About us

1,700

Employees in total

400

Staff own shares in the company

Who we are

Clemenger Group Limited is the holding company of a group of companies involved in advertising and marketing communications throughout Australia and New Zealand. We operate across the marketing services spectrum with specialist companies offering clients best-of-category expertise in various disciplines.

We aim to provide the most compelling commercial content, no matter what the distribution channel.


Our purpose

We are a Group that continually grows and develops its people, operating businesses and reputation through the power of creativity and original thinking, integrity and entrepreneurship.

1946

Clemenger Advertising opens

History

John Clemenger Advertising started in Melbourne in 1946. It was 100% owned by the late John Clemenger until he died in 1965 and was succeeded by his sons Peter and John Clemenger. Peter Clemenger remains on the Clemenger Board today.

By the early 1970s the company was well established in Australia, but at that point it was decided that selling a part of the business to an international advertising agency network would be in the company's long-term best interests.

A plan was devised and successfully implemented to sell about one third of the company to BBDO and one third of the company to staff, with the remaining third to be held by Peter and John Clemenger.

At about the same time, the decision was also taken to move into New Zealand. Clemenger had as many as ten clients who were operating in both Australia and New Zealand, and the Group needed a long-term New Zealand partner. After looking at the market in some depth, Clemenger chose to buy a minority interest in a new agency, Colenso, with headquarters in Wellington and a branch office in Auckland. Colenso's success is now widely acclaimed.

From small beginnings in Melbourne, the Clemenger philosophy has been clear: to share success with staff across all levels; to be part of the world but operate only in Australia and New Zealand; and to expand into other complementary disciplines, such as public relations, CRM, design and media, as well as specialised companies in the experiential marketing area, market research, field marketing, sales promotion and branded information advertising.

Timeline

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1946

1946

On March 18, John 'Jack' Clemenger opens 'John Clemenger Advertising' in the basement of the Lombard's building on Bourke Street, Melbourne. John's son, Peter, works with the company from day one - on a starting salary of eight pounds per week. The agency starts as a radio production house producing a stream of live programs, and coincidentally, commercials for program sponsors. The business is more frequently referred to as 'Clemenger Productions' during this time.

On April 1, 'John Clemenger Limited' is incorporated under the Companies Act (1938). Clients during this time include Darrods Style Store, Kia-ora canned foods, London Baby Carriages, Guests Biscuits and Griffiths Sweets.

1947

In May, John Clemenger Advertising expands, opening an office in Sydney with the initial purpose of providing further resources to Melbourne client Kia-ora. The office makes losses for more than 25 years but never closes down.

The Melbourne office moves premises to the old boarding house known as Oxford Chambers at 473 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

1949

Peter Clemenger moves to Sydney for a year, before spending 18 months overseas and returning to the company in Melbourne in 1952.

1953

Jack Clemenger's younger son, John, joins the agency.

1954

John is sent overseas to the United States to learn about television, which is coming soon to Australia. John gets a diploma at the New York School of Television.

1955

Jack Clemenger is elected President of the Advertising Association of Australia.

1957

Variety show 'In Melbourne Tonight', hosted by Graham Kennedy begins airing five nights a week. A great relationship is formed between the program and the Clemenger agency, which recognises Kennedy's talent for working with products during live commercials.

Tobacco company, Godfrey Phillips, appoints the Clemenger agency to launch its new products, Viscount Cigarettes. The brand takes off, soon becoming the number-three best seller in Australia and subsequently, one of Clemenger's largest clients - at one stage holding over 40% of the agency's business.

1961

In October, Clemenger expands to Brisbane and opens its third office. The agency purchases a one-third share in Garnsey Smith & Greene, changing the name to Garnsey Greene Clemenger.

1962

Jack Clemenger receives an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the community.

Major clients of the agency at this stage include Peters Ice-Cream, Guests Biscuits, Sitmar and Parsons Foods.

1964

In February, Jack Clemenger sadly passes. The agency announces it will be jointly managed by its two equal owners, Peter and John Clemenger.

