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Octagon restructure sees Ben Hartman replace Sean Nicholls as APAC head and Lizi Hamer hired as first creative director

Octagon, the IPG-owned sports marketing and entertainment agency, has named Ben Hartman to run the region as APAC head, and hired Lizi Hamer as the company’s first regional creative director.

Ben Hartman, Adam Hodge, Lizi Hamer

Ben Hartman, Adam Hodge and Lizi Hamer

Hartman, who started out his career with Octagon as an intern in the Sydney office 10 years ago, sees his role expanded from GM for Southeast to APAC MD, and he will oversee the agency’s operations in Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Mumbai, Shanghai and Sydney, where he will be based.

He replaces Sean Nicholls, who leaves the company he was worked for since 1996, latterly as APAC president.

Lizi Hamer joins as the company’s first creative resource after a stint at Arcade in Singapore, where she spent just over a year as creative director. Hamer’s CV includes senior creative roles at Sapient Nitro in Singapore and Saatchi & Saatchi in Australia.

“We’ve always worked with this theory that you don’t have to be a creative to be creative. We’ve done a lot of good work without a creative department. But it got to the point where we realised that we wanted to do things quicker, and we needed specialists,” said Hodge.

Hamer was behind Octagon’s recent campaign for Dove, ‘Strength to care’.

Hartman described Hamer as a “new breed of creative”.

“She’s aware of today’s world, empathetic to consumers and constantly challenges the status quo,” he said.

The restructure also sees Adam Hodge, regional strategy director for Southeast Asia, promoted to APAC head of strategy. In his role, he will manage research and creative strategy, working alongside Hamer.

“Lizi is a creative team of one right now. But the intention is to hire people for each of our locations where they need the resource,” Hodge said, adding that his role will also involve hiring strategists for local markets.

Octagon is taking a regional approach to Asia Pacific with the restructure. “Our people travel around the market to where and when they’re needed,” said Hodge.

“We’re not so worried about finding the best people in Australia. We want the best people in the world to service Australia. Which is why some of us are based in Singapore, some of us are based in Shanghai. It doesn’t really matter. We’re working mostly with pan-regional clients.”

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