Welcome to Taboo – an advertising agency for a world that hates advertising. We’re a team of thinkers, makers and entrepreneurs, born on the streets over 17 years ago. We work from an understanding that people today are literate, socially-connected and come equipped with an immaculate bullshit detector. Which, sadly, has led to the end of the gloriously convenient age where customers were happy to take a brand at its word. We’ve made it our business to understand the invisible lines between interesting and self-interested. And because of this, we’re specialists in earning attention through creating ideas that people actually want to be a part of.
Customer connection is a fluid concept. Because of this, we’re setting the course on a daily basis, exploring new ideas and ways to connect these with our audiences. This means our capabilities have to continually evolve. Today, they include:
● Brand Strategy ● Concept Development ● Copywriting & Design ● Brand Creation & Development ● Content Creation ● Social Media Management ● Influencer Strategy & Engagement ● Brand Experiences ● Event Production ● Brand Collaboration ● Product Seeding
Macca started Taboo at the tender age of 20. Inspired by a trip to London, he wanted to bring a little art and ingenuity to marketing to his hometown of Melbourne. He couldn’t have known that within just a few short years he would be celebrated as one of the pioneers of guerrilla marketing in Australia. Since then he has helped Taboo to evolve into the dynamic and innovative creative agency it is today. With an eye for cultivating unique talent and an ability to predict trends, he has continuously kept Taboo two steps ahead of the competition.
Macca likes to keep busy. In 2011 he opened the iconic Ponyfish Island Bar on the Yarra River, which later led to the birth of Melbourne City Brewing Company. More recently he has established Assembly House, a hub for burgeoning creative entrepreneurs and freelancers alike. His latest venture, ‘Skymorials,’ is the fastest growing online memorial site in the world. In addition to his creative projects, Macca was honoured to be named president of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation Australia – Victoria Chapter.
The Financial Review recently listed Macca as a ‘must-have’ on any events guest wish list. Is it because he’s a keen juggler? Or genuine black belt in Kung Fu? You’ll just have to meet him and find out.
James joined Taboo in 2015 after spending four years abroad as a Planning Director at StrawberryFrog New York. Prior to that he was at Clemenger BBDO and GPY&R, Melbourne.
James is a strong believer in creative ideas that shape culture and inspire audience participation. This has seen him create iconic global and local campaigns for the likes of Corona, Reebok, PepsiCo, VB and Jim Beam.
Outside Taboo, James is a part owner in a small but growing kombucha brand based in Byron Bay. He’s also a part owner in a small but growing daughter.
Matilda joined Taboo in 2016 after spending 13 years in some of Australia’s most iconic agencies, including Clemenger BBDO, GPY&R Melbourne and Cummins&Partners.
Creatively driven and highly strategic, Matilda brings with her a wealth of experience from a wide variety of brands and sectors, including CUB / Pure Blonde, Mercedes-Benz, HBA, Medibank, Schweppes Australia, Australia Post and Pacific Brands.
She was recently ranked in The Directory’s “Top 50 Account Directors in the world” report and has won over 14 Cannes Lions awards for creativity and effectiveness. In addition, Tilly is a respected industry mentor, an activator of almonds and a mum of a son who has changed his name to “Motorbike”.
Since 2009 Reece has been spearheading Taboo’s creative department, constantly driving the agency’s focus on cutting-edge innovation. With over 15 years industry experience in Canada and Australia, Reece specialises in digital, design, development, experiential and product innovation.
Having unsurpassed experience working in youth markets, Reece is on Nike’s innovation panel and was a guest speaker at Nike’s Asia Pacific Marketing Summit in 2014. He has developed exciting and ground-breaking campaigns for Nike, CUB, NAB, Cadbury, NHLPA, and YAHOO!
Outside of his work at Taboo Reece is one of the founders of Diemen’s Hot Sauce, only one of his successful side ventures that range from art to fashion and beyond.
Kevin, more affectionately known as KD, has had a long career in advertising, starting out as Junior Production Assistant at FCB and going on to pursue a successful career in sales, marketing and communications, which took him around the globe. He was enjoying a successful career in London, specializing in new product development for New Ventures at FCB (now known as Publicis) and Unit D (now, Saatchi) when he was lured back to Australia to take up a Senior Marketing role at H.J Heinz. Then, in a twist of fate, he was recruited as Regional Chairman and CEO of FCB, the same agency he’d started his career at some 20 years earlier.
From there, KD went on to be a founding partner for both BADJAR and Spinach advertising groups, was Chairman of Monash University’s Department of Marketing Advisory Board, and has sat on the boards of a number of both listed and unlisted public companies.
KD plays “Chief” at Taboo, providing us with his valuable advice, expertise and wit, and salami recipes.
Born in the hazy hinterlands of Nimbin and raised in the wilds of rural Victoria, Khia’s inner bogan is never far from the surface, despite her exotic and unpronounceable name.
It wasn’t until Khia saw the Carlton Draught Big Ad that a career in the dark arts of advertising yelled at her from the TV. This lead her to partially realise her dreams, by actually getting to working on Carlton Draught for a time, though without ever actually making a single TV ad.
Fast forward to the moment you’re reading this and thanks to beer, she’s wrangled all manner of creatives, in all sorts of agencies across a client list so varied it’d make a Campaign Brief troll weak at the finger tips – including Honda, CUB, Mars Petcare, Asaleo Care, La Trobe University and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
New Zealand: the land of the long white cloud. It’s also the land of the long white man – Ollie Reeves.
As a young man in NZ, Ollie had a fetish for texting. So, like anybody would he founded his own text marketing company. He also worked as a Digital Ad Consultant for the largest radio & TV network before scoring his first gig in an agency.
After a life-changing Skype interview, he packed his bags and moved to Melbourne where he’s worked on some of the biggest, and smallest, brands in the world, though he’s only mentioning the big ones: Heineken, Kronenburg and Carlsberg, Australian Super, AGN, Laminex and Sensis.
Now he’s here. Staring at you. Probably wanting a beer.
Raised a nomad, Nick spent his childhood in lots of really hot, faraway places where freckly pale kids live like vampires.
This gypsy-like existence manifested itself into his career where, like a toddler easily distracted by shiny things, his limited attention span helped him amass a widely diverse creative career.
From making a rogue TV show in the ad breaks during David Letterman and running Lifelounge.com, Australia’s original youth culture publication, to making ads and brand activations for agencies both big and small, he’s very happy to call Taboo home. Nick brings a wealth of experience from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne where he was creative director of Activation, working on clients including MARS Chocolate, Petcare, CUB, Nike and Fonterra.
He also shaved his beard off once and everyone at work made fun of him.
We are proud to call the following companies our clients.