WPP AUNZ’s Switched On joins renowned global innovation and experience agency network AKQA

WPP AUNZ’s Switched On joins renowned global innovation and experience agency network AKQA

WPP AUNZ has today announced its Sydney-based digital marketing and media consultancy, Switched On, will join the Australian arm of global innovation and experience design agency AKQA.


This union is in direct response to client interest and demand for comprehensive digital solutions that help define, find, connect and inspire customers across all brand interactions, from acquisition through to retention. The joint entity’s emphasis will be on rich, innovative brand storytelling throughout the entire customer journey, bringing clients’ long-term brand purpose to life whilst maintaining a laser focus on short term performance.

Says John Steedman, interim CEO WPP AUNZ: “This is two teams with momentum becoming one, and a bold move by them both. It’s driven by a burning desire to provide pioneering solutions from two highly experienced senior local teams.

“Joining Switched On and AKQA formalises the close working relationship both agencies already have. The partnership uniquely combines media, tech, data and design literally under one roof. The result is a stronger client offering and WPP AUNZ is proud to support them.”

By fusing their respective MarTech and AdTech capabilities, the driving principle will be to deliver on the unfulfilled promise of large technology platforms and connected, transparent media investments.

Says Brian Vella (above left), managing partner, AKQA: “This initiative is a terrific example of our team’s growth mindset and a shared vision of the future. Both agencies are at the top of their game. It’s a powerful combination that offers a modern, post-broadcast perspective to the interface of customer and brand.”

The new offering builds on the success of AKQA Media in San Francisco, an elite business that delivers a 360-degree view of brand experience for clients including GAP, Volvo and Uber through an integrated approach to media, technology and data.

Adds Vella: “AKQA Media is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier media and technology agencies, something we believe will resonate well with Australian marketers.”

Says Chris Hitchcock (above right), managing director, Switched On: “As the worlds of marketing, technology, and customer experience converge, it’s clear a strategic reprioritisation of brand building is essential. We feel what’s needed is a unified proposition that straddles the need to balance this long-term vision with the reality of short-term performance in today’s digital age. That’s why we’ve come together.”

The combined entity’s capabilities offer an unrivalled depth and breadth of experience with more than 300 team members covering:

– Digital Consulting
– Performance Media
– Creative Strategy & Storytelling
– CX and Transformation Strategy
– Experience Design
– Communications Planning and CRM
– Technology and Engineering
– Commerce
– Data, Insights and Personalisation
– Innovation and R&D
– Social and Influencer Marketing

Switched On will continue to be led by managing director, Chris Hitchcock, responsible for the continued success of the Switched On team and its integration into AKQA. Hitchcock will join the AKQA executive team, reporting into Brian Vella, managing partner of AKQA in Asia Pacific. Both agency brands will continue, with Switched On transitioning to become AKQA in the future.

AKQA operates in 28 markets globally, with over 2100 people worldwide. In APAC the studios who collaborate closely include Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo and Shanghai. It most recently was awarded two Grand Prix Lions at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

AKQA and Switched On are part of WPP AUNZ, Australasia’s leading creative transformation company.