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Ad agencies restructure management

TWO of Perth’s biggest advertising agencies are in the midst of management restructures, with Marketforce retail general manager Karen Della Torre this week resigning, and 303 Group’s recently appointed former DDB Australia chief executive Nick Cleaver to take over from Jim Davies as managing director. Marketforce revealed on Tuesday that Ms Della Torre had resigned after more than 21 years at the advertising agency. Marketforce chairman John Driscoll said Craig Billings would assume control of the agency’s retail division, which was formed last June through the merger of Mr Billing’s MJB&B Advertising and Marketforce’s retail division, Redline. News of Ms Della Torre’s departure followed revelations from 303 that Mr Cleaver, the former chairman and chief executive of Sydney-based advertising agency DDB Australia, would take the reins from Jim Davies as managing director. Mr Davies will become executive chairman and said he would continue to play an active role in the business despite Mr Cleaver taking over the day-to-day management of the business. “I’ve been managing it for five years, but it is always worth rearranging things and taking the business in a new direction,” Mr Davies told WA Business News. Mr Davies helped grow 303 from a staff of 20 to 65. The agency’s growth has come off the back of significant advertising contract wins, including HBF and Red Rooster. The agency was forced to shift offices last year to accommodate its expanding employee base. Mr Cleaver has become an equal shareholder in 303. As part of Marketforce’s restructure, account director Tracy Blanchard has been promoted to Marketforce Retail as a client services director. Mr Cleaver has hit the ground running and is scheduled to be in Canberra next week to help present the agency’s final pitch for a sizeable federal government advertising contract.

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