1966

In March, Peter and John Clemenger purchase Sydney agency, Cruickshank Maxwell, and merge it with the Clemenger agency. At this time, Clemenger Sydney changes its status from being a branch office of the Melbourne agency, to become John Clemenger (NSW) Pty Ltd.

1967

Clemenger expands to Adelaide. Preference shares are exchanged with Martin Kinnear Neate, and it becomes Martin Kinnear Clemenger.

1968

Clemenger Melbourne moves offices to 416 St Kilda Road.

1969

Peter and John Clemenger, who each own 50% of the company, decide to sell some of their shares in the business to staff. The first two employee shareholders are Peter Cooper and Peter Rankin.

1970

In December, Clemenger expands into Perth, buying into an agency owned by Ian Parkes and forming Parkes Clemenger.

1971

Geoff Wild moves from Clemenger Melbourne to Sydney, becoming Managing Director.

The staff shareholding scheme which began in 1969 is expanded, with 74,000 shares offered to senior executives around Australia.

A holding company, Clemenger Australia Limited, is incorporated and acquires shares in John Clemenger Limited and its subsidiaries and affiliates.

1972

Having developed a relationship over 20 years, Clemenger makes the significant decision to join forces with the worldwide agency network, BBDO. Clemenger sells BBDO a 35% shareholding, and Peter Clemenger joins the BBDO Worldwide Board.

1973

In January, Clemenger buys Melbourne agency Alexander Moulton, which handled Coles advertising for many years. The agency is initially named Clemenger Moulton, before another rename to Clemenger Bryson after the agency moves to the Bryson Centre in Melbourne. Clemenger's Radio Manager since 1966, Peter Harvie, moves to the agency to run it.

In October, Clemenger expands across the Tasman to New Zealand, purchasing 20% of agency Colenso. Hylton Mackley, one of Colenso's four founders, becomes its first Managing Director and, as of today, is Clemenger Group's second-longest serving active employee after Peter Clemenger.

1975

In June, Clemenger purchases a 42% share in the industrial advertising agency EG Holt & Associates.

Clemenger makes a move into Asia in October, purchasing a 25% interest in a Hong Kong advertising agency, which becomes Clemenger Wong & Waters.

1977

The Clemenger Holding Company converts to Public Company Status under the Companies Act.

The Brisbane agency changes its name to Garnsey Clemenger.

1978

BBDO Worldwide purchases a further 10% stake of the Clemenger Group, now owning 45%.

Clemenger purchases 25% of Sydney agency Magnus, Nankervis & Curl.

1979

Robert Morgan, the company Executive Chairman today, joins Clemenger Melbourne as a Senior Account Executive.

In February, Clemenger sells its interest in Clemenger Wong Waters to the new Holding Company BBDO/Clemenger Limited.

Clemenger buys 25% of Batey Ads in Singapore.

By the end of the 1970s, Clemenger grows to become the second largest agency in Australia.

1980

The agency Clemenger Bryson becomes Clemenger Harvie.

Clemenger purchases a 25% interest in a Sydney-based sales incentive company called Sales Development.

1982

Interest in Asia continues to grow, with the acquisition of 20% of Malaysian agency Wings Creative Consultants.

Clemenger Direct is established to specialise in direct marketing. It later becomes the number-one direct marketing agency in Australia.

1984

Clemenger Melbourne moves to 474 St Kilda Road.

1985

Clemenger Direct establishes a branch office in Sydney.

In June, Clemenger purchases an 80% interest in Sydney agency Harris Robinson Courtenay.

1986

Clemenger Sydney moves to a new office at 120 Pacific Highway, St Leonards.

1987

Hylton Mackley is appointed Financial Director of Clemenger Australia Limited.

1988

Post Productions is created as a television production house (50% owned by the Clemenger Group and 25% owned by DDB Needham).

