303 MullenLowe Perth announces Damian Royce as new Chief Creative Officer following news of Richard Berney and John Linton departing
In a major coup for 303 MullenLowe Perth, multi-award-winning former ECD at Havas Melbourne Damian Royce has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Creative Officer.
With a career spanning 25 years Royce (pictured above) has also held creative leadership positions at TBWA, Cummins&Partners, and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, where he was a creative director and company leadership board director.
303ML is announcing a number of leadership changes as long-time ECD Richard Berney and Head of Planning John Linton depart the agency to start their own business together.
Managing Director René Migliore said Royce’s hire marked an incredibly exciting point within the agency’s ongoing evolution, in a deliberate move to significantly bolster its creative and strategic strength.
“This is an important hire, one that adds a brilliant new dimension to our amazing creative and design team. Damian is an exceptional talent, one of Australia’s most respected CDs, a brand builder, proven team leader, a digital pioneer in creative circles and one of the nicest people you’ll meet. He also brings strong business nous to help solve a range of business problems with creative solutions,” he said.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have Rich Berney with us for 18 years, and John for eight years. They have been fundamental to this business, giving their heart and soul,” he continued. “They’ve built their respective areas within 303 MullenLowe and we’ve seen them grow and flourish, but it’s an exciting time for them to back themselves and build something of their own. It’s also the perfect time for the business and our evolution. They’ll remain good friends to the agency and we genuinely wish them every success.”
Linton said: “303’s been everything Derry (Simpson) promised me it would be. A motley collection of beautiful people who care as much for each other as for what they do. A culture that prioritised craft and effectiveness above all else. And a safe space to grow into the planner I am today. I’m so proud to have played a part in continuing Lindsay (Medalia), Ray (van Kempen) and Stephen’s (Wells) legacy and can’t wait to see where Ren and the new team take it. But for now, it’s time to take a leap and see what kind of legacy Rich and I can build on our own.”
Berney added: “Whenever I’m asked how long I’ve been at 303, I simply recall my son’s age. This is because I moved back to Perth from a distant Amsterdam eighteen years ago to become a father. Back then, I thought my dreams of being a global creative hotshot were dashed – but the truth was very different. Perth is an abundant place. Laden with incredible talent, brimming with opportunity, and chock-full of cheeky & bright-eyed folk. 303 didn’t just meet my expectations, it raised them. I learnt that nice people are actually more likely to achieve true excellence. 303 has fed me in all the best ways; I have been gifted lifelong mentors, GREAT friends, and adventurous projects and responsibilities that have often enriched our state. And so, this company is an extremely difficult one to leave. In fact, it’s taken me 18 years.”
Royce’s work has been recognised at every major international award festival, including Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, London International Awards, Clio, New York Festivals, Webbys, Spikes Asia, Caples New York, AWARD, Effie Awards and more. Notably, his work has also received a Cannes Lions Grand Prix and the rare Green Pencil at One Show for innovative and ethical creativity.
He will relocate to Perth from his native Melbourne to take up the new role. Tasked with overseeing all creative output, he will also focus on generating new opportunities, building key skills and applying brilliant creativity to solving business issues. Migliore said as part of the agency’s push to double down on creative and strategic smarts, 303 MullenLowe had also searched the globe for a new Chief Strategy Officer to work closely with Royce, with a new announcement to be made soon.
Royce said: “Joining a creative company with an all-new leadership team ready to help brands grow is a rare opportunity, and it’s exactly what I was looking for. Along with René, Attivo CEO Cam Murchison, a new Chief Strategy Officer, and an evolved agency team, we will leverage the many ways creativity can be used to move businesses forward. It’s an exciting time to join 303 MullenLowe, who have been building momentum in an ever-changing market. I’m looking forward to this collaboration and above all, helping brands get noticed.”
The agency has also made some other significant promotions as part of recent business planning:
Taryn Payne (pictured below left) as the new Head of Business Management;
Johnathan Julius (pictured below middle) as the new Head of Production; and
Smiljka Dimitrijevic (pictured below right) as the new Head of Planning
“Taryn, Smiljka and JJ are all brilliant leaders within the agency and highly respected in their fields. Their passion and energy is infectious. They’ll own, design and build out the evolution of their respective areas of the business, significantly boosting depth of capability,” Migliore continued.
An important promotion within the media team has also been made with details to be shared in due course.
“Change is the lifeblood of any agency wanting to stay both relevant and innovative. We’re embracing the opportunity to further evolve our offering, and our ability to create innovative, consistent results for our partners,” he concluded.
Solid hire 303. Definitely needing some fresh blood in this market.