Montu named Australia’s fastest-growing tech company

Montu is on a mission to improve the lives of millions of Australians through medical cannabis therapies. As an early investor, I have seen firsthand how the company has helped thousands of patients.

Montu has built an integrated cannabis ecosystem, which streamlines the journey for patients end-to-end, and sets new standards in cannabis care. Montu has grown by 20,728% over the three years to 2022. This month, Montu was named by Deloitte as the country’s fastest-growing technology company and by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) as the fifth fastest-growing start-up.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 ranks the 50 fastest-growing public and private technology companies in the country based on minimum cumulative revenues of A$8 million over three years. Montu took out first place, growing by a massive 20,728% over the three years to 2022 – the fastest growth of any tech company that has made the list since 2004.

Patients have more control over their medication ordering and cannabis care consultations with their own personalised portal.

Cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the world, resulting in a US$150bn global market over the forthcoming years.  Changing cannabis legislation in Australia and New Zealand opens a new chapter in healthcare with access to safer and healthier medication, and ultimately the road to a wellness and recreational market.

Montu connects Australians to highly qualified doctors via our Alternaleaf telehealth platform. And support them throughout their journey, with our dedicated patient care team. From online booking, to tele-consultations, product selection and dispensing of medication. Montu provide patients with a supportive and judgement-free environment.

Growing portfolio of high-quality brands.

Growing portfolio of high-quality brands.

Montu has built an integrated cannabis ecosystem, which streamlines the journey for patients end-to-end, and sets new standards in cannabis care. After decades of scientific negligence of the cannabis plant, research is proving what people already knew thousands of years ago: That cannabis can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Australia and New Zealand are predicted to be the next major cannabis markets, estimated to grow to AU$1.7 billion by 2023.

 

WPP named as an ‘Inclusive Employer’ by the Diversity Council Australia

WPP has been named as an ‘Inclusive Employer’ by the Diversity Council Australia (DCA). This status is the only award of its kind in Australia, recognising organisations that ensure inclusion as part of their business operations.

To be deemed an ‘Inclusive Employer’, an organisation must prove they are actively committed to inclusion by exceeding the National Index Benchmark on at least five out of six of the inclusivity measures. These measures are Awareness, Engagement, Inclusive Organizational Climate, Inclusive Leadership, Inclusive Team and Exclusion. WPP surpassed the benchmarks in all six areas.

Creating an inclusive workplace is fundamental to WPP’s purpose of using creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, client and communities. The Inclusive Employer status is a welcome recognition of WPP’s mission build and foster an inclusive culture of belonging, one that is equitable and respectful of diverse thought and individual expression.

Being the employer of choice for all is central to WPP’s people strategy and is supported by initiatives like WPP’s Reconciliation Action Plan, Inclusion Council, and Unite, an LGBTQ+ community united to ensure diverse thinking and creativity within the network.

Says Rose Herceg, president for Australia and New Zealand, WPP: “WPP is delighted to have been named an Inclusive Employer by the Diversity Council Australia, having exceeded the National Index Benchmark across all six inclusivity measures following a company-wide Inclusive Employer Index Survey.

This result is a testament to WPP’s commitment to being the employer of choice for all as we build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities. We believe that ultimately diversity produces extraordinary creativity, manifested in the work we do for our clients and the impact we have on the world. It is the very reason we put the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion at the centre of everything we do at WPP.”

WPP Australia & New Zealand Creative Council

This month we launched the WPP Australia & New Zealand Creative Council with representation from Ogilvy, VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson, AKQA, Whitegrey, and Hogarth. A good mix of wise old creative heads and exciting young talent. 

I’m one of the old heads and been lucky enough to be appointed to lead and coordinate the group. This talented bunch will meet regularly and already has a series of programs, events, and activities planned for 2023. It’s all about our WPP agency creative teams participating in and gaining more insight into creating powerful creative ideas and work.  

Creative Excellence is our collective goal, an ambition, a drive, and a spirit. It’s a destination and a journey. And almost as importantly, it’s a discipline made of many ever- evolving programs and processes.

