29 April 2021

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) today announced a major win for the independent media agency sector, negotiating a world-first trade credit insurance group deal for IMAA members.

Trade credit insurance protects agencies from bad debts including unpaid invoices caused by client bankruptcy and receivership, default, political risks and other reasons. The policy is usually commensurate with the value of advertising spend and the payment terms agreed with each client. Although rarely used, it is one of the highest costs for indie media agencies.

The group deal, successfully brokered by the IMAA, will see its members save up to 75% in some cases, and is a world first.

IMAA General Manager, Sam Buchanan, said: “We uncovered through our IMAA Pulse Survey that members wanted to look for ways they can save money as a group on big-ticket items. One of the biggest expenses for independent media agencies is trade credit insurance, so for the last three months, we have explored a group deal for IMAA members.

“This is an absolute game-changer for us, and the industry and we are thrilled to be able to offer this important cost saving initiative to our members.”

The IMAA held a webinar for members this week, hosted by Buchanan, IMAA Chairman and Sandbox Media Director Ant Colreavy and a trade credit insurance specialist to explain the group deal, which was received enthusiastically by members.

Colreavy said: “Many independent agencies were impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw some trade credit insurers effectively penalise Australian-owned businesses as they ‘de-risked’ themselves. Limiting the amount of trade credit meant that agencies were left with no other option than to ask their clients for cash upfront or carry the exposure themselves.  This new group deal is a massive win for IMAA members and one which will make us all sleep better at night.”

Further information is available at:


For further information contact:

Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577

About Independent Media Agencies Australia

The IMAA was established in February 2020 as a new, national industry body that represents Australia’s independent media agencies. The IMAA promotes the benefits of working with independent media agencies, build awareness and respect for the sector, create a knowledge sharing forum and help build the Australian economy through supporting 100% Australian owned businesses.


After recording 325% growth in membership since its launch 12 months ago, the Independent Media Agencies of Australia has named Sam Buchanan as inaugural General Manager.

What you need to know:

  • The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has named Sam Buchanan as inaugural General Manager.
  • The appointment follows a strong 12 months of membership growth, up 325% since launching last year.
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The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has announced the launch of its “Insights and Innovation” series of webinars for members in conjunction with media owners.

Over the next five months, an exclusive IMAA member only webinar series will be held with each of the IMAA’s media owner partners especially tailored for independent media agencies to inspire and inform members.

Each webinar will focus on specific issues, trends and innovations, business updates and looking ahead to 2021.

For example, the Foxtel webinar looked at the US election with Annelise Nielsen, live from the campaign trail in Miami, while Foxtel CEO Mark Frain discussed what is coming up in 2021.

Verizon Media will also look ahead at the opportunities to supercharge brands in 2021 and unveil some exclusive product reviews.

Other media owners participating include ARN, EMX, Facebook, JCDecaux, Kargo, News Corp, Network Ten, Nine Network, Nova, oOh!media, QMS, Quantcast, SCA, Seven Network, Shopper Media, Spotify, Val Morgan and VMO.

Foxtel CEO, Mark Frain, said: “The collective push and support that the IMAA champions is something that Foxtel Media is hugely supportive of. We also believe that we have an important role to play in empowering our partners across the IMAA with a depth of insight into our audiences and direct access to the breadth of our talent. The Insights and Innovation webinar series is a fantastic initiative, and we were proud to help the IMAA launch this to the market.”

Verizon Media Managing Director ANZ, Paul Sigaloff, said: “There has never been a more important time to bring the industry together, connect with and inspire one another. The IMAA plays a pivotal role in doing that. As a founding member, we’re proud to support the Insights and Innovation series building on Verizon Media’s commitment to look after the people within the media industry at large. We are focused on being good partners, being good members of the advertising industry and good citizens to society. Our hope is to share insights and ideas that inspire the indies and build on their digital skillset.”

Quantcast Commercial Director ANZ, Craig Bonser, said: “Quantcast is delighted to be a part of the IMAA’s Insights and Innovation series. We have always been a huge supporter of independent agencies and being involved in this series will give us the opportunity to share, on a larger scale, some exciting insight pieces with key ‘topical’ takeaways that can hopefully advise and inspire agency members.

“With a live lens into the open internet and being at the forefront of privacy, data and insights, Quantcast has a unique view of the online world and this can help to really inform independent agencies on the key trends, innovation and things to consider for their clients as we head into 2021. We look forward to sharing some actionable insights that, most importantly, will benefit agencies’ clients.”

News Corp Australia Managing Director of National Sales, Lou Barrett, said: “The IMAA plays a very important role in our industry, they are incredibly collaborative and deliver real value. Supporting the IMAA’s Insights and Innovation series underlines our commitment to clients and agencies to provide them with invaluable insights and new ideas to help grow their business.”

