It wouldn't be an 'eggxaggeration' to say that it's Easter. And with Easter comes new pagan life, and with new pagan life comes news of various industry happenings about things like Cadbury, The Sweet Shop, Pead PR, Hunter, Top Gear magazine, MSN, APN, DB and Cannes.
Easter fair trading
Nestle has been getting a fair amount of grief recently for its continued use of palm oil (and, if you believe the Greenpeace takedown, orang-utan fingers) in its products. Cadbury experienced a similar consumer firestorm last year when it changed its recipe and exchanged cocoa butter for palm oil. Then it made its bars smaller. Then it was taken over by Kraft (not craft, like Whittakers).
Overall, beleagured is a word that comes to mind, so the announcement that Cadbury's range of Dairy Milk milk chocolate bars will now include Fairtrade Certified products is a rare dose of positive news for the company.
Cadbury's decision, the result of "nearly two years of work with Cadbury’s Fairtrade partners globally", will increase Fairtrade chocolate sales 20 fold, and double last year’s total sales of Fairtrade Certified products in New Zealand and Australia. And it will also immediately benefit more than 45,000 Ghanaian farmers by setting a fair and stable price for their produce and providing an additional Fairtrade premium for investment in local community development.
Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand executive director Steve Knapp says consumers will now be able to "make their purchase in the knowledge that they are supporting a brighter future for very small scale cocoa farmers, their families and their villages". And he thinks this milestone will create a step change in awareness of Fairtrade in New Zealand.
Cadbury New Zealand managing director Matthew Oldham says going Fairtrade is massive: there will be more than 5.7 million Fairtrade Certified Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate blocks in New Zealand and an estimated 350 million blocks globally in 2010.
Sweets for my sweet
The Sweet Shop, which won the Kiwi production company of the year award at the 2010 Axis awards, has signed Kiwi directors Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, who will soon get stuck into making commercials.
The pair are the first directors to have won twice in the short film section at Cannes, with 'Run' in 2007 and 'The Six Dollar Fifty Man' in 2009. The latter also scooped best international short at Sundance (Utah) 2010, and special distinction and generation at the 60th International Film Festival in Berlin, 2010. The film is now eligible for nomination at the 2011 Oscars and has become the NZ Film Commission's most successful short film to date.
Friends since primary school, the pair have spent fifteen years spent honing their skills in production and performance. Albitson studied fine arts at Canterbury University, while Sutherland attended Toi Whakari New Zealand Drama School. And in 2000, Albitson founded Sticky Pictures, where he has won numerous awards for arts-based magazine shows, documentaries and music videos. The team joined forces that year to develop scripts for film and have been collaborating successfully ever since.
Stephen Dickstein, global president/managing partner of The Sweet Shop think this young directing team have a big future ahead of them.
"We're fortunate to be in the position to help provide a career platform from which they can work. Watch this space...”
Not surprisingly, Albitson and Sutherland, who are currently developing a feature screenplay called ‘Shopping’ with the New Zealand Film Commission are stoked: “After the success of $6.50 man, we were approached by several international production houses, but we wanted to join a world class New Zealand team," they said in unison, almost like robots. "That’s why we’re directing for The Sweet Shop.”
Paul Prince, chief executive and managing partner of The Sweet Shop is proud they’ve joined the fray and is "looking forward to supporting their work in the global communications space”.
Pead pyar recognised
In an effort to extend its Asia-Pacific coverage, Auckland-based PR company Pead has been elected as a partner by IPREX, the worldwide corporation of independent public relations and communication firms that was founded in 1983, has 69 partners, 89 offices in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, 1,280 professionals on its books and has annual revenues of $136m.
IPREX president (Asia Pacific) Peter Wilkinson says Pead’s reputation for top notch consumer communication work, the best known of which is its six-year campaign for 42Below vodka, is reflected in its list of clients, which includes brands like Amstel, Garnier, Heineken, L’Oréal, Microsoft, the New Zealand Mint, Nokia, Sol and Xbox 360.
"My focus in the region is on high quality service. Deborah [Pead's] great experience as a practitioner can now be utilised throughout Asia and the Pacific, and beyond," he says.
And Pead PR managing director Deborah Pead said: "It may be a cliché to say the world is shrinking but it’s also true to say our firm is at a stage now where our clients are seeking to expand their horizons. Likewise, we work hard to maintain our position as leaders in our field of brand building PR and today that requires a global perspective. IPREX provides an ideal platform from which to achieve those goals.
