November 15, 2023 | By Aleda Stam
OMG named Alex Siddall, Suhaila Hobba and Melissa Wisehart as chief media officers to its agencies in the last two months.
Omnicom Media Group’s Hearts & Science USA has promoted Alex Siddall as the first chief media officer of the agency, the latest chief media officer appointment in the holding company’s network as it formalizes integration between its agencies.
Siddall spent the last two years as Hearts & Science’s chief strategy officer. His appointment as its chief media officer follows OMG in October naming Suhaila Hobba, Amazon’s former head of digital, and MediaMonks’ Melissa Wisehart, to the same role at OMD and PHD, respectively.
Siddall “has a unique ability to really understand the intent of what clients are looking for and then go within our organization and identify the key elements that we need to bring together to deliver that,” said OMG North America CEO Ralph Pardo. “His ability to orchestrate puts him, frankly, ahead of the pack of most talent.”
The trio of appointments are part of OMG’s “Agency as a Platform” mindset, which Pardo sees as an evolution toward creating customized solutions for clients to help keep OMG at the top of its game.
Omnicom’s media agencies have garnered big wins in 2023, including responsibilities for global media for Under Armour, Vans and Uber. Hearts & Science wins this year include Jaguar Land Rover and Virgin Voyages.
Agency as a Platform aims for integration at OMG USA agencies, so they can better connect across media, content and commerce capabilities. Omnicom’s Omni operating system, which uses AI and analytics to inform marketers’ strategy, will inform the agencies at every step of the media-buying process.
OMG has always had integration across its teams, said Pardo, but having a position dedicated to the job ensures it’s done right. OMG’s chief media officers will be “multidisciplinary practitioners” who unite data and analytics, experience planning, communications and strategy in digital environments.
“Gone are the days where we walk into a room with 15 people and one person presents investment, this person presents social, another presents digital and another presents strategy,” Pardo said. “We believe strategy should not happen independently of how we think about the marketplace and where our media is going to actually run.”
In addition to working with client business leads to integrate across their agency teams, Siddall, Hobba and Wisehart will spend half their time working directly with clients.
The last chief media officers in OMG were George Manas, who was OMD’s chief media officer before being named OMD global CEO in 2021, and Anthony Koziarski, who left PHD in April 2021 and later joined Snap as global agency lead.