IMAA General Manager, Sam Buchanan, said: “Our COVID-19 series of webinars for members, covering areas such as legal, HR and the economic outlook, have been really well received by members. Given we are still operating with COVID restrictions, we wanted to give each of our media partners a unique opportunity to engage with members. The ‘Insights and Innovation’ series will continue weekly into the new year and we’ve had a fantastic response so far.”



Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA), the national, not for profit industry association for the independent media agency industry, has welcomed four new media partners: Spotify, Kargo, EMX and Quantcast.



Kargo is the leader in creating mobile advertising experiences that elevate brands and motivate consumers.

Kargo General Manager APAC, Robert Leach, said that independent, locally grounded media agencies were essential to the industry.

“The IMAA provides an arena for agencies to collaborate and celebrate the benefits of being independent, Australian-owned media agencies. While we are a branch of a nearly 20-year old company in the US, Kargo Australia launched just four years ago, with a focus on working with many of these independent agencies, sharing in their mobile advertising challenges and working to help solve them on what is now the largest media platform, both locally and globally,” he said.

“Independent agencies represent approximately 30% of media spend in Australia and are vital to a healthy media landscape. They tend to have a strong client focus, and to be extremely nimble in the face of an ever-changing market landscape. This ‘start-up’ mentality adopted by the independent agencies, is a natural fit with Kargo’s innovation and adaptability; we’re very excited to partner with the IMAA into 2021.”

EMX is a global digital advertising marketplace serving publishers, advertisers, and agencies with programmatic ad technology and advertising solutions.

EMX APAC Managing Director, Deryck Wills, said: ”The IMAA is a breath of fresh air and couldn’t come at a better time. As a media technology business that specialises in working with independent agencies, we are excited to be considered a partner of the IMAA and looking forward to supporting the Australian independent agencies.”

Quantcast is an audience intelligence and measurement company, headquartered in San Francisco. Combining machine learning, a privacy-by-design approach, and live data drawn from more than 100 million online destinations, Quantcast provides software, information and advertising services for marketers, publishers and advertising agencies worldwide.

Quantcast Commercial Director ANZ, Craig Bonser, said: We are extremely excited to partner with the IMAA and increase our ongoing support for independent agencies. We are in the fortunate position that we already have the pleasure of working with the vast majority of the IMAA members, often as an extension of their agency teams to help assist in delivering their respective digital planning, insights and activation strategies for clients. 

“We are looking forward to working closer with the IMAA and its client base as we roll out further insights, education and thought leadership into the ever changing online world,  with measurement, privacy/consent and life after the cookie – watch this space.”

Spotify is the world leader in audio streaming, bringing music and podcasts to over 299 million users in 92 markets.

IMAA General Manager, Sam Buchanan, said: “Our media partners provide valuable advice, insights, webinars and resources to our growing IMAA membership and we are delighted to welcome our newest media partners. It demonstrates both the strength and importance of the independent media agency sector and media partners recognise the vital role we play in the broader industry. We are looking forward to a big year in 2021.”

Media spending & COVID-19

Buying & selling in year of upheaval. Interested in the impact at agencies?

Listen to the podcast with The IMAA’s Dominic Pearman and Nine’s Michael Stephenson about the insights into how the media and ad sectors are dealing with sector shut-downs and reduced media spends. Joining a special Mediaweek podcast are the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) co-founder, and MD and founder of Pearman Media, Dominic Pearman plus Nine‘s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson. Read more here.


The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA), the new, national, not for profit industry association for the independent media agency industry, has welcomed nine new members.

The new members are: Alchemy One, Indago Digital, Leonards Advertising, The Media Precinct, Mentor Marketing, Next & Co, Oddfish Media, Pivotus and Valore Media.

Members receive a range of benefits including a formalised network of industry leaders, a code of conduct, staff training, pitch support, IMAA certification and membership of the world’s largest independent agency network, thenetworkone.

“The IMAA now has members across Australia, as the independent media agency sector continues to thrive. We’ve already been able to offer our members some great benefits, including our series of COVID-19 webinars with experts and the media, and we have some exciting plans ahead. We would like to welcome our newest members and look forward to their input,” the IMAA Leadership Team said.

Alchemy One Managing Director, Joel Trethowan, said: “Joining the IMAA is such an exciting opportunity. The service, passion and dedication independent agencies provide is our collective competitive advantage to the holding groups and our work and client testimonials are a testament to that.

“The IMAA presents an incredible platform and network to drive and empower independent agencies in Australia, helping raise the voice about the difference and benefit in working with an independent agency. We believe and continue to see that independents are the future of the industry as more than ever clients are looking for passionate individuals they can work with end-to-end, who they can trust and connect with in the way of a partner, not a vendor.”

Indago Digital Managing Director, Gary Nissim, said: “Independent agencies are continuing to provide better service, results and value for money than the agency groups. Banding together with likeminded people will allow us to better educate the market and ensure more clients receive the benefits or using a smaller, typically owner-managed agency.”  

