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The In-House Agency Council launches in Australia

Change Makers

The In-House Agency Council launches in Australia


The In-House Agency Council (IHAC) is a connected community for Australia’s growing number of ‘in-house’ agencies, helping marketers to maximise their output. IHAC members include Optus, Sportsbet, MYOB, lution, Carsales.com, Newscorp, Carlton United Breweries, Kantar, Australia Post, The Star Entertainment Group, Eucalyptus and Hawthorn Football Club.

The council is led by founder, chairman and lution CEO Chris Maxwell. The council is designed to help attract the best talent and build capability along with benchmarking and sharing industry best practices. IHAC will also advocate for the in-house agency marketing model through activities including an IHAC annual awards series, a secondment program, masterclasses and networking events.

IHAC founding board members include Maxwell, Sportsbet general manager marketing Tim Hernadi, MYOB head of design, agency and brand Belinda Watson, Optus consumer marketing director Angela Greenwood, brand and marketing advisor Michael Sinclair, Carsales chief marketing officer Kellie Cordner and Newscorp Managing Director – Commercial Content Mike Connaghan.

Maxwell, who is the former marketing director at Carlton United Breweries, believes the council is a good opportunity for in-house agencies to connect and collaborate to meet common objectives. 

“When I spoke with my peers in the industry it became apparent that there were shared challenges, shared opportunities and common themes,” says Maxwell. “However, there was no forum for in-house agency leaders and teams to collaborate, share or learn from each other. This seemed like a missed opportunity, given businesses like Optus, CUB and Sportsbet exist in different categories but their in-house agencies are often operationally similar. Why not come together to share and learn from each other?”

Sportsbet general manager marketing Tim Hernadi says the launch of the council is bringing in-housing to the forefront and changing perceptions of in-house agencies. “We’re investing our time and energy into enhancing the reputation of this model to see it grow and thrive,”  Hernadi adds.

IHAC members typically converge on a monthly basis to discuss relevant issues of the day. The council brings in experts to run masterclasses or external inspiration on a range of topics. The IHAC has launched a secondment program where members can arrange for their talent to gain some experience with another brand or business to broaden their knowledge and come back with a new set of skills. Regular events and a LinkedIn Group help members to further connect.


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Jasmine Giuliani

Jasmine Giuliani was the Editor of Marketing Mag from March 2020 to September 2021.

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