Clemenger Group sees great successes throughout the year:

  • B&T name Clemenger 'Agency of the Year'
  • Clemenger Melbourne wins AdNews' 'National Agency of the Year'
  • Clemenger Melbourne adds $25 million in new business, with clients including National Mutual Royal Bank, Just Jeans, Australia Post, Libra, Sportscraft, Uncle Toby's and more
  • Over 300 employees join the Clemenger Staff Shareholding Scheme
  • Peter Clemenger is voted 'Most Outstanding Managing Director' in a survey at the IAA Congress

1989

Robert Morgan becomes Managing Director of Clemenger Melbourne.

1990

John Clemenger retires.

Greg Daniel, David Blackley and Robert Morgan are appointed to the Clemenger Holding Company Board.

1992

Peter Harvie retires from the Clemenger Holding Company board.

1994

The largest clients of the Group at this time include Australian Dairy Corporation, BankSA, Just Jeans, National Mutual, News Corporation, Pizza Hut, Channel Ten, Nestle, National Brewing, Pepsi and more.

Clemenger Melbourne again wins AdNews' 'National Agency of the Year'.

Harvie Advertising changes its name to Clemenger Harvie.

1995

For a second consecutive year, Clemenger Melbourne wins AdNews' 'National Agency of the Year'.

1996

The 50th anniversary of the Clemenger Group is celebrated and BBDO holds a worldwide meeting in Australia to mark the milestone.

1998

Robert Morgan is appointed Clemenger Group Chairman.

Clemenger acquires a majority shareholding in public affairs firm, CorPol Alliances group, which is soon after renamed Government Relations Australia.

2000

Melbourne agency, The Edge, is acquired and merged into Clemenger Harvie to form Clemenger Harvie Edge (CHE).

Proximity Worldwide is launched in London as a new generation network. Clemenger Direct changes its name to Clemenger Proximity.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Cultural perspectives, a specialist multicultural marketing agency with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

2001

Experiential agency, Traffik, launches on
October 1.

2006

Clemenger BBDO wins AdNews' 'Network of the Year' for a third year in a row.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Cosway Australia, a leading corporate and financial firm.

Quickstrike launches on July 1.

2008

Digital agency, NetX, is purchased and rolled into Clemenger Proximity in Sydney.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Brandworld in New Zealand.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Open Mind Research.

Government Relations Australia completes its national office network by joining with leading local public affairs adviser, Paul Everingham, to form GRA Everingham in Perth.

2009

Clemenger Group acquires Raydar in New Zealand.

2010

Gallery De Pasquale in Brisbane is acquired and merged into the Clemenger agency.

Open Mind Research becomes Hall & Partners | Open Mind.

2011

Clemenger sells half of its shares to BBDO Worldwide, which now holds 74% of the business.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Touchcast.

Curtis Jones & Brown changes its name to URSA Clemenger.

2013

Clemenger Harvie Edge changes its name to CHE Proximity, re-engineering itself as a data driven agency.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins Campaign Brief's 'Creative Agency of the Year' for a fifth consecutive year.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in the agency Redhanded.

Clemenger Group buys justONE.

Colenso BBDO is named The World's Best Agency and The World's Best Direct Marketing Agency, by The Big Won report - a brilliant achievement.

2014

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins the Interactive Agency of the Year Award.

Government Relations Australia celebrates its 20th year and merges with Cosway to form GRACosway - Australia's leading integrated public affairs and corporate and financial communications firm.

Channel 5 is 100% owned by Clemenger Group from July 1.

Clemenger Group increases shareholding to take a majority interest in Perth agency, Marketforce.

2015

After a rich 47 year history in Adelaide, Clemenger sells the agency and exits the Adelaide market.

hub+ , Clemenger Group's production agency, becomes eg+.

2016

On March 18, the Clemenger Group celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Colenso BBDO is ranked the world's number-one agency by Directory Big Won.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne sees several big wins:

  • More awards than any other agency at the 2016 Mashies Awards
  • Campaign Brief Australia's 'Agency of the Year' for a record ninth time
  • AdNews' Award for 'Australia's Best Agency'

Traffik Group is named B&T's 'Experiential Agency of the Year', and wins 'Experiential Campaign of the Year' at the AC&E Awards.

