UM Australia has announced the appointment of award-winning strategist Sam Geer (left) as national strategy officer. Geer has been Sydney strategy director of UM for the last 18 months and has been key to the agency’s major client work such as Coca-Cola and new business wins including Optus, Virgin Mobile and Lion.

In his new role Geer replaces Sophie Price, who resigned as UM’s chief strategy officer to join M&C Saatchi.
Says Danny Bass, CEO of IPG Mediabrands Australia, said Price had contributed greatly to the agency since joining in January 2015: “Sophie is a gifted professional who has given us so much in her time here and we wish her the best in her new role. She has been a very important leader for our product, people and our clients.”

As Geer takes UM’s national lead strategy role, he will be replaced as Sydney strategy director by Chris Colter (pictured above, right), a former global Cannes Young Lions and MFA Grand Prix winner for work on LEGO.

Says Geer: “I am looking forward to stepping up to the national role. Creative connections has developed into a powerful positioning and with the wider team we will be evolving the product with new power, infusing sharper market-leading data into our creative media solutions.”

What was your first job?
My very, very, very, very first job was in high school at a florist in our town. My job was to plant all the seeds for the spring flowers and vegetables, which was an immensely hopeful thing to do and felt really good. … We would sit at these bays of little tiny dirt pots, and our job was to stick a single seed into each pot with our finger. The glorious thing was come two months later, they were flowers. So I think it taught me about how really little actions can sometimes result in big results.

What was your biggest mistake?
I worked with a really wonderful group of people, and there was a point in my life where there was a lot of change going on, because a client I had worked on went from one agency to another. Most of the people I worked with were going to the new agency, but I had this thing in my head about I wasn’t going to follow a client to a new agency. And so I went and worked client-side. Three months later, I called the new agency and told them I’d made a terrible mistake and that I wanted to join them. What I learned was the people you work with are really important. You can have all sorts of job titles on your resume, and you can have companies on your resume, but none of that really matters if you’re not working every single day with people that you love and who support you and who you support, and who you can make great things happen with.

Amit Sutha, managing director of Ensemble Worldwide and Universal McCann, follows three simple principles. Firstly, he stays calm in all situations, secondly focuses on innovation (because that’s the key to growth), and thirdly ensures that that every team members has been trained to replace his boss.

“We work in a rather frantic industry where things tend to get really heated. This is an industry where a calm head in crisis is pretty valuable. You have to be a leader that is there for the team. In good but especially at the tough times. As a leader you need to be that person your team can always turn to for solutions,” said Sutha.

Moving forward, he believes that being great at “business as usual” will allow agencies to sustain a P&L, but real growth will only happen through innovations and being ahead of the game.

His biggest KPI is to remain in the background, to aid and to push the people in the team in such a manner that they are good enough to take over my role.

“The reason is simple,” he said. “It’s only when someone takes over my job can I go ahead and do more and this thinking percolates to all levels.” he added. In a conversation with A+M, Sutha highlights his inspiration and his challenges while pursuing a dual role in the industry.

Young advertisers from Ogilvy, Grey and UM have won the Young Lions competition and will go on to represent Australia at Cannes Lions next month.

At an event held in Sydney, News Corp announced the winners of the Young Lions competition in four categories, including young marketer, cyber, print and media.

In the print category Grey copywriter Jenna Morrissey and graphic designer Rachel Harley took the top prize.

UM strategy executive Grace Espinoza and partnerships executive Charlotte Berry took the gong in the media category.

IPG Mediabrands earned nine wins at 2017’s Festival of Media Global, collecting one Gold, two Silver and six Bronze across UM, Initiative and Ansible.

UM Romania’s “Bittersweet Pies” was IPG Mediabrands’ most awarded campaign, taking a Silver for Best Engagement Strategy and Bronze for The Utility/Public Service Award.

“The Field Trip to Mars” from UM U.S. continued it’s award show dominance, earning the lone Gold for IPG Mediabrands for the Best Use of Technology.

Lynn Lewis, East Coast Region President, Global CMO, UM

Coming up with a new approach to media planning is no small feat. Implementing and customizing that approach across every piece of business that your media agency runs? Seems impossible. But that’s what Lynn Lewis, East Coast president and CMO of IPG Mediabrands’ UM, has been doing since she helped craft the data-driven, moments-based planning tool and dedicated shop, J3, for Johnson & Johnson in 2011. So far it’s led to a slew of new business wins, including Accenture, Hulu, GoPro, Fitbit and even Coach. At the end of 2016, UM’s year-over-year revenue increased 9 percent globally and 12 percent in the U.S.

Every television advertiser is trying to identify what their specific audience means outside of broad age and sex demographic targets. While the latter represent a “fairly blunt instrument that we use as a currency,” more media owners are executing in ways that line up better with how buyers want to execute their plans.

An audience target for a client “that is actually going to move their business is a very different animal anyway,” says Jon Stimmel, EVP, Chief Investment Officer, UM.

IPG Mediabrands demonstrated its global dynamism at this year’s Festival of Media MENA Awards, with the network collecting an impressive 11 wins. UM and Initiative combined to earn two Gold, five Silver and four Bronze in what was a highly competitive field. J3 MENA’s “Johnson’s Baby Blogger Series” and UM Dubai’s “Fanta Gaming Masters” were

Coach Picks UM as Media Agency of Record

April 26, 2017 | Share this article

Coach, the 76-year-old fashion brand in the midst of a brand overhaul, has chosen UM as its global media agency of record.

UM, part of IPG Mediabrands, will handle media buying and planning services for Coach for markets across North America and Asia, following an account review that began last year. Coach declined to name its prior media agency but it’s believed OMD handled the brand at least in the U.S.

There might not be anything revolutionary per se about the 2017 TV Upfront, but that’s not to suggest there aren’t a variety of evolutionary forces reshaping the competitive landscape. They range from competitive pressure to build out dynamic ad insertion capabilities to offering more precise audience targeting and ensuring brand-safe digital ad environments.

These are some of the trends that Tim Hill sees when he views the TV Upfront with the perspective of nearly 17 years at UM. Now EVP, Managing Partner, Integrated Investment, he shares his thoughts on a range of issues affecting buyers and sellers in this interview with Beet.TV.