About us


Employees in total


Staff own shares in the company

Company Purpose

Clemenger Group Limited is the holding company of a group of companies involved in advertising and marketing communications throughout Australia and New Zealand. We operate across the marketing services spectrum with specialist companies offering clients best-of-category expertise in various disciplines.

The company’s purpose is to provide the most compelling commercial content, no matter what the distribution channel.


Clemenger Advertising opens


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.


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March 18, at the age of 45, John ‘Jack’ Clemenger Senior opens John Clemenger Advertising in the basement of the Lombard’s building in Bourke Street, Melbourne. Son Peter is with the company from day one on a starting salary of eight pounds per week. In essence, the agency was a radio production house that every week produced a stream of live programs and coincidentally produced the commercials for their sponsors. John Clemenger Advertising was more frequently called Clemenger Productions back then.

April 1, John Clemenger Limited is incorporated under the Companies Act, 1938. Clients in the early years included Darrods (the style store in the heart of Bourke Street), Kia-ora canned foods, London Baby Carriages, Guests Biscuits and Griffiths Sweets.


In May, John Clemenger Advertising expands and opens an office in Sydney, initially to provide resources for Melbourne client Kia-ora. The office made losses for more than 25 years but never closed down.

The Melbourne office moves to premises in the old boarding house known as Oxford Chambers at 473 Bourke Street, Melbourne.


Peter Clemenger moves to Sydney for 12 months, then spends 18 months overseas before returning to the company in Melbourne in 1952.


Jack Clemenger’s younger son John joins the agency, pretty much straight from university.


Jack Clemenger sends his son John overseas to the United States of America to learn about television, which was coming soon to Australia. John gets a diploma at the New York School of Television.


Jack Clemenger is elected President of the Advertising Association of Australia.


'In Melbourne Tonight' with host Graham Kennedy begins as a five nights a week variety television show – and so too does a great relationship between it and the Clemenger agency, which recognises Kennedy’s special talent to ad-lib and play around with products he was advertising in the live commercials.

Tobacco company Godfrey Phillips appoints Clemenger to launch their new product, Viscount Cigarettes. The brand takes off and soon becomes the number-three seller in Australia. In subsequent years Viscount became the agency’s largest client and at one stage was over 40% of the agency’s business.


In October, Clemenger expands to Brisbane and opens its third office, buying a one-third share in Garnsey Smith & Greene. The name is changed to Garnsey Greene Clemenger.


Jack Clemenger receives an OBE for his services to the community.

Major clients include Peters Ice-Cream, Guests Biscuits, Briquettes, Sitmar and Parsons Foods.


On February 8 Jack Clemenger dies. The agency soon after announces that it will be managed jointly by its two equal owners, Peter and John Clemenger.


In March Peter and John Clemenger purchase Sydney agency Cruickshank Maxwell and merge it with the Clemenger agency, which at the same time changes its status from being a branch office of the Melbourne agency to become John Clemenger (NSW) Pty Ltd.


Clemenger expands to Adelaide. Preference shares are exchanged with Martin Kinnear Neate and it becomes Martin Kinnear Clemenger.


Clemenger in Melbourne moves to 416 St Kilda Road.


Peter and John Clemenger, who each own 50% of the company, decide to sell some shares in the business to staff. The first two shareholders are Peter Cooper and Peter Rankin.


In December, Clemenger moves to Perth, buying into an agency owned by Ian Parkes and forming Parkes Clemenger.


Geoff Wild moves from Clemenger Melbourne to Sydney to become Managing Director.

The staff shareholding scheme that began with the sale of just 400 shares to two staff in 1969 is expanded, with 74,000 shares being offered to senior executives around Australia.

A holding company, Clemenger Australia Limited, is incorporated, and then acquires shares in John Clemenger and its subsidiaries and affiliates.


In May, having developed a relationship over a 20-year period, Clemenger makes the significant decision to join forces with BBDO and sell them a 35% shareholding. Peter Clemenger joins the BBDO Worldwide Board.


In January Clemenger buys Melbourne agency Alexander Moulton, which has handled Coles advertising for many years. The agency changes its name to Clemenger Moulton and Peter Harvie, who had joined Clemenger in 1966 as Radio Manager, moves to the agency to run it. Later, after the agency moved into the Bryson Centre on Exhibition Street in Melbourne, it changed its name to Clemenger Bryson.

