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Essence unveils new leadership appointments to strengthen Australian presence

Australia — Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency, has announced several key appointments in Australia namely Simon Pugh as managing director for Brisbane, Theo Zisoglou as chief media officer, and Celia Wright who has been appointed to chief growth officer. The agency said the new appointments are in line with its goal to strengthen its leadership team in Australia and to boost its presence in the country.

Pugh holds extensive expertise as a business builder and leader and is a proven industry leader, with 25 years of experience in leadership roles across Publicis Groupe, Omnicom and Dentsu in New York, Sydney and San Francisco. Most recently, he was a global client leader for Publicis Groupe, and prior to that, led West Coast operations for PhD in the United States. For the new role, he is tasked with leading the Brisbane team to innovate and evolve their offering across data, analytics, media strategy, and creativity.

Meanwhile, Zisoglou is an experienced industry man with more than 20 years of involvement in leading media investment. The new role will see Zisoglou returning to his passion to deliver a progressive planning and investment approach that adds value for clients. He will remain based in Brisbane and his newly created role spans planning and investment across Essence in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. 

Wright, meanwhile, has more than 15 years of experience in the media and marketing industry. After a highly successful client-side career at Commonwealth Bank, she also worked at WPP agencies Ikon and MediaCom as a strategic client lead and most recently was general manager for media at Spark Foundry prior to joining Essence. 

For the new role, Wright is tasked with supervising the agency’s national team production and ensuring the delivery of results to clients. She will also lead initiatives that support personal and professional growth for Essence people as well as drive growth for the agency and clients, while also leading cultural change.

Pugh shared his thoughts on his new role, saying, “This is a transformational time for the agency, and the opportunity to partner with Pat and the broader Essence and GroupM teams to develop Australia’s local proposition was too good to pass up. I’m excited to be back in Australia to bring clients our world-class capabilities, rooted in data and technology to drive creativity, innovation and marketing transformation.” 

Zisoglou said of his appointment, “Essence is a truly technology-led, product-driven media agency. This is an important moment in the agency’s evolution, and I’m excited to take on this leadership position and further strengthen our investment capabilities in Australia, delivering gold standards in quality, privacy and brand safety, backed by additional global digital and data expertise.” 

Lastly, Wright shared that she’s delighted to be joining Essence and to be working with Crowley once again, alongside the new leadership team. Wright continued by saying the opportunity to guide the growth of Essence’s people, operations and the product is a thrilling one and she is looking forward to helping the team to not only service their excellent range of keystone clients but also ensure Essence is equipped for continued success and operates in alignment with the agency’s bold vision

Pat Crowley, CEO of Essence Australia, commented, “These three appointments are critical as we shape the new, expanded Essence in Australia, amplify the agency’s pioneering spirit and help clients win in the new economy. We have an absolute focus on digital transformation and the creation of products that enable us to create the next generation of media practice. Simon and Celia bring an injection of exceptional new talent that will complement the skill sets that already sit within the agency. Theo’s passion for the craft of investment makes him perfectly placed to take on this newly created role and play a bigger role in shaping this fundamental discipline in our agency.”