Telstra’s Joe Pollard: marketers “get the agencies they deserve”

Paul McIntyre
By Paul McIntyre | 20 April 2015

Telstra’s MD of media and marketing, Joe Pollard, will tackle the schizophrenic debate around advertiser-agency alliances in the “new world” at the AdNews Media Summit on May 22 but has warned marketers “they get the agencies they deserve”.

AdNews announced on Friday (17 April) Pollard would offer a co-headline keynote alongside Qantas’ head of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, at the Media Summit.

The Media Summit is Pollard’s first public outing since being announced last year as Mark Buckman’s replacement at the telco – she says big companies might be looking for fewer agencies on their rosters but they have to look at themselves first about frustrations they may have with agencies.  Book Early Bird tickets for the Media Summit here.

Pollard will also make some trademark no-fuss observations about the media sector, changing audience behaviours and elaborate on her remit to run “a media company inside a telco”.

Pollard will join Qantas’ head of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, in a high-profile joint keynote of two women in the country’s top blue chip marketing and media roles.

Wirth will outline Qantas’ strategy to develop the airline’s  paid and owned media channels and key learnings from its highly successful “Feels Like Home” campaign.

She too will cover her views on the agency sector and media but through the lense of a blue chip marketer who has come through the corporate affairs discipline instead of classic marketing – Wirth once said “she loves a good crisis”.

Wirth, who in a previous life worked for Treasurer Joe Hockey when he was federal Tourism Minister, will also chip in on the proliferating media options facing brands and how surprised she was at the initial success of the Feels like Home TV campaign on Facebook – the social media titan’s in-stream video product delivered Qantas a reach of 5.8 million Australians and 1.8 million views of its first TV commercial in three days after launch.     

“We were pleasantly surprised," Wirth said of the result. “Facebook shouldn’t be under­estimated. It’s going to be an important platform for us. The investment around Facebook is going to be a core part of our mix. There are obviously cost benefits [to using Facebook ­versus broadcast TV] but it’s important to assess each of the channels on their own merits."
Ms Wirth also cautioned that brands needed “good content" that was ­“genuine and authentic" if it was to resonate on social media.

“You can have the best channel strategy in the world, but if the content is not engaging, it’s not going to work," she said. Pollard will draw on her time as the CEO of Publicis Mojo and a global board member of the French advertising network in her address. She was also a former CEO of Ninemsn and until her Telstra appointment, was a board director of Nine Entertainment Co. She remains a board director of AMP Bank. 

Pollard and Wirth join 30 other media, marketing and tech industry leaders at the Media Summit for a rare “whole of industry” view on the entire marketing, media and technology value chain. 

Book Early Bird tickets for the Media Summit here.
Other speakers on May 22 include:
Mark Fennessy, CEO Shine Entertainment
Justin Diddams, Director, Media and Telecoms, Citi
Tony Davis, Director, Quantium
Peter Bonney, Director, Deloitte Digital,
Clive Dickens, Chief Digital Officer, Seven West Media
Jason Scott, CEO, Allure Media
Henry Tajer, Global CEO, IPG Mediabrands
Stuart Tucker, General Manager, Brand, Sponsorship & Marketing Operations, Commonwealth Bank
Lisa Ronson, CMO, Tourism Australia
Roxy Jacenko, Director, Ministry of Talent
Katie Rigg-Smith, CEO Mindshare
Lee Leggett, CEO Initiative
Anthony Fitzgerald, CEO MCN-Foxtel
Peter Wiltshire, Director of Sales and Marketing, Nine Entertainment Co
Neil Ackland,  CEO, Sound Alliance
Simon Ryan, CEO, Carat
Sharb Farjami, Director of National Sales, News Corp

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