In October Clemenger expands across the Tasman and purchases 20% of Colenso. Hylton Mackley, one of the four founders of Colenso and its first Managing Director, is still with the Clemenger Group today and is the company’s second-longest serving employee after Peter Clemenger.


In June, Clemenger purchases a 42.5% share in industrial advertising agency EG Holt & Associates – a company that has advertising and PR agencies in both Sydney and Melbourne.

In a move into Asia in October, Clemenger purchases a 25% interest in an advertising agency in Hong Kong, which had been operating at that time for just 12 months. The agency becomes Clemenger Wong & Waters.


The Clemenger Holding Company converts to Public Company status under the Companies Act.

The Brisbane agency changes its name to Garnsey Clemenger.


BBDO purchases a further 10% stake of the Clemenger Group, now owning 45%.

Clemenger buys 25% of Sydney agency Magnus, Nankervis & Curl.


Robert Morgan, the company Executive Chairman today, joins Clemenger Melbourne.

In February, Clemenger sells its interest in Clemenger Wong Waters (which had grown to 49%) to new Holding Company BBDO/Clemenger Limited.

Clemenger buys 25% of Batey Ads in Singapore.

By the end of the 1970’s, Clemenger has grown to become the second largest agency in Australia.


Clemenger Bryson becomes Clemenger Harvie.

Clemenger purchases a 25% interest in a Sydney-based sales incentive company called Sales Development.


Interest in Asia continues to grow with the acquisition of 20% of Malaysia agency Wings Creative Consultants.

Clemenger Direct is established to specialise in direct marketing. It later becomes the number-one direct marketing agency in Australia, with offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.


Clemenger Melbourne moves to 474 St Kilda Road.


Clemenger Direct Response establishes a branch office in Sydney.

In June, Clemenger purchases an 80% interest in Sydney agency Harris Robinson Courtenay.


Clemenger Sydney moves to new offices at 120 Pacific Highway, St Leonards.


Hylton Mackley is appointed Financial Director of Clemenger Australia.


Port Productions is created as a television production house (50% owned by the Clemenger Group and 25% owned by DDB Needham).

This year proves to be a stellar one for the Group. B&T name Clemenger Agency of the Year and Clemenger Melbourne wins AdNews National Agency of the Year. Clemenger Melbourne added $25 million in new business, including National Mutual Royal Bank, Just Jeans, Australia Post Express Courier, Bowater, Sorbent, Herbert Adams, Sportscraft, Libra, Fleur, Spring Valley, Angus & Robertson, Nabisco, Uncle Toby’s and Best Foods. Group pre-tax profit jumped 39.5% on the year prior to a new high of $16.84 million. Staff shareholders grew to over 300 in number. Clemenger Chairman Peter Clemenger is voted Most Outstanding Managing Director in a survey at the IAA Congress.


Robert Morgan becomes Managing Director of Clemenger Melbourne.


John Clemenger retires.

Greg Daniel, David Blackley and Robert Morgan are appointed to the Clemenger Holding Company Board.


Peter Harvie retires from the Clemenger Holding Company board.


The largest clients of the Group include Australian Dairy Corporation, BankSA, Just Jeans, National Mutual, News Corporation, Pacific Dunlop, Pizza Hut, Uncle Tobys, Channel Ten, National Brewing, Nestle, NSW Lotteries, Pepsi, Sterling and Yellow Pages.

Clemenger Melbourne wins AdNews National Agency of the Year.

Harvie Advertising changes its name to Clemenger Harvie.


For the second year running, Clemenger Melbourne wins AdNews National Agency of the Year.


The 50th anniversary of the Clemenger Group is celebrated and BBDO holds a worldwide meeting in Australia to help mark the milestone.


Robert Morgan is appointed Clemenger Group Chairman.

Clemenger acquires a majority shareholding in public affairs firm CorPol Alliances group, which is renamed Government Relations Australia in 2000.


Melbourne agency The Edge is acquired and merged into Clemenger Harvie to form Clemenger Harvie Edge (CHE).

Proximity Worldwide is launched in London as a new generation network that integrates database, CRM, interactive and DM principles. Clemenger Direct changes its name to Clemenger Proximity.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Cultural Perspectives, a specialist multicultural marketing agency with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.


Experiential agency Traffik is launched on October 1.


Clemenger BBDO wins AdNews Network of the Year for the third year in a row.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Cosway Australia, a leading corporate and financial communications firm celebrating its 50th year.

Quickstrike is launched on July 1.


Digital agency NetX is purchased and rolled into Clemenger Proximity in Sydney.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Brandworld in New Zealand.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Open Mind Research.

Government Relations Australia completes its national office network by joining with leading local public affairs adviser, Paul Everingham, to form GRA Everingham in Perth


Clemenger Group acquires Raydar.


Gallery De Pasquale in Brisbane is acquired and merged into the agency.

Open Mind Research becomes Hall & Partners | Open Mind.


Clemenger sells half of its shares to BBDO, which now holds 74% of the business.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Touchcast.

Curtis Jones & Brown changes its name to URSA Clemenger.


Clemenger Harvie Edge changes its name to CHE Proximity and re-engineers itself as a data driven agency.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins Campaign Brief Creative Agency of the Year for the fifth consecutive year, emphasising the agency’s creative strength over a sustained period.

Clemenger Group acquires shares in Redhanded.

Clemenger Group buys justONE.

Colenso BBDO is named the world’s best agency by The Big Won Report and the world’s best direct marketing agency, an astonishing achievement for our agency in Auckland.


Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins the Interactive Agency of the Year award.

Government Relations Australia celebrates its 20th year and merges with Cosway to form GRACosway, Australia’s leading integrated public affairs and corporate and financial communications firm.

Channel 5 is 100% owned by Clemenger Group from July 1st.

Clemenger Group increases shareholding to take a majority interest in Marketforce.


After a rich 47 year history in Adelaide, Clemenger sells the agency and exits the Adelaide market.

hub+, Clemenger Group’s production agency, becomes eg+.


On March 18, the Clemenger Group celebrates 70 years since opening.

Colenso BBDO is ranked world’s #1 by Directory Big Won.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins more awards at the 2016 Mashies Awards than any other agency in the world. They win Campaign Brief Agency of the Year in Australia for a record ninth time and the AdNews Award for Australia’s best agency.

Traffik Group is named B&T’s Experiential Agency of the Year. It also wins Experiential Campaign of the Year at the AC&E awards.


Clemenger BBDO Melbourne dominates creatively. On a world stage, it was the most awarded agency at the London D&Ads and it was crowned best creative agency in the world at Cannes winning a remarkable 56 Lions overall. Their TAC campaign Meet Graham won a total of 28 Cannes Lions including two Grand Prix in Health & Wellness and Cyber and is the single‑most awarded campaign of the Festival. In total, Clemenger Group wins 78 of the 144 Lions won by BBDO.


2018 sees CHE Proximity at the dawn of a new era in advertising after winning AdNews Australian Agency of the Year. CHE Proximity won four other awards on the night, including Victorian Agency of the Year, Customer Experience Agency of the Year, Best Use of Data, and Digital Campaign of the Year.

Clemenger Group purchases 70% of Digital Solutions company LEVO.


At this year’s 40th annual AWARD Awards, sponsored by the Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association, Clemenger dominated.

- We were Network of the Year, winning 22 Gold Pencils for eight clients led by Clemenger BBDO Sydney which won seven. Six of these were for work for Dry July ("Ducking Autocrat" campaign).

- Clemenger BBDO Sydney was named Agency of the Year.

- CHE Proximity won Best in Show for its AutoAds campaign for Carsales.

- And Carsales was named Client of the Year.

- Clemenger BBDO Melbourne awarded Mumbrella and Campaign Brief’s Agency of the Decade.


CHE Proximity and Colenso BBDO make the annual Contagious Pioneers list featuring the 10 best and bravest agencies on the planet that consistently create the most insightful and innovative campaigns.

Staff Fund

The Clemenger Staff Fund is a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation, and has been set up to enable the employees and companies that make up Clemenger Group to give something back to the community.

The Fund opened in May 2008 with an initial contribution of $100,000. The company matches all voluntary staff contributions dollar for dollar.

We currently have a committee in both Sydney and Melbourne who decide on registered charities to support. Anyone can make a proposal for the committee to evaluate.


shares owned by staff

Share Scheme

Since 1973 the Clemenger Group (Clemenger) has operated a staff share scheme that entitles all employees of companies within the Group in Australia and New Zealand to apply for shares. At 31 December 2019, of the 1,960 Clemenger Group employees, 344 were shareholders, owning a total 26.33% of Clemenger shares. BBDO Worldwide Inc. of New York – a major global agency owned by the US-listed Omnicom Group – owns 73.67%.

