Staff Reporters
Sep 2, 2021

Women to Watch 2021: Nickie Scriven, Zenith

Scriven’s people-first approach paid off handsomely for the agency, leading to significant growth in revenue and a diverse and high-performing staff.

Women to Watch 2021: Nickie Scriven, Zenith
Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry

Nickie Scriven


With a background across all sides of the industry—marketing, advertising and media—Nickie Scriven brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as CEO of Zenith Australia, and it has proven to be transformative. Before moving into agency leadership, Scriven spent eight years on the client side, holding marketing leadership roles for the likes of AustralianSuper and NAB as well as running her own consultancy. She also spent six and a half years with News Corp as group sales director.

Joining as managing director of Zenith Melbourne in October 2014, within two years Scriven was promoted to Australia CEO. She has built not only an exceptionally high-performing team, but also an enviable culture, and she has been instrumental in contributing to global account wins including Disney and TikTok. Plus, in the last three years she has achieved consecutive YOY double-digit revenue and billings growth.

In a year where many agencies shrunk in billings, revenue and people, Zenith continued to grow and thrive. In fact, the global pandemic shone a light on Scriven's people-first leadership approach that has proven to pay off. Rather than enact redundancies to manage profitability, Scriven focused on her people, communicated regularly and transparently, and reassured people their jobs were safe irrespective of their tenure.

She created a national ‘bench’ whereby talent with capacity in one market worked remotely on clients with increased needs in another market. This ensured jobs were protected, staff weren’t burning out and clients were supported as they scaled requirements up and down based on circumstances. Above all, Scriven kept an eye on the future, pre-empting challenges, and put a plan in place to continually pivot and navigate the pandemic.

As a result, Zenith delivered both revenue and staff growth from 2019 to 2020, with operating income growth of 33% from 2019 to 2021, and 15.4% from 2020 to June 2021.

A champion for diversity and inclusion, Scriven is the executive sponsor for Publicis Groupe’s reconciliation action plan and is currently leading numerous initiatives across the Groupe to drive greater staff education and engagement, employment of indigineous people, and support for indigenous businesses.

Since joining in 2014, she has rebuilt Zenith and is not afraid to push the boundaries as a leader, never settling for the status quo.

Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry

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