On the Hunt
Another new ad agency will soon be suckling from Auckland's commercial bosom, with Hunter, "a new creative agency with a digital heart", setting up shop in New Zealand and Melbourne.
Simon Hakim, who set it Melbourne-based indy The Surgery (which has now morphed into Hunter) will remain in Australia. But his main partner and creative director Matt Gibbins (he joined The Surgery as creative director last year and was a founding partner of Albion London) will be based in Auckland. There are up to 12 staff across the two offices and Hakim has plans to set up a presence in London.
Albion was launched as a digital shop but has developed into a digitally-led integrated agency. And that's what Hunter is looking at creating in New Zealand.
Top Gear adds another D
To celebrate its 50th issue, ACP's TopGear New Zealand magazine has jumped on the bandwagon du jour and added 44 pages of 3D content to the latest edition, something editor Cameron Officer thinks is "a motoring magazine first in this country".
While there's an element of gimmickry to the whole thing, the 3D photo spreads are quite impressive. Jeremy Clarkson's elbow has never looked so good. You do have to wear those funny red and blue glasses that always remind StopPress of the KFC 3D Gorilla movie experience that took place some time in the early 90s and this tends to make for some rather fuzzy viewing for the sections of the magazine that aren't 3D.
MSN improves its health
MSN New Zealand is claiming victory in the online health sphere, with combined audiences from its Health Hub and new partner www.everybody.co.nz and sister site www.liveto100.co.nz creating New Zealand’s largest local online health network.
The tie-up creates a single advertising network combining everybody’s 47,000 customers with the 50,000-plus regular visitors to MSN Health Hub, which was launched just two months ago and has been one of MSN’s fastest growing categories. MSN will also link to certain everybody.co.nz content, which is expected to boost traffic.
MSN business manager Liz Fraser says online health is a big deal because it’s often the first place people look, and MSN "has grabbed a big chunk of local online real estate" so far. And now, with everybody.co.nz's strong patient resource focus, it adds medical weight to Health Hub’s more lifestyle-minded health content.
“Now we can connect advertisers with everyone – from general health interests, through to people focused on specific conditions, and even related health industry groups and providers. It’s the whole package.”
APN put the Bibby on
APN Outdoor has nabbed a former media planner Scott Bibby as account manager to assist clients in planning and creating effective outdoor solutions. He replaces Neil Bolton, who left in early January to take up a position with Air New Zealand, and he will report to the recently appointed sales director Kent Harrison,
For the last five years, Bibby has worked client side for Starcom where he became a well known and respected media buyer and planner. He has won several recent awards including best in show at the CAANZ Media Awards last year for his work with Sony Computer Entertainment.
"In the past I gained a holistic view of media and advertising and now I’m honing in on the outdoor medium," Bibby says. "I’m genuinely excited about working with my former peers from a whole new angle – bringing unique and creative solutions that fit the overall advertising objectives. In my experience, this kind of empathetic perspective is highly valuable and I plan to form a partnership with my clients which will bring exactly that.”
Bibby brings to the role extensive media knowledge and an active agency network and Phil Clemas, general manager, APN Outdoor New Zealand says he was specifically appointed for his broad media experience and ability to plan effective outdoor solutions that complement the media mix.
"His success on the client side makes him a great asset to APN Outdoor and our clients. We are really pleased to have him join our team and we’re confident he will replicate the star performance he has become so well known for.”
Cooper joins DB from Consolidated Media Holdings in Sydney where he was previously chief financial officer. Prior to this Cooper worked for Stockland, a diversified property group in Australia, Vodafone (in both New Zealand and Australia), Viasat Broadcasting in London and TV3 in New Zealand.
Cooper is now based at DB’s Waitemata Brewery in Auckland where he heads a team covering finance and planning, legal and information services. And he is also a key member of the company’s executive team.
Cannes I still enter? Of course you Cannes!
Deadlines for Cannes have been extended to Friday 9 April, so be sure to get your bits and pieces in before it's too late. Here are some bullet points to inspire excitement and feverish entering.
- A brand-new entry section for Film Craft Lions
- Craft categories in Cyber, Press and Radio Lions
- 3D Structural Design in Design Lions
- Two Grands Prix in Outdoor Lions
- Independent Agency of the Year
- Grand Prix for Good