All hands on deck as Vodafone chooses agency wish-list

  • Advertising
  • October 20, 2011
  • Ben Fahy
All hands on deck as Vodafone chooses agency wish-list

The credentials phase for the Vodafone pitch is over and, just like Tourism New Zealand, it seems the potential suitors have been whittled down to four: Ogilvy, DraftFCB, .99 and Affinity ID/Federation. 

News that Vodafone and Colenso BBDO had parted ways popped up in early August and Clemenger Group duly shifted resources to .99 to handle the account during the RFP phase. Rumours were circling that DraftFCB, which had only recently won the Orcon account off Special Group, was involved in an initial pitch for the business, along with Origami.

Executive creative director James Mok wouldn't comment on the Vodafone pitch or the agency's relationship with Orcon, but Orcon has confirmed the account has been resigned. It's a risky move, but it makes sense when a juicier slab of business is up for grabs and it makes even more sense given DraftFCB is on a roll, with its Genius promotion for Orcon almost too successful for its own good and a big haul at the Effies for its social marketing efforts. Plus, Orcon is renowned as a fairly difficult client.

An interesting aspect of this pitch is that there appears to have been a global alignment with Vodafone and WPP agencies in some major overseas markets. In New Zealand that's Ogilvy, Y&R and JWT, but a pitch between those three could have been slightly farcical.

Ogilvy's executive director Paul Manning wouldn't talk, citing a confidentiality clause, but Ogilvy has a history of servicing big, complex accounts and has plenty of wind in its sails after a few big account wins. Still, as everyone saw with the DDB vs Saatchi & Saatchi saga during the Cadbury pitch, New Zealand is often a different kettle of fish because of its diminutive stature, so global alignments certainly don't mean it's assured and, if it was, it would be unfair on the other competing agencies.

As for Clemenger Group, chief executive Jim Moser was confident he'd be on the winning side back in August. "It's not going to be easy. But we know this business. And we're good at it," he said. But given the recent attention Vodafone has received from the ASA and the Commerce Commission for misleading and irresponsible advertising, you do wonder if Clems might have burned their bridges on this one.

Affinity ID's Angela Day said "she'd probably have to no comment that one" when asked about the rumoured joint indie effort with Federation. Affinity ID is particularly strong, with an impressive client list and a good run on the awards front of late, but it remains to be seen whether Vodafone will be patient enough to wait for a smaller agency like Federation to grow or whether it wants some agency firepower straight away.

A decision is expected to be made before Christmas.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

'A real range across the board': MediaWorks launches new lifestyle channel ThreeLife

  • Media
  • February 16, 2018
  • Georgina Harris
'A real range across the board': MediaWorks launches new lifestyle channel ThreeLife

Following MediaWorks’ media event yesterday, the company has announced a few changes for 2018; including a new lifestyle channel ThreeLife, a new corporate brand identity, a shuffling of radio presenters and the return of familiar shows. StopPress talks with chief content officer Andrew Szusterman and head of programming and acquisitions Ben Quinn about the new channel, why we're seeing another season of Married at First Sight New Zealand, and the consistency in what they do.

Read more
Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit