Sam Buchanan

Sam Buchanan

Chief Executive Officer, Independent Media Agencies Australia (IMAA)

Sam Buchanan is the CEO of the Independent Media Agencies Australia (IMAA) and has more than 25 years’ experience in the media and marketing industry.


His experience working with media owners, on the client side and in agencies led him on a path to the IMAA, starting with the organisation at its launch in 2020 as General Manager before taking on the role of CEO in 2022.


Known as a dynamic business stagiest and relationship specialist, Sam is highly regarded for raising the profile of the IMAA to being the gold standard in associations, garnering worldwide recognition for his approach and leadership.


He started his career in broadcast media and spent almost 20 years developing a strong knowledge of the media through sales and business development roles with leading media companies Southern Cross Austereo, News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media. He has worked in senior agency positions, including as Chief Commercial Officer at McKenzie Partners and senior leadership roles at Hardie Grant Media and completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.


Since joining the IMAA as General Manager and now as its CEO, Sam has fostered the growth of the IMAA, going from 20 foundation members in 2020 to now more than 155 in early-2023. Sam has been instrumental in changing the media landscape and providing a voice for the media sector.


He has also been behind some of the IMAA’s most important campaigns, spearheading sustainability initiatives including Project Earth, the introduction of the IMAA’s Reconciliation Action Plan to make a difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and championed diversity and inclusion for the industry through the launch of its Diversity Council.


When asked about the progress of the IMAA to date, Sam said he is also incredibly proud of how the organisation challenged government legislation on its master media agencies tender in 2022, reduced running costs for members and launched the most comprehensive training in the industry, through the IMAA Academy. On his vision for the future, he said it’s simple: to leave the industry a better place than what they found it and continue to support Australian business.


Sam is married with two children, enjoys the outdoors and doing a bad job of coaching the local under 7’s soccer team.

11:10 am - 11:40 am

We Saw, We Came & We're Conquering - Depths Behind The Indie Takeover

Three indie agency hotshots join IMAA head honcho Sam Buchanan for a chat that will go far beyond the buzzwords about the rise of the indies. The quartet will go in-depth to show why and how the nation's best indies are evolving and disrupting the industry.