Written on the 24 October 2011


CREATIVE agency Smart has been acquired by McCann Worldgroup, one of the world’s largest advertising players.

As a result McCann Australia’s CEO and chairman Chris Mort has been replaced by Smart CEO Ben Lilley (pictured).

“Smart has proudly been an independent agency with an outstanding track record of growth and creative excellence over the last 10 years. Uniting with McCann Worldgroup was the perfect next step in our evolution,” says Lilley.

“The combined competencies of our agencies, coupled with the global footprint of McCann Worldgroup, creates an unrivalled strategic and creative offering across the Australian and New Zealand markets.”

Smart’s Gold Coast office is headed by managing director Joe Sands. The company’s clients include Australand, Grocon and the Gold Coast City Council.

It also delivers digital design and marketing for national brands such as Specsavers, UniSuper and Tiger Airways.

Sands has seen the evolution of the agency, first acquired by a national firm and now to be thrust into a global network with more than 25,000 employees.

“It’s been an exciting journey for our Gold Coast-based advertising agency to have evolved from a local boutique to become the Queensland creative offering of national independent group Smart and now to be part of McCann Worldgroup,” says Sands.

“It really is the best of both worlds – living on the Gold Coast, assisting local businesses while working on national brands and now being connected to a world of insights and resources from the best communications, marketing and creative firms that form McCann Worldgroup.”

Regional managing director of McCann Worldgroup SEA and Australasia Charles Cadell says Smart’s local expertise combined with the scale of McCann Worldgroup will give a greater foundation to produce more ‘groundbreaking’ work.

“Smart has an amazing reputation and is famous for its irreverent, youthful and exuberant advertising and its vibrant media footprint. (It) considers itself a borderless agency that fits in seamlessly with the McCann Worldgroup mission of integration,” he says.






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