2017

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has another fantastic year, and is recognised for its creative strength:

  • Most awarded agency at the London D&AD Awards
  • Crowned 'Best Creative Agency in the World' at Cannes Lions: International Festival of Creativity
  • The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) campaign, Meet Graham, is the single most awarded campaign of Cannes Lions with 28 wins
  • In total, Clemenger Group wins 78 of the 144 Lions won by BBDO Worldwide at Cannes

2018

CHE Proximity is at the dawn of a new era, after winning AdNews' 'Australian Agency of the Year', 'Victorian Agency of the Year', 'Customer Experience Agency of the Year', 'Best Use of Data', and 'Digital Campaign of the Year'.

Clemenger Group purchases 70% of Digital Solutions company LEVO.

2019

At the 40th annual AWARD Awards, Clemenger excels:

  • Clemenger Group is awarded 'Network of the Year', winning 22 Gold Pencils for eight clients
  • Clemenger BBDO Sydney is named 'Agency of the Year'
  • CHE Proximity wins 'Best in Show' for its AutoAds campaign for Carsales
  • Clemenger client, Carsales, is named 'Client of the Year'

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne is awarded Mumbrella and Campaign Brief's 'Agency of the Decade'.

2020

CHE Proximity and Colenso BBDO make the annual Contagious Pioneers List, featuring the ten best and bravest agencies which consistently create the most insightful and innovative work.

2021

Clemenger Group celebrates 75 years, performing strongly creatively and financially through the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Strategic design and technology consultancy, LEVO is awarded Optimizely international partner of the year and DXP partner of the year.

99 and JustOne successfully merge to form Proximity NZ.

Our agencies perform brilliantly amid the pandemic, proving our continued strong creative standing:

  • Extraordinary creative success at Clemenger BBDO Wellington, being recognised as the number-one agency in New Zealand by D&AD, Campaign Brief The Work and the Immortal Awards, and a record EFFIES performance
  • Colenso BBDO is ranked as the number-two creative agency in the world, together with number-one most effective campaign in the WARC Effective 100 global rankings
  • CHE Proximity take home Agency Network of the Year, eight Gold Pencils, and the Special Award for Individual Agency of the Year at the 42nd AWARD Awards

2022

From January, Robert Morgan transitions from Executive Chairman to the role of Chairman of the Group, and Les Timar becomes CEO.

In April, Clemenger Group acquires the remaining 30% ownership of digital transformation agency, LEVO.

CHE Proximity officially rebrands to CHEP Network - the home of new economy creativity.

Clemenger sees another great year in creative awards:

  • Clemenger BBDO Melbourne is ranked as Australia's number-one agency, and fourth best agency in the Asia Pacific, at The One Show
  • Creatives from across CHEP Network and Colenso BBDO are selected as jurors for the 2022 Cannes Lions Festival, and attend in-person for the first time in two years
  • CHEP Network secure five Gold Pencils as well as several Silver and Bronze at the 43rd AWARD Awards. Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Sydney each take home Gold, Silver and Bronze awards across various works
Staff Fund

The Clemenger Staff Fund enables employees to give something back to the community.

The Fund opened in May 2008 with an initial contribution of $100,000. The company matches all voluntary staff contributions dollar for dollar. Employee committees have been formed to decide on registered charities to support. Anyone can make a proposal for the committee to evaluate.

26.33%

shares owned by staff

Share Scheme

Since 1973 the Clemenger Group (Clemenger) has operated a staff share scheme that entitles all employees of companies within the Group in Australia and New Zealand to apply for shares. Clemenger Group has approximately 350 employees owning a total 26.33% of Clemenger shares. BBDO Worldwide Inc. of New York – a major global agency owned by the US-listed Omnicom Group – owns 73.67%.