All the most creative brands or agencies we admire around the world go way beyond the “Get brief, answer brief, sell idea, produce, repeat.” model. They all spend time conceptualising what their creative voice is, train their people, elevate creative standards and are relentless hunters for opportunities. What we all see now from the outside –the creative fame- was built over years of processes by great people with a vision and a set of principles.

In the Most Creative Company in the World, the pursuit of Creative Excellence should be nothing short of exhilarating. We all joined this industry for the work, and that’s what it’s all about: setting up the framework for our teams to make the best work of their lives in your markets, globally or on your agency brand.

We formed the council to talk about the work. To celebrate it. To study it, let’s try, fail and try again. Let’s explore new platforms and new crafts, and open to new perspectives. I will keep you posted of our developments.

Tennis Australia’s Action Audio


Almost 285 million people worldwide aren’t able to enjoy live sport to the fullest due to visual impairment.

For people living with blindness or low vision, the experience of broadcast sport is severely limited. On television, sports coverage relies heavily on visuals, while radio commentary can be too slow to give fans a true sense of the action.

Developed by AKQA in partnership with Tennis Australia and Monash University, Action Audio draws on ball monitoring using computer vision to emphasise key moments of play. It does so with a 3D sound design system that has been developed in collaboration with the blind and low vision community.

 

Action Audio launched as a pilot during the finals of the 2021 Australian Open tennis tournament. After the success of the pilot, Action Audio was made available across every match at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena for the 2022 tournament.

Via Australian Open radio and Google Assistant, audiences could listen to Action Audio together with the live radio commentary of each game.

Using voice commands, visually impaired tennis fans could ask Google to stream the Action Audio live feed and access information about how Action Audio works, to learn more about the experience.

 

WPP named a Leader in new analysis of Global Marketing Service Providers

WPP has reported this week strong first half of 2022 with broad-based growth, sustained demand from clients and the growth guidance upgraded again. This reflects the improved competitive position of our creative businesses, with their growing capabilities in commerce, experience and technology posting $AUD11.790 billion (£6.755 billion) in revenue, up 10.2%, and like-for-like revenue up 8.7% from 2021.

Alongside this results WPP has also been named a Leader among Global Marketing Service providers in The Forrester Wave™: Global Marketing Services, Q3 2022 report. The research evaluated a field of 10 of the most significant service providers, which were invited to participate in the evaluation.

The report identifies that “The integration of agency, technology, and consulting services brings together a converging landscape of holding companies, digital networks, and management consultancies. The result elevates the industry beyond advertising delivered by individual agency brands to marketing solutions delivered by teams of specialists. However, turning disparate, global capabilities into integrated solutions is much easier pitched than delivered. The best integrated marketing providers orchestrate their vast expertise in digital experience (DX), data, creative, and media with fluidity, not friction.”

 

 

The report assessed providers against 17 criteria spanning three categories: Current Offering, Strategy, and Market Presence. Among these categories, WPP received the highest scores possible in seven criteria, including creative and content services, customer data strategy and activation services, digital experience services, workforce strategy and performance.

The Forrester report notes, “WPP pioneers end-to-end marketing solutions with global creativity and scale… They include scaled, data-driven creative capabilities; integrated digital experience development; media performance prowess; and strong identity management and robust measurement and analytics. Client references support the company’s ability to orchestrate marketing campaigns and technology across regions.”

 

Cannes Lions and ANA’s CMO Tech & Data Growth Council

I was delighted and honored to be invited to join a new ANA Growth Council called Data & Technology working alongside members Raja Rajamannar (MasterCard), Julia Goldin (LEGO Group), Marcel Marcondes (AB InBev), Mathilde Delhoume (LVMH), Elizabeth Rutledge (American Express), Karen Walker (Intel), Alicia Enciso (Nestlé), Norman de Greve (CVS Health).

The Global Growth Councils for Progress have been established by Cannes Lions and the ANA to help our industry achieve its full potential and make progress as a global force for growth and a force for good.