Although Clemenger Group Limited is a public company under Australian corporations law, it is an unlisted public company, so the shares are not available to the general public through the Securities Exchange.

The shares are valued once per year according to a formula detailed in the Clemenger constitution. This involves adding the adjusted net assets of the Group (after allowing for declared dividends) to an amount equal to 8.0 times the Group’s average after-tax profits for the preceding three financial years, and then dividing that amount by the number of shares on issue. Clemenger employs an independent accounting firm, KPMG, to review the share price calculation for accuracy.

For more information, please contact:

Australia: Rowan Darling:


New Zealand: Mike Higgins: 

Diversity and Inclusion

Clemenger Group has an unwavering belief that only the most diverse, progressive and thoughtful workplace can create the most diverse, progressive and thoughtful outcomes.

Our D&I strategy is reflected across the following 5 pillars:

Age - Clemenger Group has a commitment to employing talent across our businesses from all industries and age groups. Head here to view our open roles.

Pride - Clemenger Group is proud to be part of the Omnicom Open Pride network. Open Pride creates alliances with other OPEN diversity groups and foster an inclusive and engaging work environment for Omnicom’s LGBT community and its allies.

Gender - Clemenger Group is committed to ensuring an equal representation of gender across all areas of our business. We are working to inspire career pathways and programs of work to inform this. And our Omniwomen chapter is one example of this.

Multi Cultural and Reconciliation - Clemenger is working to ensure all of our ethnic groups are celebrated and that we all learn and share from each other's cultural backgrounds. Clemenger Group is embracing its Reconciliation journey and has a Reconciliation Action Plan at the Innovate stage and partnership to support this.

Accessibility - Clemenger Group is working to define how it can be more representative of the population in this pillar and partner with organisations to help inform its journey.

Board Members

Robert Morgan

Executive Chairman

Clemenger Group Limited

Robert has been with Clemenger BBDO since 1979. In 1998 he became Executive Chairman of the Clemenger Group. He is also a Director of BBDO Worldwide and QBE Sydney Swans.

Les Timar

Chief Executive Officer

Clemenger Group Limited

Les is the CEO of Clemenger Group and responsible for the overall strategy, development and sustainability of its business and offer to clients across the Group’s operating companies.
Prior to this, Les was the CEO and one of the founders of GRACosway, the leading public affairs and strategic communications firm in Australia/New Zealand. GRACosway has been a Clemenger Group company since 1998. He was first appointed to the Clemenger Group board in 2014.

Adrian Ciabotti

Chief Financial Officer

Clemenger Group Limited

Adrian has a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He joined Clemenger in 2010 as a Group Financial Controller. Most recently he has been CFO across a number of agencies. Previous to his time at Clemenger he was a Senior Manager at EY where he led and was a part of the Clemenger audit team for 9 years.

Andrew Robertson

President & Chief Executive Officer

BBDO Worldwide

Andrew first came to BBDO in the UK in 1995, joining Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, where he subsequently served as Chief Executive Officer. In 2001, he moved to BBDO North America to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of BBDO Worldwide since June 2004. Andrew has a degree in Economics from City of London University.

Chris Lovell


Holding Redlich Melbourne (Lawyers & Consultants) Non-Executive Director

Chris has a Bachelor of Arts (Melbourne), Bachelor of Law (Melbourne) and Master of Law (London). His principal area of commercial practice is media and communications, property development and corporate structures and governance. Chris was appointed to the Board of Directors of Clemenger Group Limited in 1999.

Dara Akbarian

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Omnicom Group and Omnicom (Asia Pacific)

Dara received his BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and his MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business. He is the regional Chief Financial Officer for Omnicom's APIMA operations.

Gerard Feehan

Group Managing Director

Creative Activation
Australia/New Zealand

Gerard has led the growth and transformation of Creative Activation to be the leading activation company in Australia and New Zealand since joining as an equity partner in 2007. He has built the business on culture, employee engagement and an unparalleled commitment to client partners. Gerard previously worked in Sales & Marketing roles with Global FMCG and Consumer Goods Companies. He has a Bachelor of Business from Swinburne University.

