Russel Howcroft


Russel Howcroft

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Russel Howcroft, CEO, Australia and New Zealand for the Y&R Brands Group of Companies, is well known outside the advertising industry as a vocal panel member on the The Gruen Transfer, the ABC's highly successful programme about advertising, how it works, and how it works on us.

Y&R (Young & Rubicam) Brands is a global collaborative network of the most powerful brands in marketing communications. It employs more than 1000 staff, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Auckland and Wellington.

Russel loves being surrounded by ideas every day, working on new ideas for different clients in wonderfully diverse industries, selling ideas and he communicates the thrill and passion he feels to his audiences.

Russel speaks on a broad range of topics - in particular the importance of ideas, how to buy them, and why return on creativity is a vital indicator in a thriving economy.

More about Russel Howcroft:
Russel Howcroft fell in love with the advertising industry after doing a week's work experience at advertising agency McCann Erickson while part way through a marketing degree at Chisholm Institute (now part of Monash University). He soon discovered that advertising provided an outlet for his passion for new ideas. "Advertising is all about what constitutes a good idea," says Russel.

In his early 20s, Russel headed to London and spent five years working at Lowe Howard-Spink, one of Britain's top creative agencies. His major account was Heineken beer, considered one of Britain's best ad campaigns.

Russel returned to Melbourne in 1995 and co-founded Leonardi Brandhouse. He spent the next 11 years running his own agencies with various partners, before joining George Patterson Y&R, Australia's oldest agency brand, in 2006. The group includes The Campaign Palace, VML, ideaworks and Brand Asset consulting.

Now, after more than 20 years in the advertising industry in the UK, the USA and Australia, Russel believes that the ability to rationalise creativity is the key to create successful campaigns.

Russel is also the former Chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia. He is a founding board member of Media Team, an organisation that assists not-for-profits with their media and marketing endeavours, and a regular commentator on ABC 774 in Melbourne. He is also on the board of The Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Russel's other passion is reflected in his position on the board of the Melbourne Football club.


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