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Goodbyes, hellos and well dones...

...as Kerry Smith is farewelled; Tequila finds its new general manager after a lengthy search; Mango adds three new fruits; and one of The Sweet Shop's directors gets the nod for his film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. 

She will be missed

Much-loved and respected broadcaster Kerry Smith has passed away after a courageous battle with melanoma.

Smith took medical leave from her role as 10am–2pm announcer on MediaWorks radio station The Breeze in January to focus on treatment and recovery. And, according to her co-host of popular magazine-style TV show Weekend in the 80s, Gordon McLauchlan, she felt she would make it through, so the news came as a bit of a shock.

Smith was a foundation member of The Breeze, which kicked off in 2006, and she also worked as a presenter on Radio Pacific and RadioLIVE. Her extensive television career included the role of sharp-tongued deputy editor Magda on classic 80s TV Series Gloss and she also worked as a television continuity announcer, a weather presenter and the host of home improvement show Changing Rooms.

MediaWorks group managing director Sussan Turner said: “Kerry was a respected broadcaster and a very treasured member of the MediaWorks family. Our thoughts are with Kerry’s family and close friends at this incredibly sad time.”

The Breeze Programme Director Ian Avery said: “Kerry was a hugely talented radio host, the ultimate professional, and a dear friend. “Listeners loved her, and her colleagues loved her dearly. She will be greatly missed.”

Smith’s family expressed their appreciation of the thoughts and condolences they have received and they will be respecting her wish for a family funeral. A celebration of her life will be broadcast on The Breeze in the coming days.

On the Tequila

Seasoned digital media professional and Kiwi expat Geoff Devereux has been signed up to join Tequila\Auckland as its managing director, working alongside creative director Ross Howard, executive creative director Andy Blood and fellow Kiwi expat Charles Clapshaw, president of Tequila\Asia Pacific, who is based in Sydney.

Devereux, once a station manager at bFM, is returning home after 13 years in London, where he started digital consultancy Paperaeroplane, which later joined forces with Delete to become one of the most well-respected digital creative agencies in the UK (check out some of his work and his predictions on the future of digital media in this StopPress interview from 2009).

As managing director and chairman, Devereux grew Delete from a two-person creative agency to an innovative company with more than 20 employees and a strong international reputation for delivering outstanding work for leading global brands such as Red Bull, Westfield, BaByliss, Ministry of Sound, Virgin Atlantic and Universal Music.

“I’m really excited to be coming home and to such a great agency. Tequila\ New Zealand has a history of creating award-winning digital campaigns which I look forward to being a part of,” says Devereux. “Furthermore, I’m excited to be a part of a great network which has a strong reputation for collaboration. We’re engaging with our counterparts around the world to leverage a global talent/knowledge-pool. The internet has no borders."

Since Tequila\ shifted its focus last year from offering DM and digital to becoming a purely digital agency, TBWA\Tequila chief executive Dave Walden stressed it was very important to find someone with the right digital experience.

“It’s a role that’s been vacant for a while. We’ve taken our time finding just the right guy, so it’s a great coup for us and we’re very excited about securing his talents and enticing him back to New Zealand,” he says. “Geoff comes with a well-established track-record of working successfully alongside top creative and technical teams. Professionally, personally and culturally, I have every confidence that he can spearhead the continued growth and development of TEQUILA\,” says Walden.

Sweet Meats

Sweet Shop director Sam Holst’s short film ‘Meathead’ has been selected for a worldwide premiere at the 64th Cannes Film Festival and will compete for the celebrated Palme d’Or. The only New Zealand film in this category, it will be screened along with eight others from all corners of the globe.

This year Robert De Niro heads the main jury, with Michel Gondry judging the short film category.

Australian Sam Holst has been directing films and commercials (most recently some kerrazzee spots for Eclipse breath mints) for several years and ‘Meathead’, a tension-fuelled drama set in rural Waikato about a 17-year-old boy’s first day on the job at the meat works, is his latest major project.

Shot entirely on location in a fully operational factory, the combination of real life layered with a dramatic narrative (based on Mike Robinson’s original story) is visceral.

Holst predominantly cast non-actors from the region and stayed true to the factory’s daily processing. He attributes much of the film’s success to his team, especially producers Desray Armstrong and Chelsea Winstanley, editor Peter Sciberras from The Butchery and funding from NZFC.

“Sam Holst is an extraordinary young film maker," says The Sweet Shop’s chief executive/founding partner, Paul Prince. "His ambition to tell stories that hold authentic truth to one's context, revealing truths universal, even in the gritty reality, only confirms him as a filmmaker to watch. This is great recognition for Sam and confirms his beliefs. We congratulate him and his team.”

The festival runs from 11 May until 22 May.

Fruits of their labour

Mango Communications, DDB NZ's PR, experiential and events agency, has taken on three new pyars, with Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey joining as senior account manager, and Kimberley Sullivan and Anna-Louise Hoffman joining as account executives.

Gates-Bowey has had an extensive career in the public sector, including the New Zealand Police, Ministry of Social Development NZ, Hampshire Constabulary and the Home Office in the UK, while Sullivan has worked with JML Communications and the Arts Channel and Hoffman worked at Simply You magazine, Spice Communications and Southern Public Relations.

 

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