Sunday Gravy's new MD and strategy partner on lasting creativity

By Ruby Derrick | 27 November 2023
Lani Cush & Piers Bebbington.

Independent agency Sunday Gravy has expanded its team with the appointment of Piers Bebbington as managing director and Lani Cush as strategy partner.  

For Bebbington, joining the creative agency reminded him of his foundational years in advertising at 180Amsterdam; a boutique agency wanting to scale up.  

“With a single-minded focus on creativity that’s going to last,” he said.  

“In this day and age, with every agency that’s chasing the tail of doing everything at the moment, they’re doing that to potentially the detriment of the end creative product. The focus at Sunday Gravy is creating a brand platform that resonates.” 

Prior to stepping into the role as strategy partner, Cush saw what Sunday Gravy were doing and loved the big thinking, with a focus on getting into the hearts and minds of the audiences from its clients and brands.  

“Too often agencies feel like they have to do everything, but Sunday Gravy has a clear focus on what they're good at and that is making ideas that last,” she said. 

Bebbington noted that the cycle over the last 12-18 months has been a huge glut of mergers and acquisitions by the network agencies.  

“When agencies come together, the product is diluted in some way, and they’re losing out on true specialism. It’s being diluted for the sake of integration. Now is the time for the ‘rise of the independents’,” he said.  

Cush, who joins most recently from senior positions at Think HQ and Hardhat, said her role’s focus for the agency will be building client relationships, making sure they feel comfortable and trust her as their partner from a strategic perspective on their brand.  

“Having those close relationships with clients leads to better creative effectiveness in the end, rather than a big, great idea that’s emotional that makes people think and feel amazing about the brand,” she said.  

“It needs to actually shift needles and have that effectiveness focus on it – through the lens of consumer behaviour and cultural relevance.”  

Inherently understanding what brands are wanting Sunday Gravy to create for their businesses will be the primary focus for Bebbington as MD.  

It’s working with those teams to try and define the perfect place to keep their single-minded focus. It’s creating the freedom, the space and the ambition so people can focus on creativity,” he said. 

“Rather than getting bogged down by politics, or dilution or distraction leading into something else.’ 

With an illustrious career spanning multiple countries, from 180Amsterdam to TBWA Paris and Colenso, Bebbington says there aren’t many unique challenges that exist in the Australian market; everyone is going through the same difficulties. 

There's fragmentation in the media landscape. If we think about it from a customer standpoint, there are struggles with talent acquisition, rising interest rates and the looming threat of recession,” he said. 

So it's now harder to get to both a fragmented audience and also a distracted audience because there's so much in everyone's lives. The only way to do that is to create unparalleled, unprecedented, amazing work that's going to cut through.” 

Cush says with marketing budgets being cut left, right and centre, and that fragmentation of having to be personalised in communications as well, the agency is working on taking that back.  

We're saying, 'Well no why don't you stretch your marketing budget in a much more effective way?' Because consistency is something that the industry doesn't put enough emphasis on,” she said.

“A distinctive brand platform that's done right, that can stand the test of time is what we believe drives effectiveness, providing better value for marketing dollars for years to come.” 

The goals for 2024 at Sunday Gravy revolve around scaling up. Bebbington says next year will be about ensuring the agency is rigorous in its offering, vision and growth trajectory, while understanding how it can embed and grow its existing clients 

“Our philosophy of 'creating amazing ideas that last' is deeply embedded in our business model. So, everything we do feeds into this and supports this core,’ he said.  

Ant White, chief creative officer and co-founder said after an exhaustive global search, the team feels it has the right people for this next chapter of the agency.

"We couldn’t be happier to have Piers and Lani on board," he said.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus