Watch: Iris Worldwide founders on building culture, coping with churn and why they wouldn’t sell to WPP

During a live video hangout with the founders of ad agency Iris Worldwide this week, CEO Ian Millner ruled out selling his business to a large multinational agency such as WPP.

Iris sold a minority stake to content company Meredith in 2011, but Millner said that he would only be looking to sell to a company that he believed brought added value to his business.

“I wouldn’t rule out something interesting or value adding like that [the Meredith deal], which fits with our values and principles. But I would rule out a move from a company like WPP,” he said during the Hangout.

Iris started in London in 1999 as an alternative to the “advertising led” networks, and now employs around a thousand people with offices globally including Singapore, Jakarta, Delhi, Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne and Mexico City and New York. Its global clients include Adidas, Sony, Shell, Unilever and Heineken.

In the joint hangout with Mumbrella Australia, Millner joined co-founder Sam Noble, now global strategy officer, to talk about building a cohesive agency culture across Asia Pacific, where their name came from and what they stand for.

Millner was a founding partner of the agency leaving IMP where he was new business director. There, he won clients including Philips, Procter & Gamble, Fiat and Virgin Direct.

Noble joined Iris the year it was founded from IMP. He has held roles including marketing director, head of planning and client services director before becoming joint MD in 2006.


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