John Clemenger Advertising started in Melbourne in 1946. It was 100% owned by the late John Clemenger until he died in 1965 and was succeeded by his sons Peter and John Clemenger. Peter Clemenger remains on the Clemenger Board today.
By the early 1970s the company was well established in Australia, but at that point it was decided that selling a part of the business to an international advertising agency network would be in the company’s long-term best interests.
A plan was devised and successfully implemented to sell about one third of the company to BBDO and one third of the company to staff, with the remaining third to be held by Peter and John Clemenger.
At about the same time, the decision was also taken to move into New Zealand. Clemenger had as many as ten clients who were operating in both Australia and New Zealand, and the Group needed a long-term New Zealand partner. After looking at the market in some depth, Clemenger chose to buy a minority interest in a new agency, Colenso, with headquarters in Wellington and a branch office in Auckland. Colenso’s success is now widely acclaimed.
From small beginnings in Melbourne, the Clemenger philosophy has been clear: to share success with staff across all levels; to be part of the world but operate only in Australia and New Zealand; and to expand into other complementary disciplines, such as public relations, CRM, design and media, as well as specialised companies in the experiential marketing area, market research, field marketing, sales promotion and branded information advertising.