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    ‘Hubris is a bit much’: Industry split on ‘big story’ of Mat Baxter joining Mutinex

    There’s plenty of industry praise for Mat Baxter‘s new gig as APAC CEO of Mutinex. Not from Ben Shepherd.

    Outspoken executive Baxter didn’t hold back in interviews announcing his news, saying in one: “99.9% of marketers don’t have a fucking clue, and if they have no idea what their budgets are doing, they deserve to be fired.”

    In a LinkedIn post, Shepherd, the former agency exec who’s now CEO of Schwartz, gave the comments a bad review: “I have worked with loads of marketers and this statement is such a lazy generalisation designed to get the hot take machine ticking.

    “It’s hard to understand the end game of this new sweary style of ‘marketing to marketers’, which is basically telling them how stupid they all are but doing it in public.”

    In the comments section, Shepherd added that the “worst thing you can do as an analyst is rock up to a specialist doing their job, point to the data, and call them an idiot for doing what they are doing.

    “It seems to be a weird flex to bang on about how dumb everyone is (i.e. your potential customers) and also in the same breath talk about all the money you’re going to make (assuming from all these dumb dumb marketers who can’t add 2 and 2 together). Good for them but the hubris is a bit much.”

    James Greet agreed with Shepherd, with the former OMD and Mindshare CEO writing on Shepherd’s post: “Totally with you… all utter tosh! Leave ‘em to it.”

    In response to Shepherd’s thoughts, Baxter told Mediaweek: “He’s entitled to his opinion. As am I.”

    Earlier this month, Baxter clashed with TrinityP3’s Darren Woolley in the LinkedIn comments section, as Mediaweek reported on the pair’s initial disagreement over a promotional TikTok video featuring US media agency bosses, and their eventual resolution.

    ‘The market’s shit’

    Baxter gives an honest interview. In his chat with Mediaweek ahead of his Mutinex news going live, he said: “The market’s shit … for an industry that prides itself on telling clients they innovate and be disruptive, the advertising industry is the least innovative, forward-thinking and adapted to change in the entire world, in my view.”

    Baxter described the Mutinex product, what it aims to provide to the industry, and how agencies work as “revolutionary.”

    “The number one thing I learnt at Huge is for all these people that profess to be innovative, different and creative, when you ask them to change, guess what they do? They implode. They freak out.”

    He said that while the industry is “not ready to change”, the team at Mutinex is “driving a change that has to happen.”

    Ferrier and Wright: ‘It’s a big story’

    Baxter has plenty of fans, though. Among them is Thinkerbell co-founder Adam Ferrier; the pair co-founded Naked Communications 20 years ago.

    “The best way to answer this question is with emojis: ‘Hubris is a bit much’: Industry split on ‘big story’ of Mat Baxter joining Mutinex🧨 - Mat Baxter, Adam Ferrier emoji😁🦄  ,” he told Mediaweek.

    “I’m extremely happy for them both [Baxter and Mutinex co-founder and global CEO Henry Innis] and will be amazed if they don’t quickly become the new global benchmark in informed marketing decision-making. It’s a big story.”

    Stephen Wright, TrinityP3’s business director media, also lauded the Mutinex appointment and Baxter’s “stellar track record”.

    Wright told Mediaweek: “Be it Naked, UM, Initiative, or Huge – he always has an impact.

    “Mat always loves to challenge the ‘status quo’ and at a time when marketers are very focused on ROI this appointment makes a lot of sense.

    “He provides Mutinex with a vote of confidence from a well-respected global media leader together with an enhanced strategic approach without losing any of the energy, excitement, and dynamism exuded by Henry.”

    ‘Clients, agencies, board and CFOs do not understand the outcomes of their marketing investment’

    Baxter told Mediweek that Mutinex needs to cause disruption. “You have an industry obsessed with patting themselves on the back and telling themselves how creative they are, not on how good the results are,” he said.

    Proudly evangelising the product, he called it a “category breaker” and said that clients, agencies, boards, and CFOs “do not understand the outcomes of their marketing investment” or “have any idea where their money is best spent.”

    “This is a simple decision-enabling tool. It might sound simplistic, but it’s revolutionary.”

    “It’s a dynamic decision-enabling system that does not exist anywhere else in the market. Not just in Australia but anywhere. That is why I got excited about it.

    “I think clients will have a huge amount of value out of it, and I think our market needs it because agencies and clients need to become way more accountable for growth.

    “The hint is in the name GrowthOS. It’s not data analytics, it’s not this or that. It’s GrowthOS.”

    Top image: Mat Baxter

    The post ‘Hubris is a bit much’: Industry split on ‘big story’ of Mat Baxter joining Mutinex appeared first on Mediaweek.

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