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Ikon Brisbane MD lands new commercial role at indie shop

Chris Ernst Media Merchants

Former Ikon Brisbane managing director Chris Ernst has joined specialist full-service agency Media Merchants in the newly created role of commercial director. 

The role will see Ernst work closely with Media Merchants media director Justine Butler as the agency looks to grow its full-service model for retailers and brands looking for a more “agile and effective” offering. 

Chris Ernst

Ernst led Ikon Brisbane through a period of growth over the past 12-months, securing the media account for retailer Amart Furniture, as well as media services for The Star Entertainment Group, a pitch run out of both its Sydney and Brisbane offices. 

“The ability to be a cohesive full-service agency partner who can deliver to the new advertising dynamic is something spoken about widely in market, but we truly have the resources, capability and experienced team to deliver it,” Media Merchants managing director James Fitzgerald says. 

“The appointment of Chris is a pivotal part of our strategy to take an aggressive and clear path to full realization and communication of this.” 

Media Merchants will look fore more growth in the retail sector, following the recent appointment to the Endota Spa account in late 2018.

Prior to joining Media Merchants, Ernst worked in the UK and Australia with leading clients including Bunnings, Target, Flight Centre, ING and Coca Cola, developing, optimising and executing advanced digital and communications strategies.

“I’m thrilled to be joining one of Australia’s most respected independent agencies. James and his team have built a business with defined values, an engaged and aligned team and trusted client and partner relationships. I can’t wait to get started,” Ernst says.

The industry shift towards full-service has continued to grow over the past 12-months, as indie agencies such as CHE Proximity, BCM, This Is Flow and Thinkerbell ramp up media, creative and digital offerings.

Traditional holding groups have also begun to minimise the number of agencies they have spread through their respective business. Most recently, Publicis Media agencies Blue 449 and Spark Foundry were merged under the Spark name.

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