Reading Room expands Australian operations

Digital consultancy Reading Room is expanding further into Australia, opening an office in Brisbane, Queensland – its third in the country since 2001.

This means that the UK group, which has offices in London and Manchester employing 100, now has a presence in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

Margaret Manning, chief executive at the consultancy, says, ‘Australia has already come out of recession and it’s an amazing growth market.’

The Australian economy is the only developed economy to expand in 2009 and this month interest rates have risen from 3 per cent to 3.25 per cent in Australia.

Reading Room’s Canberra and Sydney offices employ a combined total of 25 people and the Brisbane office will look to recruit ten people ahead of its opening on 1 January 2010. ‘We’ve been out here hiring people. We’ll hire people in the UK to take them out here and vice versa,’ says Manning.

There is a synergy between the UK and Australian markets, according to Manning, who says both appeal to education, leisure and tourism industries.

‘Brisbane’s main export is education. They’re knee-deep in universities. Queensland has an enormous amount of talent and it’s also the centre for the gaming industry.’

The consultancy has worked with the Australian Museum in Sydney and the Queensland Museum in Brisbane and is retained by both.

Manning is keen to cement the permanence of the move and says, ‘We’re out here in Brisbane looking to buy offices, [rather then rent].’

There are plans to use the Australian offices as a ‘springboard’ to win work in Asian markets. ‘I’d rather be looking to Asia than the Americas over the next few years, using the Australian offices as outposts.’

Manning believes the Brisbane office, will stand the consultancy in good stead strategically and geographically.

‘Digital will bring video, TV, post-production, Internet and gaming closer together in the next five years. How, and what effect it will have, we don’t yet know, but it will be pushing these boundaries.’

INTERCONTINENTAL AMBITION:

  • Reading Room’s Sydney Office opened up in 2001
  • A second office in Canberra opened up in 2004
  • The new Brisbane office will open up in January 2010
  • In the UK, The Distillery, a new digital marketing division set up by the Reading Room’s Manchester office, is set to open. Former executive creative director of Code Computer Love, Wes Hogg, will head up its creative team

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