Ikon’s James Sawyer appointed TotallyAwesome MD

As published on Mumbrella on 24 March 2021

The former managing partner of WPP media agency Ikon, James Sawyer, has joined TotallyAwesome as managing director across the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Sawyer spent 13 and a half years at Ikon, which included almost 4 years as managing partner. At TotallyAwesome, a platform connecting advertisers and media agencies with children, teenagers, and their families, he will lead the media and content team.

James Sawyer

At the start of the year, the business announced Alice Almeida would consult to TotallyAwesome and develop its data, research and insights portfolio. The platform’s purpose is to allow children to safely interact with brands on the internet, through apps, games and websites. It has more than 300 million monthly users across the Asia Pacific region, and 8 million across Australia and New Zealand.

The company’s APAC CEO, Will Anstee, said he began speaking to Sawyer about the role in January.

“James is the ideal executive for this key role,” Anstee said.

“He is a highly respected media leader with finely tuned analytical, performance leadership and partnership skills. The business in ANZ and across APAC has enormous growth potential and James will play a vital role in helping us realise this potential.”

Before his lengthy stint at Ikon, Sawyer worked at Foxtel as head of media, and spent four years at Dentsu’s media agency Carat and five at Omnicom creative agency DDB.

“While still very much working in media, leading TotallyAwesome ANZ to its next phase is a career changer for me and I am looking forward to joining the business,” Sawyer said of his new role.

“As the industry moves away from cookie-based targeting TotallyAwesome is poised for growth through its visionary kid-safe technology and privacy-compliant digital ecosystem. This ensures a safe environment for young audiences to engage with branded content.”