While most most of us were gorging on sausages and Christmas leftovers, there were a few moves and shakes across the industry. Here's a rundown of who went where.
Travel for a living
Back in December, Tourism New Zealand chair Kerry Prendergast announced the appointment of Stephen England-Hall to the position of chief executive at the organisation.
“Stephen will join Tourism New Zealand after three years as chief executive at Loyalty New Zealand and prior to that chief marketing officer with Syncapse Corporation and chief executive officer for [TNZ's current global media agency] Razorfish in London,” said Prendergast in an official statement.
England-Hall replaces former chief executive Kevin Bowler, who left the organisation to take on the role of head of Frucor Beverages.
“After what was a robust and stimulating process for the board, we are delighted to have secured a Chief Executive of such calibre," says Predergast.
“Stephen will be stepping into the organisation at a time of significant growth and success. He inherits a high performing team successfully delivering integrated marketing communications that has supported the tourism industry to become New Zealand’s number one export earner."
England-Hall will commence in the role in early April 2017. Loyalty New Zealand is yet to announce a replacement.
New year, new face
99 has appointed Greg Forsyth as its director of technology, data and innovation.
Forsyth is a respected operator, having held technical and strategic leadership positions at Colenso BBDO, AIM Proximity and Tribal DDB. He has built and led teams in creative, direct, CRM and digital disciplines and brings a track record of success in unlocking value for agencies and clients alike.
Joining the agency’s executive team, Forsyth will be playing a key role in anchoring and developing 99's customer experience capabilities.
He brings outstanding expertise in high-growth areas such as marketing automation, creative technologies and data-driven communications.
"He’s a real talent and his appointment is a significant demonstration of our commitment to developing a truly experience-driven agency," says 99 managing director Paul Manning. "He brings a unique perspective and a mix of technical and strategic experience that’s rare in this market. Greg will lead the design of solutions that connect people with brands, across multiple touchpoints and platforms.”
His appointment is effective immediately.
A triumvirate appointed
Around the same time MediaWorks announced Jesse Mulligan, Kanoa Lloyd and Josh Thomson as the three key hosts of The Project, set to launch in the 7pm slot on TV3 in February 2017.
According to a release from MediaWorks, The Project will combine current affairs and entertainment in a unique way, offering audiences an intelligent, informative and very funny half-hour mix of the stories that matter from New Zealand and around the world.
The show will be produced by executive producer Jon Bridges, who has worked on 7 Days over the last seven years.
“The Project is fast, polished, informative and funny – and during the screen tests this extremely successful Australian format came alive in front of our eyes," says Bridges. "Casting Jesse, Kanoa and Josh was a thrill. The best part was hearing their whoops of excitement when they found out who they'd be working with.”
Mulligan will continue to work at Radio New Zealand, juggling both roles this year.
This is not the first time Mulligan will work on a more light-hearted current affairs show, having previously served as the host of TVNZ's Seven Sharp. More recently, he has also served as the New Zealand correspondent of the Australian version of The Project.
Co-host Lloyd has made a name for herself working across both the radio and television properties at MediaWorks for a number of years.
In taking on the new role, Lloyd will leave her current role on Newshub Weather to focus all her attention on the new position.
Thomson, the final member of the trio, is also well known to Kiwi audiences for the weird brand of humour he regularly brings to the 7 Days panel.
“I'm painfully excited to be part of The Project," Thomson said in a release. "It's a daily live show where I can say stupid things to the nation and it'll be too late for the editors to cut it out. I love dissecting the news, and now I can do it without Dad telling me off for talking over the news.”
If Thomson's performances on 7 Days are anything to go by, then we can look forward to some really odd moments when the show kicks off next month.
Taking the reins
Bauer Media announced the appointment of Michele Crawshaw as editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly NZ magazine.
Crawshaw started her career as a newspaper journalist and quickly rose through the ranks until finding her passion in magazines. She has had 16 years’ experience as an award-winning magazine editor of both market leading newsstand and newspaper inserted magazines, including Woman’s Day, Viva and Canvas.
“The Australian Women’s Weekly NZ is everything I love in a magazine: quality journalism, with stories and issues that matter to women, as well as outstanding lifestyle content," Crawshaw said in a release. "It has a proud heritage and an important role in New Zealand’s magazine industry. I can’t wait to deliver more great stories for our readers."
Crawshaw's appointment comes at a busy time for Bauer, with the recent launches of PaperBoy, Nadia and MissFQ magazines; the acquisition and re-launch of Food magazine; and the launch of websites Noted and MissFQ.
Going in to bat
Former Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide chief executive Kevin Roberts has been appointed as the chair of the CricHQ board (Roberts has also invested a significant sum in the business).
Roberts left his position at Saatchi, following controversy sparked by comments he made about women in advertising in an interview with Business Insider. (Read more on this here).
In taking on the new role, Roberts takes the place of outgoing executive chair Mike Loftus, who will stay on as chief customer officer as well as a board member.
Roberts isn't new to sports, having previously served as a board member of the New Zealand Rugby Union. He was also chair of USA Rugby and trustee of the New Zealand America’s Cup Challenge.
CricHQ founder and chief executive Simon Baker believes that Roberts' experience in the sports and media business is well suited to the challenges CricHQ is set to face in the coming years.
