The Research Agency welcomes an international research heavyweight, Eleven\PR snatches a couple from PPR, Ambient Group ramps up its experiential and talent offering, Firebrand does some of its own recruiting, Rob Fyfe wraps up warm with Icebreaker, Komli NZ wins About.com, In Motion Post gets a slice of Bunnings, JOOB announces one of its regional big dogs and a couple of Auckland dining hotspots get some international attention.
From The Remarkables to research
Not long after winning a slice of the ASB and Beam Global businesses, The Research Agency has won again, this time by adding a true international research heavyweight to its team in the form of Colleen Ryan, who will fill the newly created role of Qualitative Guru.
Ryan, along with her business partner Wendy Gordon, are considered the global forefathers of modern qualitative research. Together they founded and grew their company The Research Business International (TRBI) into the 6th largest research company and largest independent research company in the UK, before selling to Maritz.
TRBI was the company that spawned the entire boutique research category in the UK and was single-handedly responsible for producing generations of thinkers and business people who have gone on to spread their passion for clever research.
Before leaving the UK, Ryan was chairman of the Association of Market Research Organisations and a finalist in Veuve Cliquot UK Business Woman awards. And since leaving her role as chair of TRBI, she has sailed around the world, written a series of Diving Guides for the Caribbean, run the five-star Remarkables Lodge in Queenstown and been chair of the Lodges of New Zealand Association.
Speaking of The Research Agency, it has also been named as one of four finalists in the AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards in the businesses under $5m turnover sales and marketing category, alongside Plato Design Agency, Verve – The Event Agency, and Terabyte Interactive.
Check out all 49 finalists here.
Eleven\ plus two
Amber McEwen has been appointed to the senior role of group account director at Eleven\PR and she will lead a number of key accounts for the business.
“Amber has a heap of corporate and marketing communications experience and we’re delighted to welcome her to the team,” says Kelly Bennett, managing partner. “Her expertise and professionalism is already proving to be extremely valuable to our current clients.”
McEwan joins from Professional Public Relations New Zealand, where she headed up the business communications division. In addition, Julie Rogan, who is back in the country after a stint with PPR Sydney, joins the team as account manager, bringing a wide-ranging suite of communications skills from across the Tasman.
The announcement builds on recent news of Bennett’s appointment by TBWA\ – International, to lead the expansion of the group’s PR offer in the Asia Pacific region.
“It’s a really exciting time for the agency, with some talented new blood and growth opportunities both in New Zealand and internationally,” he says.
Ambient Advertising has changed its name to Ambient Group and now offers three core departments under that banner: Ambient Advertising, Ambient Experiential and Ambient Talent.
Mark Fishwick, Ambient Group’s managing director says this move clearly defines who it is as a trans-Tasman media business and lays the foundation of where we are headed in the future.
“We have been at the forefront of non-traditional media channels for well over a decade, so this re-brand is a natural progression for the business in a changing media landscape.”
Ambient Group claims to have pioneered the ambient category in New Zealand and Australia and chief operating officer Chris Monaghan says the ambient category has grown considerably in that time.
“We have been playing in the experiential space under the Ambient Advertising brand for 12 months now so it was time we formally introduced experiential and talent into the agency offering,” says Monaghan. “We are about to announce some fantastic new ambient channels and are pumping out some brilliant experiential with dedicated creative heads just thinking and doing in the experiential category. Ambient Group is an exciting place to be at the moment.”
Departing Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe has been coy about his future, but one thing is for sure: he’ll be one of the directors of Icebreaker, effective July 1.
Fyfe will step down in December, handing over to Christopher Luxon, whose current title is group general manager international airline.
Icebreaker founder and chief executive Jeremy Moon says he was stoked to have Fyfe on the company board.
“To have attracted Rob to the Icebreaker board will greatly strengthen the path we are on, and on a personal note I feel really lucky to have such a strong mentor. Rob is a world class business leader who is energised by innovation, focused on customer engagement and is driven to see New Zealand business succeed on the global stage. As a CEO it’s critical that I’m always learning and being inspired and I feel privileged that a New Zealander of Rob’s calibre has agreed help me take Icebreaker to the next level,” Moon says.
Fyfe was equally complimentary of Icebreaker.
