Ten Years on from the First 30 Under 30: Aden Hepburn

While most year 12 students were studying hard for final exams or planning where to go for “schoolies”, Aden Hepburn was designing websites for local businesses in his final year of school.

Under the spotlight today is VMLY&R ANZ Boss Aden Hepburn, who shares the role with Pete Bosilkovski following the merger of the two agencies last year. Known for his expertise in digital, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the industry, we sat down with Aden to find out his take on the awards and attracting and retaining young talent in Australia.


Then: head of digital/interactive, Ideaworks

Now: joint chief executive officer, VMLY&R ANZ

As a year 12 student in 2002, Aden Hepburn started designing websites for local businesses. By the end of the year he couldn’t keep up with the demand.

The following year Hepburn completed an advanced diploma in website design and development, and quickly scored his first agency role: a “web designer” position.

As with most small agencies, it was all hands on deck and apart from quickly progressing to lead the design team, he was writing code, working on digital strategies and pitching large multi-national clients, all in his first year! He then moved to Ideaworks in 2005.

Hepburn started his own blog, Digital Buzz, and after just over 12 months of late nights, the blog was ranked in Ad Age’s Power 150 blogs and had become the #1 marketing blog in Australia.

Former colleague John McLachlan, who led operations for Ideaworks gave his take: “In the digital field, Aden has proven himself to be greatly knowledgeable – through physical application and also his leading industry blog – highly capable and above all passionate about everything he undertakes… Overall, the level of maturity and confidence that Aden exudes belies his years.”


Read the rest of the interview here.

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