Former Marketforce CD Jon Bird named global managing director of Y&R's new retail network

Comments (5)
Jon_Bird.jpgDavid Sable, Global CEO of Y&R, has announced today the consolidation of the agency's retail and shopper marketing capabilities into a single, unified network, Labstore. Jon Bird, who was a co-founder of Y&R's successful retail marketing agency, IdeaWorks, in Australia and New Zealand, moves to New York to take on the new role as its global managing director.
The Labstore offering includes shopper and retail strategy, retail execution, channel planning and shopper behavioural research with a focus on analytics and digital integration.

Labstore originated in Spain in 2001, and expanded in 2012 to six markets in Latin America. Y&R's other retail and shopper capabilities will now all roll into the Labstore network and share the same proprietary resources, tools and global positioning.
Bird was CD of Marketforce in Perth before transferring to Sydney to launch Marketforce Sydney in the late 1980s. He then was part of a management buy back when Marketforce decided to withdraw from the market.

Says Sable: "We have great retail and shopper capabilities around the world. Labstore is the perfect confluence of Y&R's core brands, Y&R Advertising and VML -- highly strategic, enormously creative, digital at the core.  We now have the ability and leadership to leverage this offering globally so that both global and local clients everywhere can meet the increasing challenges of the retail environment. 
"There is no one better suited to lead Labstore than Jon Bird, who is a bona fide thought leader and whose great success with IdeaWorks in Australia and New Zealand has been an enormous training ground for leading this charge. With Labstore, we have a distinct point of view that speaks to the challenges and demands of the marketplace, both from the retail and consumer perspective and a way of working that is fully integrated with Y&R Advertising and VML."
Says Bird: "We are building Labstore for the reality of retail today. We live in a globalised, digitised, polarised and increasingly personalised retail world where the shopper is in control. That's our starting point, and from day one, Labstore will have a global perspective, with digital and data at the core."

Says Phil McDonald, national managing director of IdeaWorks: "Being an integral part of a global shopper marketing network like Labstore will be of enormous benefit for the knowledge of our people here in Australia and as a consistent source of global retail intelligence for our clients. It's also pretty handy for us here that Jon is now the Global MD."
Clients already include Telefonica in Spain, Movistar in Spain and Latin America, GE Moneybank in Europe, Colgate-Palmolive in Thailand and the Philippines, Dick Smith, Petbarn, Rebel and Payless Shoes in Australia and Westfield and The Mill in New Zealand.
IdeaWorks recently announced the appointment of Christopher Lyons, previously chief retail and shopper marketing officer for Leo Burnett Asia Pacific as its Sydney managing director. The agency will be part of the Labstore network in Australia and New Zealand, delivering Labstore representation across the region in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

Pictured below is Jon Bird (seated on right) with the team that launched Marketforce Sydney in the late 1980s.



Blast from the past said:

Another one of Perth's success stories. Jon was a lovely guy when he worked in Perth. Marketforce's finest CD ever.

Malcolm MacLean said:

Great to see Jon do well. He was an inspirational Creative Director and I had so much respect for him when I was at Marketforce in the days of 1-inch videotape and press ads held together with hot wax. He shared the work out evenly and he rolled his sleeves up and did the Parry's retail ads with the same dedication as the big budget bank ads.

Ricki said:

Jon was one of the nicest people I knew in advertising and encouraged me to make the leap from media to account service. He deserves all the success he has achieved. Ricki Smith

Brian Jones said:

I have often wondered where is Jon now. I worked with him in his early days at Marketforce Perth. Jon joined as a vey young writer who had been doing some writing for his Dad who was a sports presenter at Channel 9, he also worked part time at a pizzahop patronised by our then Chairman the late Colin "Daisy" Mullins. Colin really liked his pizzas. The thing that impressed me about Jon was not only his his writing ability but what must have been a photographic memory. I remember him pitching 6 TV concepts to a new client without any reference to the scripts he had written. After 4 years I moved on from Marketforce but I have always remembered JB as not only a guy of great talent but also a bloody good bloke.

Well done Jon I wish you all the success in the world in the "big apple".
Best regards
Brian Jones

Alun Bartsch said:

Well done Jon.
A very talented and honourable gentleman.
Spent many an enjoyable afternoon with him going to the football in Melbourne when I returned from London.
Although on the downside, he's a Sydney Swans supporter now.
At least it's not Collingwood.
All the best

Leave a comment