“What Jeremy and his team have achieved over the past 17 years has been truly inspirational and their’s is a business story all New Zealanders should be proud of. They have proven that you can take a great idea and Kiwi innovation and create a global success even when you are a long way from key markets.”
Through the Motions
In Motion Post, an Auckland boutique post-production agency, has won a significant contract with home improvement and outdoor living retailer Bunnings Warehouse.
Working alongside Bunnings’ advertising company TBA Communications, the company, which already does work for the likes of Warner Music, Audi, Porsche and Lion Nathan, will manage the post-production of the retail advertising campaigns from 1 July.
In Motion Post, which has been up and running for four and a half years, undertook two small campaigns for Bunnings in late 2011, which director Rob Steele says was a trial run for what was to come.
“The Bunnings ‘Catalogue Comes Alive’ campaign we produced is airing at the moment, and the in store promotion with Bunnings’ staff members will be rolling out over the next two months,” he says.
Andrea Harris, account director at TBA Communications in Auckland, says the two agencies have worked together sporadically in the past, but In Motion Post will be undertaking all of its ongoing television production.
“We have a really good relationship with Rob and the team. They are really like-minded and have a keen understanding of what is required for retail advertising,” Harris says. “We’re both into crafting retail advertising cost effectively in a very short space of time, managing the team members in store at Bunnings, and getting the best out of them. It’s all personality driven.”
Playing with Fire
Firebrand Talent Search has added experienced recruiter Jane Carolan to its team.
She comes with 17 years of experience both in New Zealand and overseas and will be specialising in the marketing and communications area in both permanent and contract roles and across all channels, including digital.
This appointment has freed Jo Bayley up to concentrate on account management, media and executive appointment, and Cath Fournier to focus on the creative sector, both freelance and permanent.
Out and about
Following on from recent news that saw PostClick New Zealand come under the global Komli banner, the newly rebranded digital media shop has been selected as the exclusive seller of advertising on About.com in New Zealand.
About.com is a valuable resource that helps people do more in their everyday lives, with more than 900 topic sites covering a wide variety of subjects, from parenting, health care and technology to cooking, travel and autos. Topic sites are written by guides with passion and experience in that topic.
“Representing About.com advertising exclusively in New Zealand is a great honour for Komli,” says Ben Osborne, Komli NZ’s national sales manager. “It offers incredible opportunities for advertisers given its vast, yet easily segmented, audience. And we are looking forward to working with New Zealand advertisers to create highly successful advertising campaigns.”
JOOB, a Jade Software Corporation business, has announced the appointment of Ben Hanna to the role of vice president.
Moving from Auckland to Melbourne, Hanna assumes responsibility for JOOB’s direct sales efforts in the region, delivering innovation primarily to Australian financial services. He joined JOOB over 12 months ago to drive sales of JOOB Mobile, which was a finalist in the mobile/wireless category of the prestigious Best of Microsoft Tech-Ed North America awards 2011.
Hanna brings ten years of solution, design and technical sales experience to the job, including a six year stint at Gen-i, one of New Zealand’s largest systems integrators, where he was a top performing member of the company’s enterprise sales team as well as a participant in the company’s management development programme.
“JOOB has already been working closely with some of Australia’s leading financial services companies to mobilise their customer experiences,” he says. “It has a proven track record and we’re making a real difference to companies wanting to deliver better results and brilliant customer experiences, fast.”
Pack & Company’s new fine dining restaurant the Roxy (part of the Imperial development in Auckland’s Fort St) and Cheshire Architects’ Café Hanoi are the only New Zealand entries to make it through to the finals of this year’s Restaurant and Bar Design Awards.
The most prestigious and widely recognised hospitality design awards in the world, the annual UK-based awards are judged by a panel of top design, lifestyle and hospitality personalities, including Alberto Alessi from Alessi, Joe Ferry from Intercontinental Hotels Group, and editors from Taschen, Casa Vogue Brazil, Elle Décor India, Frame China and the UK’s Sunday Times Style.
With this year’s awards attracting 620 entries from 60 countries, a total of nine finalists have been shortlisted for Asia Pacific (from more than 100 entries), and the two Auckland establishments will be up against the likes of Melbourne’s Nobu and Sydney’s Concrete Blonde.