CoLab is a specialist consultancy offering senior leadership at the intersection of media and technology.
Our consultants are well-connected industry practitioners based in UK and Australia who learned their craft working for global organisations including the BBC, The Guardian and Microsoft.
We are collaborative problem solvers and truth seekers. We offer clients deep sector knowledge, an impartial view on the best path forward, and a partner prepared to get in the trenches.
Our model means we can take on a wide variety of projects (matching specialists to each specific brief), however most projects fit within the following areas:
market entry strategy
technology partner evaluation
acquisition targeting and evaluation
The media industry is changing faster than most companies can prepare for. This creates enormous opportunity for new ventures and major disruption for established businesses. Both need flexible access to skills, experience and contacts beyond their existing teams.
Most consultancy businesses are either too small, too big or too biased. Our clients want deep sector knowledge across very varied subjects from a collaborative partner that they can trust.
Duncan has over 18 years of digital advertising experience gained in both media owner and agency roles in the UK and Australia. He founded CoLab in Sydney in 2015.
He has worked extensively with advertising technology, particularly for the publishing side of the industry. Most recently he was Managing Director at Illuma, an AI-driven contextual targeting start-up. Prior to this he was interim CEO for KPEX, a programmatic co-operative involving the largest publishers in New Zealand. And before this he was Commercial Director at The Guardian in Australia, where he led all local sales operations including for The Pangaea Alliance.
In his most recent agency-side role, Duncan was Director of Digital Services at Initiative, where he launched and developed the Australian digital operations and led strategy for major local and international brands including Emirates, Hyundai, Kia, Macquarie Bank and Fairfax.
Tom is a well-known senior advisor, consultant and industry speaker who has helped transform digital advertising practice for multiple, global brands including BBC Worldwide, MSN and ZDNet.
Most recently he was CEO of Intelligent Optimisations, a machine-learning platform operating in the programmatic advertising space. Before this he was SVP of Advertising at BBC Worldwide, where he managed the advertising launch of bbc.com and was responsible for revenue for both television and digital products.
Prior to this Tom spent 10 years with MSN: first, launching UK ad sales, then leading global sales development across EMEA, LATAM and APAC.
Tom served for several years as an elected Board member of IAB Europe and was recognized as IAB Europe’s Personality of the Year in 2013. For four years he was a mentor on the BBC Worldwide Labs programme, assisting emerging UK digital and technology companies.
Typically we work with media owners seeking tech partners or tech owners seeking media partners, but we have also been engaged by industry bodies, agency groups and brands.
"Duncan was hired as Consulting CEO for KPEX Ltd in October 2015 and immediately took a roughly formed concept and turned it into a successful business which has consistently performed ahead of plan. He is able to think strategically about how a market will respond to products and sell those products effectively. Duncan is an excellent communicator and throws himself into opportunities to ensure that they succeed."
Robert Hutchinson, Chairman, KPEX
"CoLab Media Consulting worked with us to create a dedicated display media offer that encompasses desktop, mobile and video assets. The team designed a strategy that was sympathetic to our core objectives, and worked collaboratively with us and our influencers at every step on the way. They managed to take onboard the feedback and requirements of multiple stakeholders and create a solution that worked for all, and essentially became an extension of our team. We could not recommend the team more - they are smart thinkers who truly get the media landscape, are extremely professional - and are fun to work with!"
Lorraine Murphy, Founder, The Remarkables Group
"[CoLab] delivered a comprehensive options document on how to launch a new channel to market. Their knowledge of the programmatic advertising market is extensive and they have a great mixture of technology and business experience to deliver the right proposal for Fairfax."
Robert Hutchinson, Product Development Director, Fairfax Media New Zealand