In a joint statement released this morning, ASB and Saatchi & Saatchi have confirmed that they will be ending their partnership as part of a review of the bank's agency operating model.
Roger Beaumont, ASB’s executive general manager of marketing and communications, says the bank has opted for a change of direction, led by an increased focus on customer experience.
“We have enjoyed a fantastic five-year relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi and would like to thank the team for their contribution to the success of our brand," is quoted in the statement.
"Together, we have produced some outstanding work, created some world-class campaigns and won a number of major awards. Our strategy, however, has continued to evolve, and with this comes a need for a new way of working. With this in mind, we have reviewed our current agency relationships and are looking to move to a model where we’ll be working with a suite of specialist agencies. We are currently finalising discussions with a preferred party to manage our digital, direct and data-based marketing requirements and will look to add other specialist agencies to our roster in future.”
ASB has not yet confirmed who this preferred party is.
Saatchi managing director Paul Wilson thanked the bank for its partnership over the last five years and pointed to some of the standout work they developed together.
"We have created some truly innovative and effective work with ASB that has really connected with Kiwis, like 'Clever Kash', 'Run Down Your Rate', 'Snap Scholarships', 'Ball Dogs' and 'Like Loan' to name but a few. I am proud of these progressive, much-loved campaigns and of all the people who created them. We wish ASB every success for the future.”
Beaumont confirmed that ASB will continue to work with Saatchi & Saatchi on a transitional basis until the end of the calendar year.
Saatchi would not provide any additional commentary on the impact of losing the bank.
However, given the size of the account, it's understood that at least some redundancies will follow. The extent of these changes or who will be departing is unclear at this stage.
This loss will no doubt also come as a blow to the morale of the agency, which has had a decent run of late, winning the Chorus, Orchard Thieves and My Food Bag accounts and coming close to landing the 2degrees account.
If anything, it places enormous pressure on Wilson and his recently appointed chief creative officer Toby Talbot to get a few wins into the ledger.