Ad Age Rising Star is an extension of Ad Age Leading Women. The honor recognizes those just making their mark on the advertising, marketing and media world, showing the promise of great leadership in less than three years at their current company.
Phoebe Sloane and Huei Yin Wong are supporting women in creativity
A big red telephone has become the symbol for The Aunties—a support system for women and other marginalized genders in creative industries calling for help. The network is the work of 12 members of the Melbourne Advertising Design Creativity (MADC) club, including Phoebe Sloane, senior copywriter, and Huei Yin Wong, senior art director, both at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.
In less than a year, Sloane and Wong, along with their team, have paired more than 500 women in various stages of their careers to become mentors and allies. The program, which was formed after Melbourne’s 262-day COVID-19 lockdown left creatives disconnected from the industry, provides guidance during work and career challenges, including of sexual harassment.
“Women from all across Australia, and actually the world, have been reaching out to us to stick up their hands to be in it and to mentor and I think it’s a piece of work that Huei and I are incredibly proud of,” said Sloane, co-founder of The Aunties.
Since attending The Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association, Australia’s leading advertising program, and winning the top student prize in 2018, Sloane has made great contributions to the industry through her brainchild The Aunties and at Clemenger. In 2021, she was named MADC’s director of empowerment, making her the committee’s youngest member.
Working closely beside Sloane has been Wong, whose work at Clemenger has had reverberations throughout Australia, garnering awards from One Show, Clio Awards and Adfest. Her work with the accounting software company Xero and its “Emotional Tax Return” campaign gave back to small business owners who struggled during the lockdowns. Wong’s work with her team on Myer’s Christmas campaign helped it win Department Store of Year in 2021.
Wong's work in advertising is just a part of her portfolio. As an artist, Wong has received several art grants and has had work displayed in global exhibits, including the Centre of Contemporary Art in New Zealand and Design Museum of London.
As their careers have flourished, Wong and Sloane hope to continue helping future generations of women, lecturing at the AWARD School and expanding The Aunties. “There’s that constant desire to make new things that make a difference and have a positive impact even if it is just one person’s life,” Sloane said.
“If I could talk to that version of myself now, I think it would have helped me immensely back then,” Wong said. “Just to have someone who has been through it or could share their experience saying, ‘What you’re doing is okay.’”