Hylton Mackley

Non-Executive Director

Clemenger Group Limited

Hylton became associated with the Clemenger Group Limited when the company took a minority shareholding in Colenso BBDO Limited (New Zealand) in 1972. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Clemenger Group Limited Australia in 1972.

Imogen Randell

CEO Quantum Market Research and
Hall & Partners

Imogen Randell has been part of the Clemenger Group for more than 15 years. Leading Clemenger Group’s two specialist research agencies, Quantum Market Research and Hall & Partners, Imogen has provided research services to corporates and governments on all facets of communications, positioning and brand. Cultural trends in Australia is a key part of Quantum’s work, while Hall & Partners specialize in brand and communications. Imogen has a degree in Marketing and has served on the board of the Research Society in Australia.

James McGrath

Creative Chairman

Clemenger Group Limited

James has been with Clemenger BBDO for more than a decade. It’s the critical balance between creativity and effectiveness that lies at the heart of his driving principal of Applied Creativity, seeing an unprecedented year in 2017, being named Global Agency of the Year at both Cannes Lions and D&AD and symmetrically APAC’s most effective Australian agency over the past ten years.

James Neale

Chief Executive Officer

Traffik Group

James has been with Clemenger for 20 years and has built Traffik into one of Australia’s foremost experiential, shopper and brand activation agencies. He has global experience in brand activation, with four years in the UK and Europe. He also has expertise in sports sponsorship and activation, which are incredibly important areas in marketing today.

Jim Gall

CEO Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Group and Chairman Clemenger

Group New Zealand

Jim Gall was the founder and chief executive of Redhanded Communications, a company that was acquired by Clemenger Group in 2014. Gall, who was previously chairman of Marketforce / OMD Western Australia, moved to Auckland to assume his new role from 1 November 2018.

Justin Hind

Chief Executive Officer

CHEP Network

Justin joined CHEP Network in 2021 after a decade as a successful independent agency CEO, Co-Founder and entrepreneur. He has led or invested in two successful agency start-ups to exit. He returned to the Clemenger Group after almost 20 years, starting at Clemenger Proximity in Brisbane. He is passionate about data, technology and creativity, as well as the future of our constantly evolving industry. Justin holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland, along with post graduate studies in commerce and e-commerce.

Kirsten Mulley

Chief Executive Officer


Kirsten leverages more than two decades’ experience in public policy, government relations and communications to deliver expert counsel to clients and colleagues. With the firm since 2008, Kirsten’s work is informed by a deep understanding of the political, policy and regulatory landscape. She is a strategic thinker, a problem solver and a respected leader at the top of her field.

Marianne O'Brien

Managing Partner - Creative

Clemenger Brisbane

Over the last two decades, Marianne has built brands and solved problems for clients in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. A few highlights over this time include: launching a global digital campaign for Unilever, leading Clemenger Brisbane to new strengths, speaking at TEDx, judging at Cannes, and creating a small human.

Mike Higgins

Chief Financial Officer

Clemenger Group New Zealand

Mike is not only a top financial guy, but a great Clemenger person. He’s worked in Wellington and Auckland and knows our businesses in New Zealand back to front. Mike is a great people person as well as a strong finance guy, and is a member of our Group Finance Committee.

Peter Clemenger


Clemenger Group Limited

Peter was a co-founder of the company in April 1946. He retired as Chairman of the Clemenger Group Limited, but continues as a Director. Peter was appointed to the board of Directors of the Clemenger Group in 1971.

Raj Tapper

Head of People and Culture

Clemenger Group

Raj is a seasoned leader in the people & culture field, with experience accumulated across multiple geographies and business sectors. She has built a reputation for her contemporary approach to all things people. After many years in sport, digital, retail & FMCG businesses, Raj wholeheartedly believes that the right culture, championed by quality leadership can make or break an organisation’s success, and that great culture does not happen by accident. Rather, it’s the sum of every decision, process and conversation.

Strahan Wallis

Chief Executive Officer

Clemenger Group New Zealand

Strahan has worked inside Omnicom for more than a decade and leads Clemenger Group’s New Zealand business. He is a multi-award winning communications leader who recently also served as a global reputation management consultant, leading responses to some of the highest profile issues in the US. He returned to the Group from Los Angeles where he helped transform Porter Novelli’s Southern California operations. Strahan is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (since 2017) and member of the Institute of Directors.