Thursday, September 21, 2006


Russel Howcroft has been named chairman and managing director of George Patterson Y&R Melbourne, succeeding Anthony Heraghty, who has taken a senior role at GPYR client Foster’s Australia.
Howcroft has been CEO of The Furnace, the Havas-owed agency he co-founded as Leonardi Brandhouse in 1995. He has also worked for McCann Erickson and Lowe Howard-Spink in London and did a previous stint at George Patterson. He is the current chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia.
Y&R Brands CEO Matt McGrath said Howcroft was the standout candidate for the post.
“Russel has the perfect blend of business acumen and creative appreciation needed to lead our team in Melbourne.
“Leonardi Brandhouse was a creative hotshop in its day, ranking in the Top 10 in the country. Russel’s experience at Lowe, one of the UK’s premier agencies where he worked on icon brands like Stella Artois, Lloyds Bank, Reebok and Coca-Cola, reinforces his great business and creative credentials”, said McGrath.
As Chairman of the AFA Howcroft has addressed a number of major industry issues, from self-regulation to agency remuneration; helped build a strong relationship with the AANA (Australian Association of National Advertisers), and launched the world’s first agency accreditation programme. He is a founding Member of Media Team, an organization that assists not-for-profits with their media and marketing endeavours, a Board Member of The Melbourne Arts Festival and a founder of the Carbon Trading business EMIT.
Howcroft said he was looking forward to joining the GPY&R Melbourne team.
“It’s clearly the best agency in the market. The work, the thinking and its track record speaks for itself.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Onya Russ.

Congrats mate. Keep kickin' ass and takin' names!

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that was fun while it lasted.

Bye Patts Melbourne.

The Sydney tendrils grip tighter.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Russ, I'm sure you'll kick ass!

At least that rules out any Furby rumors...

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Russ, getting the reins to Australia's hottest agency has gotta make you smile.... Then again, it's only that hot because of the 5 key creatives. Better keep em happy, $$$$$$!

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alexi Sayle's brother.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's enough from you, 7:32PM. Or should I call you "Ant"?

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Melbourne creative director James McGrath resigned this morning to
take up a post with Clemenger.

While his departure will be a loss to the agency, I believe we have the
depth of talent to carry it forward.

Due to the effort of the whole Melbourne team over the past few years,
and particularly since the merger, we have built a strong, respected and
globally acclaimed agency.

Yesterday's announcement that Russel Howcroft would take over as
chairman and managing director signals a new era for GPY&R Melbourne.
Russel has outstanding business and creative credentials and a proven
track record in the industry. He is a champion of great thinking and
great work.

James has done a brilliant job of building and nurturing one of the best
creative departments in the world and on behalf of the agency, I wish
him well in his new position.

I will speak to you all at the Monday morning meeting.

Matt McGrath

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's HOT!

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howcroft in. James McGrath out. I'm amazed this blog hasn't reported it yet. Too much fun at the Caxtons, Lynchy?

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho ho ho. Won't be much of a job without James McGrath & the lads, will it? Lynchy, why haven't you got the hottest story in adland since um...I can't remember when on this site? The staff of both agencies concerned have been notified, surely they've press-released the ad media.


11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the story on James McGrath leaving Lynchy?

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anything else happening at patts?

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Figured the Sydney Y&R people couldn't wait to fuck up Patts Melb.

Beginning of the end...

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would hardly call MD - in, CD - out anything less than amusingly suspicious.

I think we can safely see another exodus to Clems in the near future, followed closely by a near total creative collapse of Y&R.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

russel is a champion of good work..not in my lifetime....isn't this the head of the AFA who thought lynx was a real airline and was interviewed on the radio about it...yeah great choice ...not.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on you Russel. If anyone can sort Patts Melb out with the departure of James McGrath it's him.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anthony Heraghty has done a great job as MD of GPY&R and James McGrath has done a great job as CD. The work speaks for itself. But, don't underestimate Russ. He doesn't just love advertising, he loves ads. My prediction - Heraghty will make Fosters an even better client. McGrath will make Clems an even better agency. And Russ will make GPY&R even better than it is now.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Musical chairs...

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fosters will leave Patts to follow McGrath, because he will take the senior creative talent they need with him. NAB will leave Patts for Clems, but not for creative ideas. Suddenly, Clems are looking a lot like Patts. And Patts will now stagnate, a lot like Clems have been...

4:41 PM  

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