Although Clemenger Group Limited is a public company under Australian corporations law, it is an unlisted public company, so the shares are not available to the general public through the Securities Exchange.

The shares are valued once per year according to a formula detailed in the Clemenger constitution. This involves adding the adjusted net assets of the Group (after allowing for declared dividends) to an amount equal to 8.0 times the Group's average after-tax profits for the preceding three financial years, and then dividing that amount by the number of shares on issue. Clemenger employs an independent accounting firm, KPMG, to review the share price calculation for accuracy.

For more information, please contact:

Australia: Rowan Darling:

rowan.darling@clemenger.com.au

New Zealand: Mike Higgins: 

mike.higgins@colensobbdo.co.nz
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Clemenger Group has an unwavering belief that only the most diverse, progressive and thoughtful workplaces can create the most diverse, progressive and thoughtful outcomes.

Our DE&I strategy is reflected across the following 5 pillars:

Gender - Clemenger Group is actively investing in building a pipeline of talented females into key leadership positions across all our businesses.

Multicultural & Reconciliation - We respect and embrace all cultures and are committed to reflecting the ethnic diversity of the community through our people. In Australia, we are actively on the journey to reconciliation.

Accessibility - We are committed to understanding all forms of accessibility needs and building an inclusive and safe workplace where people with disabilities can succeed.

Pride - We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all genders and sexualities and actively engage allies in celebrating pride.

Age - Across all of our companies, we work to foster a multi-generational workforce which values contributions across all age ranges.

Board Members

Robert Morgan

Executive Chairman

Clemenger Group Limited

Robert has been with Clemenger BBDO since 1979. In 1998 he became Executive Chairman of the Clemenger Group. He is also a Director of BBDO Worldwide and QBE Sydney Swans.

Les Timar

Chief Executive Officer

Clemenger Group Limited

Les is the CEO of Clemenger Group and responsible for the overall strategy, development and sustainability of its business and offer to clients across the Group's operating companies.
Prior to this, Les was the CEO and one of the founders of GRACosway, the leading public affairs and strategic communications firm in Australia/New Zealand. GRACosway has been a Clemenger Group company since 1998. He was first appointed to the Clemenger Group board in 2014.

Adrian Ciabotti

Chief Financial Officer

Clemenger Group Limited

Adrian has a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He joined Clemenger in 2010 as a Group Financial Controller. Most recently he has been CFO across a number of agencies. Previous to his time at Clemenger he was a Senior Manager at EY where he led and was a part of the Clemenger audit team for 9 years.

Andrew Robertson

President & Chief Executive Officer

BBDO Worldwide

Andrew first came to BBDO in the UK in 1995, joining Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, where he subsequently served as Chief Executive Officer. In 2001, he moved to BBDO North America to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of BBDO Worldwide since June 2004. Andrew has a degree in Economics from City of London University.

Angela Watson

Managing Director

Colenso BBDO

Angela is the Managing Director of Colenso BBDO and has been with the Clemenger Group for over 15 years. With extensive experience in brand transformation, Angela is a passionate believer in the power of insight and ideas to challenge beliefs, provoke social change, and re-imagine business. With four children spanning 12 years in age, Angela's on a mission to ensure the juggling act of work and family is easier for the next generation of working parents through systemic change in the workplace.

Chris Lovell

Chairman

Holding Redlich Melbourne (Lawyers & Consultants) Non-Executive Director

Chris has a Bachelor of Arts (Melbourne), Bachelor of Law (Melbourne) and Master of Law (London). His principal area of commercial practice is media and communications, property development and corporate structures and governance. Chris was appointed to the Board of Directors of Clemenger Group Limited in 1999.

Dara Akbarian

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Omnicom Group and Omnicom (Asia Pacific)

Dara received his BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and his MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business. He is the regional Chief Financial Officer for Omnicom's APIMA operations.