Leonards Advertising CEO, Kate Faithorn, said: “Never has the time been better and the urgency as great for an association of independent media agencies in Australia. By banding together through the IMAA, indies are able to have a collective voice, shared intelligence and maintain a vital position in servicing Australian businesses in an age of multinational holding companies and dramatic media ownership changes.”

Mentor Marketing Director, Amanda Reid, said: “‘Like attracts like’ and the IMAA does exactly that; provides an exciting opportunity for likeminded agencies to come together, support each other and work collaboratively. Whether it be our sheer passion for media, our core beliefs in the benefits associated with being independent or our industry experience, the IMAA represents these shared strengths.”

Next & Co Head of Strategy, Nick Grinberg, said: “We wanted to connect ourselves with like-minded agencies all striving to make a mark as indies.  We are very excited and believe there is huge potential in this network”.

Pivotus CEO, Michael Petersen, said: “I applied to join the IMAA because being an independently owned and operated digital ad agency comes with a few negatives alongside the many positives. One negative is that unless we’re well networked in the industry and avid learners, we’re destined to repeat the mistakes of those that have been where we’re planning to go. I see the IMAA as an opportunity for us to connect with those with ‘been there, done that’ experience. It’s an opportunity to smooth the road ahead for myself, our team and our clients.”

The IMAA’s purpose is to:

  • Promote the benefits of working with independent media agencies, including the benefit of working directly with the owners of these agencies and their staff;
  • Build further respect for independent media agencies by promoting the experience, care and flexibility that they provide;
  • Educate advertisers about the value independent media agencies can bring to their business;
  • Promote collaboration between independent media agencies as a forum to share knowledge;
  • Create a verified platform for reputable and established independent media agencies;
  • Build the Australian economy through supporting 100% Australian owned independent media agencies, meaning that money stays in Australia.

For further information contact:
Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577 


Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) today announced an alliance with thenetworkone, the world’s largest independent agency network, that provides its members with a range of benefits and access to events.

Established in 2006, thenetworkone is the world’s largest network for independent agencies of all disciplines, with 1,200 agency members across 109 countries.  Members are provided with a network-on-demand that enables them to find partners and specialists where and when they need them.  thenetworkone enables independent agencies to compete effectively with the major communications holding companies and consulting businesses.

As part of the alliance, all IMAA members will also become members of thenetworkone, with benefits including its free inter-agency staff exchange, member events, newsletters, reviews, networking and information sharing.

thenetworkone can also facilitate agency partnerships if IMAA members require agencies in other disciplines beyond media, in Australia or in other markets, including the creation of bespoke networks of ‘go-to-partners’ for specialist agencies that require a depth of knowledge, such as healthcare.

thenetworkone Director, Paul Squirrell, said: “We are excited to be working with the IMAA and providing its members with access to hundreds of potential best-in-class partner agencies around the world to learn from, share and collaborate with.

“We truly believe that an agency no longer needs to own all the resources that a client might require to deliver a media campaign.  Instead, why not just seek out the best partner and solution for a particular project?  This is a network on-demand and, it works because independent agencies are naturally curious and collaborative!

“By building a relationship with the IMAA and its members, thenetworkone hopes to encourage inbound business activity to Australian media agencies and also empowering those same agencies to compete for, win and deliver international media assignments. We are looking forward to working together.”

IMAA Chairman, Dominic Pearman, said: “We are delighted to be a part of thenetworkone and all the benefits it brings to our members. The IMAA was established as a not for profit industry association that gives the thriving independent media agency industry a collaborative voice and supports Australian owned businesses. The alliance with thenetworkone allows our members’ access to a fantastic global resource of a range of independent agencies.

“There are many benefits for advertisers to work with independent media agencies, one of the most important being the depth and longevity of experience they provide and staff consistency and stability. Specialist skills from around the world and knowledge sharing capabilities will now also be at our fingertips.”

The IMAA and thenetworkone will host a member webinar for Australian members on Wednesday 6 May at 4.00pm where Paul Squirrell will discuss what it means to be part of the wider group and the resources members have access to.

thenetworkone has also announced “Webinar Wednesday”, a series of webinars featuring nine leading presenters from The Indie Summit discussing a variety of topics from ‘how to lead an agency through a crisis’ to ‘where agency new business really comes from’.   These webinars are available free for independent agency leaders.

For further information contact:
Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577 

Paul Squirrell
Director, thenetworkone
+44 (0)20 7240 7117


‘Awkward’: Indie media agencies blocked by trade insurance groups – not ‘in this together’.

Key points:

  • The independent media agency sector may be one of the hardest hit in the coronavirus pandemic
  • Trade credit insurance is a (substantial) cost of doing business in the sector
  • Some insurance companies are effectively penalising Australian-owned businesses as they ‘de-risk’ themselves, leaving agencies in the awkward position of asking clients for money up front
  • Long term customer relationships and being there in good times and bad doesn’t seem to apply to some in the insurance sector. We are definitely not ‘all in this together’

Anthony Colreavy, Director of Sandbox Media shares his thoughts on the matter. Click here to read more.