Toby Barbour Promoted to Chief Executive Officer Role at Publicis Media ANZ

Publicis Media has today announced the elevation of Toby Barbour to CEO of Publicis Media Australia and New Zealand. Currently CEO of Starcom Australia, Barbour will start in his new role effective immediately, while staying on as interim CEO of Starcom until a replacement is named.

Barbour will report to Publicis Media EMEA & APAC CEO, Gerry Boyle; and Publicis Groupe Australia and New Zealand CEO, Michael Rebelo.

John Preston will work with Barbour in a consultative role as chairman of Publicis Media ANZ.


Along with Starcom, Publicis Media’s agency brands in Australia consist of Zenith, Spark Foundry and Performics.

“It is with great pleasure that we appoint Toby to his new role,” said Boyle. “As the CEO of Publicis Media ANZ, he is charged with ensuring that we continue to create a progressive, effective operating model for our clients and our people. Working in collaboration with our brand CEOs, across solutions, Toby will ensure that we continue to develop our talent and work to the highest standards, helping deliver the Power of One model.”

“I look forward to working with Toby who not only brings a depth and diversity of experience but also possesses the attributes that we look for in our leaders – someone who’s open to new ideas and change, adaptive, collaborative and client-focused,” said Rebelo.

“In his new group media role, we will be working closely, along with agency CEOs across Publicis Groupe, to ensure that we continue to offer flexibility, strength, and resources to clients that can benefit from a truly integrated approach through our unique Power of One model.”


Barbour has been at the helm of Starcom for almost two and a half years, and prior to that held roles within the agency including MD and client services director. More recently, Barbour led the agency’s appointment to the P&G account, while retaining Subaru, Snooze, and Metcash following business reviews. He rebooted the agency’s human experience (HX) brand story and way of working by elevating the value of HX design thinking – investing in commerce, content, data, research and talent; and developing the ‘Return on Experience’ measurement framework.

In April, he and his team launched an Australian-first ethnographic research study into the connected smart home of the future; and developed ‘Starcom Futures’, an always-on proprietary thought leadership platform.

Before joining Starcom Barbour held lead sales and marketing roles, including GM consumer marketing at Sony and sales and marketing director at Olympus.

“I’m inspired by Publicis Groupe’s vision for the future and believe that through a powerful combination of content, data, and technology we have a unique opportunity to lead client marketing transformation,” said Barbour. “It’s a privilege to lead our Publicis Media solution, and I look forward to working closely with our agency brands Zenith, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Performics to drive our strategic growth plans.”

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