Brian Merrifield

Brian Merrifield 

A well awarded Creative Director and a pretty awesome cook. His adventurous nature comes from a love of food and he'll pretty much eat anything, except panda… well maybe panda.

Brian’s work explored a few places during his 15 year advertising career – mainly Saatchi & Saatchi in NZ and Sydney but also for The Monkeys and most recently Ogilvy.

With over fifteen years experience Brian has contributed to an extensive client list across many categories, including a few that has forced him to get in touch with his feminine side.


James Crawley

James Crawley

Raised on wholemeal bread and orange juice, James spent his formative years inventing friends and abusing his parents' dial-up connection.

He’s worked as a wedding photographer, a dish-pig and a grunt in a ribbon making factory. 

Soul destroying jobs weren't something he was particularly keen on – so he spent some time at university earning an extremely expensive piece of paper. It was here that he wrangled a job at Clemenger Harvie Edge, and started working with Jane. 

James has since had a haircut,  and figured out that he was good at something. He’s won a modest sack of awards while working on clients like Coca-Cola, American Express and Qantas – and was a recent winner of B&T's 30-under-30.

Jane Burhop

Jane Burhop

Little is known about the origins of Jane Burhop. Some say she hails from that weird part of the internet, others believe she was born with purple hair.

Despite all this, she managed to sneak into the advertising industry and has been causing havoc ever since.

Half writer, half voyeur, Jane is forever trying to cram more things into her head. Once it’s full, she hopes to be noticeably better at life. Aside from her countless accolades and achievements, she is notorious for hanging upside down when she’s tired. Jane is a recent winner of B&T's 30-under-30.



Alex Don

Alex is Common Ventures’ Senior Account Director.  Aside from his obvious charms, Alex not only wrangles and woos the pants off our most valued clients, but he also plays Golden Eye on the hardest level.

As our resident expert on everything, Alex is our go-to guy for random facts and vague movie references. With a chockas inbox and a calendar to match, Alex also has an impressive collection of nicknames. From Suit, Suity-pants, Chris, The Man In The Ironed Shirt to the more commonly used – Alice, you’d be foolish to use his real name.

After 5 years of 9 till 9 days at Ogilvy and Mather and The Monkeys for clients like Telstra, American Express, FOXTEL, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, TattsBet and Tony Ferguson, Alex has finally joined the team to help lead our plans in world domination. Mwaha ha ha ha.



Alice Rivas

Hailing from the land of baguettes and the metric system, Alice left school believing she was pretty fluent in English. She then went to study in Northern Ireland.

A few pints and cultural shocks later, Alice found herself in Australia where she decided our unique concept of ‘brunch’ and our irrational love of bacon suited her better than spuds and Guinness.

Besides poached eggs at 11 o’clock, Alice’s real love is directing. Be it actors at the local French theatre, or confused creatives in our weekly WIP, Alice has the certain je ne sais quoi of a Project Manager who can make anyone happily do exactly what she wants, before she needs it.

Come to think of it, maybe this job was her idea too... Either way, we’re happy to have her with us managing clients, deadlines and the odd poached egg.

Tom Nickeas 

Some call him a renegade, some call him bat-shit crazy. One thing is for sure – Tom’s skill as a designer is as clear as #00000 and #FFFFFF. His designs could be featured in The Louvre, Tate Modern or page 15 of New Idea.

If you can think it, dream it or brief it – Tom can make it. Just don’t ask him to run anywhere. Tom would rather use Microsoft Paint for the rest of his career than get his meat stilts moving at any pace above a ‘leisurely stroll’.

Besides making pretty pictures for our clients and more pretty pictures in his spare time, Tom’s other hobbies include wearing tight jeans in summer, discussing David Lynch and James Bond movies.



Patrick Feary

An amateur filmmaker, occasional radio presenter and aspiring foot model, Patrick’s initial interest in a film career diminished when he realised he was a terrible barista, the most common job in the Australian film industry.

Lucky for Patrick, he soon discovered his penchant for visual trickery and word stuff could also be applied to advertising, so he put them to good use as Vodafone’s Branded Content Manager.

Since then Patrick’s produced content-led campaigns for brands like eBay, NRMA Insurance and Woolworths Liquor Group, and one time he worked in a video shop.
As the team’s Creative Strategist, he insists that men’s flared jeans are on the cusp of a comeback.


Emily Dawson

Growing up with ABC kids shows and classical music, it was only natural that Em would embrace her quirkiness early on and become a self-confessed nerd, complete with a glasses and braces phase in high school.

Emily cut her teeth with the Sydney Fringe Festival and Google while studying a Bachelor of Business at UTS. She’s now our Junior Strategist, building her problem-solving skills while being our resident expert on answering obscure and nerdy trivia questions.

On weeknights and weekends you can find Emily shimmying away at one of Sydney’s Latin dance events, or belting out hits of the 80s and 90s at karaoke. She will never turn down a cup of tea or a Tim Tam, and sits so unobtrusively in a corner of the office that we sometimes call her Sneaky.



Emily Bongart

Since migrating from the arctic temperatures of Minnesota to our sun-kissed shores, Emily has conquered both sides of the advertising world. From starting out as an intern copywriter at Saatchi & Saatchi to impressing our dons — she’s since become our brand new Junior Creative Strategist.

Don’t let her small stature fool you, she grew up as the oldest and shortest sibling which means she’s as tough as The Rock holding a rock. The only time she ever lets down her Xena-like toughness is in the presence of adorable dogs or when she’s pity-laughing at her co-workers jokes.

Aside from being our token American, Emily has provided the office with outstanding creative strategy for clients and has taught us how to appropriately dress for minus 50-degree weather.



Sometimes I see a ball and then I run towards the ball and almost all of the time I eat the ball. I also enjoy completely destroying James’ brand new Havianas. 

Everyone tells me I am a good boy but they never let me eat their bacon so I just look intently at their bacon and hope that one day they will give me some or all of that bacon. I have no idea what advertising is but I am available to come to briefing sessions if you want to meet me. Make sure to bring bacon and fresh Havianas. 

Wally is a Dog at Common Ventures.