Staff Reporters
Aug 18, 2020

Women to Watch 2020: Imogen Hewitt, Spark Foundry

Charged with merging and reinvigorating two media agencies and just as Covid hit, Hewitt proves she can deliver under pressure.

Women to Watch 2020: Imogen Hewitt, Spark Foundry
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Imogen Hewitt

CEO
Spark Foundry
Australia

At 16, Imogen Hewitt told her mum she wanted to be in advertising. Her mother’s response was “there’s no job security and no one survives 40”. But rather than changing direction, Hewitt says those words inspired conviction that has since fuelled an enormously rewarding career.

It all began at The Campaign Palace agency, where she was made the youngest media director in Australia and then shifted to Naked Communications where Hewitt headed up communications planning en route to becoming national commercial director and managing partner for SEA. In 2014 Hewitt joined Havas Media as head of strategy and saw her role grow successively in short order to chief strategy officer and group managing director, running the media group P&L while bringing all of Havas’ disciplines together as a coordinated ‘Village’ offering.

By January 2020, such well-rounded experience helped elevate Hewitt to become Publicis group’s new CEO of Spark Foundry, but she had her work cut out for her. Hewitt tasked not only with merging two agency brands, Spark and Match Media, into a culturally aligned and growing business force, but also with doing so with lagging internal indicators. Leadership satisfaction was declining, happiness was at its lowest level in years, new business targets were well behind and industry awareness of Spark was mixed. Then Covid arrived, and the mechanisms to change all this were thrown a complete new curve. But with a new strategy put in place, by July the number of employees seeking new roles was halved, happiness levels jumped 15 points, regular editorial pieces from Spark were generated and 44% of Spark’s new business target was met by Q1.

If that’s not impressive enough, add to this a plethora of industry recognitions and diversity work that include Hewitt serving as an awarding judge for the Cannes Media Lions in 2017, becoming a founding member of the Agency Circle in 2018, serving on the Advisory Council’s ‘Changing the Ratio’ programme in 2019 and being appointed to the Media Federation of Australia’s board in 2020

Beyond her professional achievements Hewitt is mum to two girls who fuel her passion for diversity and inclusion and are a reality check on the things that really matter. But thanks to the efforts of those like Hewitt, her career advice to her own daughters can hopefully be more optimistic than what she faced at 16. 

SEE ALL OF THE 2020 WOMEN TO WATCH
Exceptional female talent from the APAC marcomms industry 

 

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