Nikita Mishra
Feb 26, 2024

UM cuts jobs in Australia, veteran Andrew Murray steps down

UM secures Chery's media mandate in Australia amid restructuring in its Sydney and Melbourne offices, including the departure of its national head of trading.

UM cuts jobs in Australia, veteran Andrew Murray steps down

­­­­­­­­IPG media agency UM has taken a review of its business in Australia and let go of an undisclosed number of staff members in its Sydney and Melbourne offices. The move includes the departure of Andrew Murray, the national head of trading, who is leaving immediately after a tenure of 20 years with the agency.

Murray joined the agency in 2004 as a fresh university graduate and moved up the ranks to head trading in 2019. A spokesperson for UM said Murray’s exit was mutually agreed upon, and he will explore new opportunities.

Anathea Ruys, CEO of UM Australia, acknowledged Murray’s contributions over his 20-year tenure, citing his valuable advice to clients and steadfast dedication to the agency. Ruys also expressed gratitude for Murray’s service and extended best wishes for his future endeavours.

“Muz will always be a friend to UM, and we are very thankful for his 20 years of dedication. I thank him for his energy, passion and contribution and wish him all the very best for his future," Ruys said.

In the interim, Murray’s duties will be overseen by the senior trading team, with additional updates to be announced subsequently.

The agency confirmed to Campaign that the restructuring is impacting “a small number of roles” in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices and is part of UM’s strategy to align its capabilities and resources with the evolving demands of the marketplace and to set the stage for future growth.

A UM spokesperson stated that the company is providing support to the individuals affected by these changes and, out of respect for their privacy, will not be issuing further comments at this time.

The news comes on the day UM secured the media account for the international automobile manufacturer Chery following a competitive pitch. As the media agency of record for a global automotive manufacturer, duties will include media strategy, planning, and purchasing in Australia and supporting all of Chery’s new vehicle releases in the coming year.

Speaking of the win, chief executive Ruys said it was fantastic news so early in the year, and her team was excited to play a pivotal role in Chery’s Australian success.

Ruys said: “UM’s strategic approach to media planning and buying will play a key role in bolstering Chery’s market presence in Australia, connecting the brand with new audiences across various media platforms.

The agency is also actively defending its position on Spotify's global media account and the Australian federal government’s master media account. UM has held the government account valued between $150 million and $240 million since 2018, winning it off Dentsu X. Under the terms of the deal, UM held the account for three years with an option for a three-year extension, which was exercised. 

The current tender deadline for the Australian federal government account is March 14, and the timeframe of the account will be from July 2024 to June 2028, with an option to extend for four years. This is standard procedure with government procurement cycles. But the dollar value of this account means that every media agency worth its salt is likely to throw their hats in the ring.

Campaign Asia

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