Staff Reporters
Nov 18, 2020

40 Under 40 2020: Ian Gough, Digitas ANZ

From account manager to regional client services director to market lead, Ian Gough has consistently delivered growth while also attaining high satisfaction scores from the people working under his leadership.

40 Under 40 2020: Ian Gough, Digitas ANZ
Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 

Ian Gough

Managing director 
Digitas ANZ 

In 2017, when Fiat Chrysler Australia (FCA) awarded its business to Digitas, “the opportunity to work with Ian [Gough] was one of the key determining factors”, according to Luke Skrzelinski, senior manager of digital and CRM for FCA.

It is easy to see why. Gough had aced his past 15 years growing from an account manager to an agency leader across three continents. In 2014, he moved from the UK to take up the role of client director, then managing director, in Digitas Hong Kong. There, he also grew revenue and increased headcount from 30 to 90 people. A transfer to Digitas Australia in 2016 saw him lead the agency through a rebrand and new market propositions, office openings in Melbourne and Auckland, a quadrupling of revenue, and a doubling of employee headcount.

Chosen by the Digitas group as a high potential leader, Gough has driven major business wins with clients across travel, finance, automotive, and quick service restaurants (QSR). In the meantime, he was invited to chair a data summit for CEOs and CMOs recently and to present his insights at a forum for marketing executives.

Gough adds one more plate to his juggling act: maintaining the agency’s highest-ever staff-engagement score. The people-centric leader believes that the best benchmark for an agency’s success is happy employees, and he has been integral to driving a connected and positive culture in his team.

One of Gough’s initiatives was establishing and chairing the Next Generation Board, consisting of the agency’s high-potential talents, with the specific remit to kick up engagement levels in the agency and connect its diverse disciplines.

He also takes the lead in raising discussions on the mental health issues that are affecting many people in the fast-paced and high-stress industry. One of the numerous mental wellbeing programs that he has championed within Digitas is ‘Thrive’, which was implemented in partnership with Facebook to combat mental fatigue during the lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 


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