand and provocateur because we are the smallest and fastest-growing of the GroupM agencies. We have massive opportunity, and responsibility, even, in how we use technology,
and test more.

“Whether it’s the latest crossdevice tracking technology which no one’s cracked yet, probabilistic modelling, which of our clients we can fast-track in programmatic across different media, or how might we partner with [WPP’s research house] Kantar in terms of merging shopper data with media buying data to really understand the consumer journey.

“There’s a real chance for us to be known as an agency that helps clients truly lean into change and test, and learn quickly.”

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