As a community of CMOs from the world’s top brands, the Global CMO Growth Council has made significant progress in tackling the core issues that are paramount to achieving success for your business – and indeed making the world more sustainable and equitable.

This year, it extended its remit and reach, and welcomed professionals from both agencies and brands to join its work as it focuses on the five most pressing issues – as identified by LIONS and ANA research.

Measuring the impact marketing has on business, people, and the planet is essential to creating long-term value. Yet, CMOs have struggled to demonstrate clear progress across an increasingly complex array of standards, frameworks, and initiatives. The recent Lions State of Creativity Study mirrors the key issues we face as an industry.

Mastering data and technology underpins our ability to deepen the connections between our brands and the people we serve – especially as the frontier of Web 3.0 unfolds. But we must first master the ability to measure our investments in the physical world before we can build brave contemporary brands in the blockchain-driven, token-based economy of a virtual multiverse.  

Together, Lions and the ANA will provide the year-round platform for the industry to convene and track progress, with the councils returning to Cannes Lions in 2023 for an update on the industry’s collective progress.

Excited to get involved.

 

WPP wins industry’s most creative company at Cannes Lions 2022

WPP was today named the most creative company of the year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

WPP agencies collected a total of 176 Lions, including 1 Titanium Lion, 4 Grand Prix, 36 Gold, 47 Silver and 88 Bronze, with winners representing 40 different countries.

For the first time since 2019, the Cannes LIONS International Festival of Creativity took place in person to showcase the best creative work from around the industry.

Excited to be at Palace of Festivals and Congresses of Cannes

A total of 25,464 entries from 87 countries which, combined, provided a phenomenal insight into creative marketing globally. The sheer volume of entries demonstrated the value of creativity to corporates, to trade and to growth.

Ogilvy was awarded Network of the Year and took home a Titanium Lion together with Wavemaker for Shah Rukh Khan My Ad for Cadbury, a data-driven campaign that personalised ads for local businesses impacted by COVID-19.

WPP winners and shortlisted entries came from every part of the company, and from across its agencies. VMLY&R won a Grand Prix for its I Will Always Be Me campaign for Dell and Intel, designed to make it easier for people with motor neurone disease to bank their voice by reading a story, and a Grand Prix for Maxx Flash’s The Killer Pack, which helps, through biodegradable packaging, combat deadly diseases like malaria and dengue caught outdoors in India. Speaking in Color for Sherwin Williams by Wunderman Thompson won the Grand Prix for Creative B2B – a prestigious win in the inaugural year of this category – for its voice-activated colour-selection system. A Grand Prix for Media Placement was also awarded to MediaCom’s Hope Reef for Mars Petcare (with AMV BBDO).

The Creative Company of the Year award is given to the company which earned the most points across its agencies. WPP was also the most awarded company in the Creative Business Transformation category, reflecting the company’s expertise in creating new and innovative products and services for clients, and reimagining customer experiences or business models.

The award comes at the end of a week when WPP also announced a pro bono partnership with the government of Ukraine on a global campaign to demonstrate that Ukraine is open for business, launched an initiative with IBM to tackle bias in advertising technology, and supported the industry’s global Ad Net Zero plan that follows the lead of WPP’s own net zero commitments announced last year.

Roogenic Medicinal Bushfoods Have Never Been More Accessible and Delicious

Internationally, superfoods have grown into multi-billion dollar industries, while Australian superfoods have remained largely untapped.

That is, until Roogenic launched and started making effective wellness products that addressed the top health concerns of consumers globally. And it’s worked.

At Roogenic, they passionately support wild-harvest farming practices to help encourage Indigenous employment, Indigenous land care initiatives and the sharing of traditional culture between generations.

Roogenic believe in celebrating Indigenous culture every day and proudly donate part profits from every sale to community.

The company has been profitable for the last 4 years while supporting our Indigenous First Nation partners. This success has come from you, the 800 retailers & 150,000 customers who have benefited from Roogenic’s products.

