In his early twenties, he headed to London and spent five years working at Lowe Howard-Spink, one of Britain’s top creative agencies. His work there for Heineken beer is considered one of Britain’s best ad campaigns of its time. Russel returned to Melbourne in 1995 and spent the next eleven years running his own agencies with various partners, before joining George Patterson Y&R in 2006. The agency is part of Y&R Brands, a group of communications companies that also includes Campaign Palace, Ideaworks, VML and Brand Asset Consulting. Russel is a former Chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia and, being a passionate fan of the Demons in Aussie Rules footy, is also on the board of the Melbourne Football Club.
As at 2013, Russel is the Executive General Manager of Network Ten.