“CricHQ is moving into several phases of growth," Baker says. "We’ve mapped significant global expansion that features data, mobility, content, media, commerce, and community. Kevin is a brilliant business analyst, strategist and tactician, and his skills and leadership experience will be a major asset as the company accelerates.”
One in, one out
Ipsos has announced the appointment of industry veteran Winifred Henderson to the new role of senior client director.
Henderson started as a qualitative researcher for TNS in the 1990s but is best known for her work with Prime Research, which she bought in 2006 and built up into significant market research respondent recruitment agency, which she sold in April last year.
Henderson’s appointment comes as current Ipsos NZ managing director Diane Dickinson steps down after almost 23 years with the company.
Ipsos CEO for Australia and New Zealand Simon Wake explains:
“With Diane’s decision to seek out new challenges we had an opportunity to re-think her role. Diane has been an exceptionally valued and long-serving member of the Ipsos management team in Australia and New Zealand. But just as Diane’s true calling is research, Winifred excels in client servicing and business development, and so it made sense to create a new role for Winifred that lets her focus on our clients and market position.”
As well as her work with Prime Research, Henderson is also a fellow and current chair of the Research Association of New Zealand, a board member of The Global Research Business Network, and vice president of the Asia Pacific Research Committee. Since 2008, she has been Judge and Conveyor of Judges for the industry's Research Effectiveness Awards. On her new role at Ipsos, she says:
“In my work with Prime and the Research Association I have probably been exposed to more researchers, companies and projects than any normal researcher could ever expect. The team at Ipsos always stood out for their professionalism, intellect and for just being so enjoyable to work with. The attraction of this role was just as much due to the calibre of my new colleagues as to the challenges presented – the best of both worlds”.
Joining the flock
Finch has added Zia Mandviwalla to its roster of directors.
Having directed commercials for brands including Sky, Vodafone, NZTA, Google Android, Tower Insurance, the New Zealand Navy and ASB Bank, Mandviwalla's nuanced storytelling covers a versatile range of commercial work, from poetic visual film craft to character-driven narratives.
Finch founder Rob Galluzzo says he has been watching Mandviwalla's career for some time and looks forward to working with her.
To view her reel, click here.
More cash in the bank
New Zealand based ad-tech company Postr has attracted $3 million from investors to expand into telecommunications markets in Australia and South East Asia.
The startup company builds telecom branded white-label apps, which let people hire out their Android lock screens for advertising in return for mobile data or airtime from major mobile carriers. It has recently launched Optus Xtra with Australian telecom giant Optus and will soon launch telecom-branded apps in major South East Asian markets.
The investment was led by a group of private investors in Singapore and well supported by previous investors. Other investors include Gunung Sewu Group from Indonesia, K1W1, NZVIF (New Zealand Venture Investment Fund), individuals from Singapore and New Zealand, and senior leadership from PayPal in the US.
“We are delighted to welcome a few new names and well aligned groups and individuals to our small shareholder base,” says Milan Reinartz, the company’s founder and CEO. “The investors involved have deep knowledge, an applied understanding of the industries we play in and high expectations of the team. It was important for us to find the right investors and to build a board that has an understanding of the telecommunications and advertising industries – people who are in a position to provide the right governance to help myself and our exec team achieve our goals in 2017 and beyond.”
Reinartz says that while New Zealand serves as a great testing ground, the market is too small to deliver true scale.
"Our intention has always been to eventually grow globally, with an initial focus on large developing markets in South East Asia where Android is dominating and mobile penetration growing incredibly fast. Sponsored data is a phenomenon on the rise, with mobile data being the most sought after source of connectivity. In the meantime, telco ARPUs are shrinking as people are no longer willing to pay for minutes or SMS, instead using OTT providers like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to make calls and send texts."
Android users who agree to download Postr’s white-label apps get personalised advertising appearing on the lock screen of their cellphone or tablet, where they can either click to engage with the ad or simply unlock and use their device as they normally would. Regardless of engagement or the amount of ads a user sees, they earn a benefit from their telecommunications provider, ranging from 200MBs to 1GB of monthly mobile data, call time or other credits, depending on market conditions and telecom offerings.
Beyond local borders
Vena has announced a partnership with marketing technology company iClick Interactive, which specialises in connecting local marketers with consumers in China.
“As we expand globally, we continue to learn about how important the Chinese consumers are to many markets," said Kelly Leung, iClick Interactive’s Vice President of agency business. "Through our platform, we can help reach this audience through a combination of our access to the premium inventories of Chinese publishers such as Baidu and Tencent and offer unique data sets to pinpoint the right audience at the right time.”
Vena New Zealand general manager Tony Knowles says that China has presented some challenges to digital marketers, such as a lack of transparency, few ad tech and data solutions, as well as business and cultural differences.
“Our partnership with iClick Interactive allows us to solve these challenges, and offers western expertise combined with Chinese resources and knowledge," Knowles says. "What sets iClick Interactive apart is their access to leading Chinese publishers, expertise, data, and technology."
According to Knowles, the technology also offers a huge opportunity to reach New Zealand Chinese communities including the expats working in New Zealand, luxury travellers and students.
With Chinese New Year fast approaching, tens of thousands of Chinese holidaymakers are expected to touch down in New Zealand. Tourism New Zealand reports that for the last few years, Chinese visitor rates have increased rapidly and current predictions are for numbers to more than double from 2016 to 2022 to around 921,000 visitors spending more than $5.3 billion annually.