Roogenic partners with naturopaths to create delicious teas and tonics that offer effective natural remedies for sleep, gut health, inflammation and more.

The medicinal bushfoods included in each blend are wildly harvested or organically grown and all-natural, sustainably sourced from Indigenous communities and small farmers across Australia. After experiencing the potent health benefits of Australian bushfoods, our customers have become passionate brand advocates, culminating in over 8,000+ five-star reviews.

Roogenic operates a successful multi-channel business model with an established presence in e-commerce, retail and national and international wholesale distribution.

Roogenic purposefully have multiple customer touch points, making our products accessible in-store and online.

Today, customers can find their favourite Roogenic products and discover new Roogenic offerings online and in over 800 retailers, including Myer and supermarkets in Singapore and Japan.

From the beginning this investment has been set out to build a community, not a customer base. By providing a personable brand experience with interactive content, our social media following has grown to over 90,000 people and an email database is now at over 50,000 subscribers.

In 2021, the wellness industry was valued at US$4.75 trillion with an annual growth rate of 6.4% but had little representation from Australian bushfood companies despite there being strong demand.

At Roogenic, we plan to work with more International distributors to improve the health of millions of people worldwide with Australian bushfoods. With your support, we can continue to work with Indigenous growers and manufacture new product ranges with unique health benefits that we can take to the rest of the world.

Visit Roogenic here

Bunsters – The Global Hot Sauce Phenomenon Now Makes Cocktails

In 2012 Renae Bunster squeezed in 13 different fruit and veggies in to one bottle of hot sauce and irrevocably changed the condiment landscape.

Since launching off of the back of a good old fashioned crowd funding campaign in 2015, raising $250,000 Bunsters just keeps kicking goals.

Bunsters’ Shit the Bed sauce has been a number-one seller on Amazon in the States, and it’s on the shelves in some 600 independent supermarkets in Australia.

They’ve doubled their hot sauce offering, done a sell out Peanut Butter Collaboration and come up with an entirely new direction for the company in a booming segment: A subscription based Ready to Drink Cocktail Club launching this month.

Bunsters core product range is constantly expanding with fresh creations and collaborations with other brands. The same relentless pursuit of quality is being applied to their ready-to-drink cocktail range.

Fans were blown away as no one had ever put this much care and attention into the flavour, packaging and branding of a hot sauce before. Fast forward 10 years later and Bunsters is doing it again, but in two separate booming industries that have seen massive growth off the back of COVID:

There’s nothing in the world like Bunsters Cocktail Club. Fresh, delicious, fully Australian made classic cocktails in a can, delivered to your door every month.

The Metaverse Foundry

Hogarth, WPP’s specialist global creative content production company, is launching The Metaverse Foundry to deliver brand experiences in the virtual world. It will consist of global team with more than 700 creatives, producers, visual artists, developers and technologists.

The metaverse, for those of you who haven’t been listening at the back, is defined as a “simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.”

The Metaverse Foundry is built to take ideas to the next level at scale. A limitless place where creative, production and innovation come together to bring to life the greatest ideas, elevate e-commerce and customer experiences.It will provide  every aspect of experience design and production, virtual art, virtual stages, development of VR/AR applications, technology, and R&D.

WPP agencies are already delivering multiple metaverse projects for clients including Wendy’s, Under Armour, Duracell, Pfizer, Pizza Hut and Bombay Sapphire. 

 

The foundry will also collaborate with specialist WPP agencies such as Subvrsive (virtual events and immersive experiences) and Ars Thanea (design/animation and live action/visual effects studio) to supplement with specific additional skills.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of innovative technologies as people have learned to connect with each other in new ways.

The metaverse, with connected virtual worlds, augmented reality, NFTs and the blockchain. presents limitless opportunities for brands to build creative experiences and engage with diverse, highly loyal audiences.

Its market size in 2021 was estimated to be more than $1 trillion, growing at mid double-digits.

Andy Hood, VP Emerging Technologies at WPP, hosts a 6-minute metaverse masterclass.