Staff Reporters
Nov 2, 2022

Women to Watch 2022: Lauren Thornborough, UM

Not only is Thornborough a whiz in client relations, she also admirably pioneered a committee within the agency to provide support for working parents.

Women to Watch 2022: Lauren Thornborough, UM
Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms

Lauren Thornborough

Senior client director

Lauren Thornborough’s exceptional client-relations skills are telling in the following example. When UM won the Airtasker account in November 2021, she led the agency transition team at speed and scale to launch the client’s new brand platform a mere two months later. While Airtasker faced critical business challenges during the NSW and Queensland floods as well as the Covid outbreak, Thornborough worked both agency and client sides to negotiate a new campaign launch strategy and timeline to best optimise the ROI in the context of the market conditions.

Due to her relentless efforts, the launch of the Airtasker ‘Joy of Done’ campaign exceeded brand awareness and brand consideration targets. The client’s satisfaction led to an extension of the contract with UM beyond the trial six months and they delivered a 90% score for account servicing during its recent business review. Furthermore, the client awarded the agency a bonus at the end of the trial agreement which had an incremental impact on UM’s revenue line.

When she’s not busy servicing clients, Thornborough spends time on the UM Working Parents committee, an initiative she pioneered after noticing a gap in the support and mentorship for parents within the media industry that was resulting in many talented parents leaving the industry for more accommodating work environments. The committee is made up of two core elements: A mentor system that matches new parents returning into the workplace with ‘seasoned’ working parents who can help them navigate the first 12 months of settling in; as well as a quarterly networking and inspiration session to give parents, parents-to-be, want-to-be parents, and supportive co-workers the opportunity to meet with a wider group to discuss the challenges and joys of being a working parent.

As proof of the committee’s success, UM became the first media agency in Australia to be recognised as a Family Friendly Workplace. She is currently working alongside the Mediabrands HR department to enact changes the agency has pledged to execute over the next two years as a part of this accreditation. This includes focus groups to understand employees’ caring needs at all stages in their life and careers, manager workshops to support parent transitions, and the sharing of UM working parent success stories via vox pops. Thornborough seems the perfect person to lead this notable cause given that she manages a team of 14 and handles $22 million in billings while juggling parenthood.

Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms


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