KPMG adds Media Value Advisory to growing CMO Advisory practice

Consulting giant recruits former Zenith MD to head up latest specialty unit

Hot on the heels of launching a Social Media Advisory group, KPMG Australia has brought on former Zenith managing director, Karen Halligan, to lead a new Media Value Advisory practice focused on the rapidly changing media, publishing and advertising landscape.

The new media unit sits under KPMG’s Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory, which officially launched late last year and is led by Carmen Bekker. Its remit is to provide independent, informed and optimised investment advice across the media value chain by tackling issues such as technology change, disintermediation and measurement. The Media Value Advisory practice will operate in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Halligan joins as director, after spending 20 years covering media buying, strategy and optimisation professionally. Her resume includes agency roles at Zenith, Mediacom and Universal McCann, along with in-house roles at South Cross Austereo and Coca-Cola.

KPMG Customer, Brand and marketing Advisory partner-in-charge, Paul Howes, said the launch of Media Value Advisory is a direct response to the boardroom needs of clients.The group pointed out $15 billion is estimated to be spent on on advertising each year in Australia.

“Between Carmen’s extensive global experience and Karen’s leadership in the Australian media landscape, the new team is well equipped to help clients navigate the challenges of the media landscape,” he said.

Halligan said the focus is on both local and international organisations and advertisers as well as publishers.

“The Australian media industry has been my passion for over 20 years, and there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of this industry as it continues to evolve,” she commented. “I look forward to bringing the expertise and capabilities of KPMG to this exciting sector.”

It's a tumultuous time for the digital advertising industry, which has been wracked by a lack of transparency, inefficiencies, and brand safety concerns. Just last week, Unilever CMO, Keith Weed, took another swipe at the ongoing challenges the media supply chain faces, suggesting the FMCG giant may boycott goliaths, Facebook and Google, for failing to protect consumers and brands from extremist content on their platforms.

Read more: Industry weighs up ramifications of Unilever removing Google, Facebook digital ad budgets

Halligan joins a host of well-known faces in KPMG’s rapidly expanding marketing services division, including former Virgin Australia chief customer officer, Mark Hassell, ex-Google staffer, Lisa Bora, former Acuity executive, Amanda Hicks, and former One Green Bean director, Louise Pogmore.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook:, or check us out on


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