Hearts & Science is making moves to realise its full potential as a global media agency brand, with exciting changes to its senior Australian leadership team.

Returning to Omnicom Media Group (OMG) after two years, Darren Stein is appointed Hearts’ Managing Director Australia. He joins Luke Hutchinson, newly promoted to Chief Operating Officer Australia, and CEO ANZ Jane Stanley, to lead Hearts & Science across Sydney and Melbourne.

In creating a truly cross-market leadership team, the trio will drive the agency’s ambition to build more joined up, valuable connections, both across the two offices and between clients’ brands and their customers.

Darren Stein, starting at the beginning of April, will lead Hearts’ growth across strategy and product innovation. He brings with him over 20 years in senior agency and client positions covering analytics, research, data, tech and marketing strategy, most recently as Global CEO of marketing advisory, strategy and analytics company, Forethought. Having previously headed up OMG’s data & analytics agency, Annalect, across ANZ, he will return to this position in addition to his new role at Hearts & Science.

As Chief Operations Officer Australia, Hearts’ former Chief Investment Officer Luke Hutchinson will now take on the daily operations of Hearts & Science across Sydney and Melbourne. With 20 years’ experience in the media industry and 10+ in senior investment positions, he will focus on ensuring media planning and activation is delivered to the highest quality and value.

The trio is completed by Jane Stanley CEO, who took the ANZ reins in April 2022, after successfully growing Hearts & Science from scratch in New Zealand. Since joining the team, she has been busy working with internal teams and clients to build the Australian proposition.

“After more than 25 years in data, tech, creative and media, delivering the Hearts & Science proposition is a real passion point for me”, says Jane “That careful balance of designing meaningful and valuable connections to grow brands with the use of data and tech, is where the media world needs to be. It’s that equation of the Heart and the Science that will drive effective media solutions and we’ve been busy building a team across Australia to fulfil that purpose. I am looking forward to working once again with Darren with all his consultancy and product experience, and continuing to work with Luke, with his exemplary understanding of the Australian media market.”

Darren says: “I am so happy to be returning to Omnicom, the best overall media operation in the region. By straddling Hearts & Science and Annalect we will ensure clients have access to industry-leading media optimisation and holistic measurement, and operate as close to the edge of technological capability as they are comfortable with – and the industry can achieve – at any point in time. Hearts & Science was built on the back of this promise, and I can’t wait to evolve its next iteration for the benefit of our clients and their customers.”

Luke says I am excited about working with Jane and Darren to realise our ambitions for Hearts across 2023 and beyond. It’s been a fantastic journey since launching in ANZ in 2019, with our brilliant team delivering great work and outcomes for both existing and new clients. Now with the increased complexity in reaching and engaging consumers daily, we’re focused on continuing to build our team capability and operations to deliver new, creative, and effective solutions.”

Hearts & Science is part of Omnicom Media Group, the largest media agency network in Australia.

Peter Horgan, OMG CEO ANZ, says: “Darren had an enormous impact across all our clients when he led OMG’s data & analytics offering at Annalect and we are delighted to have him working back with the team once again. By bringing that experience to Hearts & Science and creating a formidable trio with Jane and Luke to drive Hearts’ proposition in Australia, we will take the original and compelling Hearts & Science offering as a data-driven marketing agency from strength to strength.”