Gerard Feehan

Group Managing Director

Creative Activation
Australia/New Zealand

Gerard has led the growth and transformation of Creative Activation to be the leading activation company in Australia and New Zealand since joining as an equity partner in 2007. He has built the business on culture, employee engagement and an unparalleled commitment to client partners. Gerard previously worked in Sales & Marketing roles with Global FMCG and Consumer Goods Companies. He has a Bachelor of Business from Swinburne University.

Hylton Mackley

Non-Executive Director

Clemenger Group Limited

Hylton became associated with the Clemenger Group Limited when the company took a minority shareholding in Colenso BBDO Limited (New Zealand) in 1972. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Clemenger Group Limited Australia in 1972.

Imogen Randell

CEO Quantum Market Research and
Hall & Partners

Imogen Randell has been part of the Clemenger Group for more than 15 years. Leading Clemenger Group's two specialist research agencies, Quantum Market Research and Hall & Partners, Imogen has provided research services to corporates and governments on all facets of communications, positioning and brand. Cultural trends in Australia is a key part of Quantum's work, while Hall & Partners specialize in brand and communications. Imogen has a degree in Marketing and has served on the board of the Research Society in Australia.

James McGrath

Creative Chairman

Clemenger Group Limited

James has been with Clemenger BBDO for more than a decade. It's the critical balance between creativity and effectiveness that lies at the heart of his driving principal of Applied Creativity, seeing an unprecedented year in 2017, being named Global Agency of the Year at both Cannes Lions and D&AD and symmetrically APAC's most effective Australian agency over the past ten years.

Jim Gall

CEO Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Group and Chairman Clemenger

Group New Zealand

Jim Gall was the founder and chief executive of Redhanded Communications, a company that was acquired by Clemenger Group in 2014. Gall, who was previously chairman of Marketforce / OMD Western Australia, moved to Auckland to assume his new role from 1 November 2018.

Justin Hind

Chief Executive Officer

CHEP Network

Justin joined CHEP Network in 2021 after a decade as a successful independent agency CEO, Co-Founder and entrepreneur. He has led or invested in two successful agency start-ups to exit. He returned to the Clemenger Group after almost 20 years, starting at Clemenger Proximity in Brisbane. He is passionate about data, technology and creativity, as well as the future of our constantly evolving industry. Justin holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland, along with post graduate studies in commerce and e-commerce.

Kirsten Mulley

Chief Executive Officer

GRACosway

Kirsten leverages more than two decades' experience in public policy, government relations and communications to deliver expert counsel to clients and colleagues. With the firm since 2008, Kirsten's work is informed by a deep understanding of the political, policy and regulatory landscape. She is a strategic thinker, a problem solver and a respected leader at the top of her field.

Mike Higgins

Chief Financial Officer

Clemenger Group New Zealand

Mike is not only a top financial guy, but a great Clemenger person. He's worked in Wellington and Auckland and knows our businesses in New Zealand back to front. Mike is a great people person as well as a strong finance guy, and is a member of our Group Finance Committee.

Peter Clemenger

Director

Clemenger Group Limited

Peter was a co-founder of the company in April 1946. He retired as Chairman of the Clemenger Group Limited, but continues as a Director. Peter was appointed to the board of Directors of the Clemenger Group in 1971.

Raj Tapper

Chief People Officer

Clemenger Group

Raj is a seasoned leader in the people & culture field, with experience accumulated across multiple geographies and business sectors. She has built a reputation for her contemporary approach to all things people. After many years in sport, digital, retail & FMCG businesses, Raj wholeheartedly believes that the right culture, championed by quality leadership can make or break an organisation's success, and that great culture does not happen by accident. Rather, it's the sum of every decision, process and conversation.

Strahan Wallis

Chief Executive Officer

Clemenger Group New Zealand

Strahan has worked inside Omnicom for more than a decade and leads Clemenger Group's New Zealand business. He is a multi-award winning communications leader who recently also served as a global reputation management consultant, leading responses to some of the highest profile issues in the US. He returned to the Group from Los Angeles where he helped transform Porter Novelli's Southern California operations. Strahan is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (since 2017) and member of the Institute of Directors.