The Monkeys continues push into Melbourne by luring CEO Paul McMillan from Clemenger BBDO; Michael Derepas appointed Head of Strategy; Grant Rutherford tipped to take ECD role

Paul_McMillan_LR.jpgThe Monkeys has finally announced its new Melbourne-based CEO with the appointment of Paul McMillan - snared from the MD role at Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne - as well as the hiring of new head of strategy for Melbourne Michael Derepas, the former planning director of Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne.

The Monkeys has yet to announce who will be the agency's ECD, but CB hears Grant Rutherford (below), current CD of The Monkeys in Sydney, will return to his home town Melbourne to fill that role. Rutherford joined The Monkeys in October 2016.

Involved in some of Australia's most effective and creatively awarded campaigns, McMillan (above) joins The Monkeys after leaving his role as managing director at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne where he was responsible for managing a staff of over 350 and a client roster including some of the country's most respected clients. Making his mark in the industry running the Carlton and United Breweries account, McMillan's time at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has been filled with impressive work and industry accolades, including most recently Cannes Agency of the Year and D&AD Agency of The Year.
Grant-Rutherford-Monkeys.jpgCommenting on his appointment with The Monkeys, McMillan says: "Joining The Monkeys to head up the Melbourne office is a great opportunity. They have built a world class creative reputation and now in conjunction with Accenture Interactive they can really shape where the industry is going. I am really looking forward to working with the founders and building the latest chapter in Melbourne."   

Recognised as the number three 'Planning Director in the World' by the 2017 Big Won Report, Derepas joins The Monkeys as head of strategy with a remit to break new creative ground for the agency's growing list of Melbourne-based clients.

He departs Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, where during his 11-year stint, he helped to reinvigorate and reposition some of Australia's best-loved brands, including Mars, Fonterra, Mercedes-Benz, Bonds and TAC. During his tenure, the agency secured much recognition for globally loved campaigns for CUB brands Carlton Draught, Victoria Bitter, Pure Blonde and Corona, and most recently the coveted Yellow and Graphite pencils for Bonds 'Balls' and a Wood pencil for Snickers 'Hungerithm'.

2457782.jpgSays Derepas (left): "Being part of a team that gets to open a new office for The Monkeys in Melbourne was too good an opportunity to ignore. For a planner the opportunity to combine the creativity of The Monkeys with the tech, digital and data capability of Accenture Interactive is really exciting."

Adds The Monkeys co-founder and group CEO, Mark Green: "We are delighted to welcome Paul and Mike to the team. They have worked on some of Australia's most famous campaigns across multiple brands and agencies. They will help us build a great business in the Melbourne market as we begin to service new clients such as Holden."

Says Nick Garrett, CEO, Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne: "The Monkeys is an agency that we have the utmost respect for and they've made two great appointments in Paul and Mike. They're both wonderful people who deserved the opportunity to run their own show. While we're now competitors, both Paul and Mike will remain friends of the agency. I can't thank them enough for their time and efforts at Clemenger BBDO and wish them all the best in the future."

33 Comments

Chappy said:

Holy Shit.

Mass exodus said:

How many talented people need to leave before the Clemenger Board and BBDO realises that Management is a cancer? You can't lead through fear and be an a$$hole and expect good people to stick around.

Accenture said:

$63M buys a lot

Tracey Grimshaw said:

The demise of Clemenger begins.

Turns out said:

To get to the top in this industry, you just have to hang around long enough

3 for the very best said:

This is the best news. Well done!

The game said:

...just changed.

qt3.14 said:

Nice one, Rubba!

Greed serves no-one. said:

Oh Clemenger. You sold your soul for what? A few lions?

@Greed said:

Clemenger sold their soul?

Looks more like people at Clemenger cashing in...

The world has moved on said:

An odd move for a progressive, modern agency like the Monkeys to want to get three 80's beer specialists back together.

Diversity anyone?
Digital anyone?
CX anyone?

The rest of Melbourne must be breathing a sigh of relief.

Bye Bye said:

Some call it a mass exodus. Others would call it a successfully executed transformation strategy.

not surprised said:

all the awards have come at such an expense - all of their staff are leaving (4 people leaving alone this week), and at a time where they should be so proud to work there. ...shiny things are nice but loyal happy staff are better. Maybe Management need to see this as a problem.

JMCG said:

Mmmm. Bow to me commoners. Ungrateful Plebeian.

Good stuff said:

Good move for everyone involved. Clems and Monkeys play the game well.

One missing piece... said:

Imagine if Ant Keogh joined in Melbourne...

Joe said:

Shit yeah, Derepas. Congrats. Great news.

Wondering said:

Whether they'll hire senior female creatives to round out the men at the top, and to also deliver Holden's aims of targeting female car purchasers.

The heart of the culture said:

Well done gents.

Alphas said:

Would be nice if they hired a woman for a management role.

Cusp said:

Interesting. But predictable.
Clems the new Patts, Monkeys the new Clems.
Can't wait to see the 'Monkeys' sell CUB "For a hard earned thirst" to the next naive marketing team.

Long Game said:

Smiling quietly at all the comments about Clemenger Melbourne's demise. The agency has been around since 1946. And since about 1947 there's been a steady stream of predictions that Clem's best days are over. In reality it just keeps getting better and better. The recent departures are just part of the ebb and flow. 11 or so years at Clems is not bad (fantastic by general ad agency standards). But Clemenger Melbourne has seen CDs and other senior management in position for 25+ years.There is not one Melbourne agency still around that existed when Clemenger Melbourne started (is Patts still considered a real agency?). In fact there aren't too many that are around in Melbourne from even twenty years ago. All came into the market to have a tilt at Clem's (Hey Campaign Palace) but they briefly soar like rockets and fall quickly as burnt out hulks. Clem's Melbourne just keeps on going.

Good luck Monkeys

@long game said:

I reckon they're leaving due to a newfound shift at Clems to focus on the short game.

ECD OWL said:

I think you'll find Rubba has cropped the best part
Of that particular photo out!

No surprises there said:

3 blokes

Marty said:

Well done to three very talented people. Good luck - hope it goes well.

Wonder said:


Do you think. for a moment, a woman was even considered?


Well said:

For the people talking about exodus etc. It's worth noting that both spent between 5 and 7 years at the agency. Not a bad amount of time for an agency to hold onto staff.

Accenture said:

This move made possible by Accenture.

Accountants said:

At the end of the day Accenture will measure success by incremental revenue, not Cannes awards.
Good luck to all.
Imagine the CMO getting a call from the CFO 'suggesting' that the audit guys could have a look at the brand strategy,
The world is going mad.

Break the mould said:

3 middle aged white men.

Well, what a breath of fresh air.

Legends said:

Great work Macca and Mikey! You will both kill it over there. Clemenger BBDO will continue to dominate, The Monkeys will get better. Everyone wins, well played all

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