Blue 449 CEO John Preston named chairman of parent company Publicis Media

• Preston is the founder of multi-award winning independent media agency Match Media.

Publicis Media has appointed Blue 449 CEO John Preston to the newly created role of chairman of Publicis Media Australia. He will work alongside Matt James, CEO of Publicis Media Australia and New Zealand.

A three-decade veteran of media in the UK and Australia, Preston is the founder of multi-award winning independent media agency Match Media, which he established in 2003. Publicis Media acquired the company in June 2015 and it was rebranded to Blue 449. Preston became its CEO for Australia.

James will continue to have full strategic, operational and financial responsibility of Publicis Media, overseeing its agencies Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry, Blue 449 and Performics.

Reporting to James, Preston will support the Publicis Media board and James at a strategic business level both for the group and its clients. Preston will also continue as CEO of Blue 449 until the end of the year.

“John has been a critical part of the Publicis Media team since the acquisition of Match Media and, with Duncan Parfitt promoted to Managing Director of Blue 449 last year, this gives us the opportunity to not only evolve John’s role but to harness his 30-year experience and success in supporting the ongoing development of Publicis Media,” James said.

“John is one of Australia’s most respected media professionals, with a wealth of knowledge, an entrepreneurial spirit and proven leadership skills. I have no doubt he will bring a valuable and positive perspective to our strategic direction and I look forward to working with him to further develop Publicis Media Australia’s success.”

Preston said: “I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to contribute in a broader role with Publicis Media. My role will be to bring an independent and fresh perspective to decision-making, working with Matt James to develop strategies to drive Publicis Media forward.”

Preston will commence his new role on September 1.

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