After a creative pitch last year, it is thought the NZ Fire Service is set to appoint FCB as its creative agency.
NZ Fire spokesperson Peter Riordan said that an official decision would only be released after the commission meets on 17 February, however it's understood that FCB was informed it would taking over the account from the incumbent Whybin\TBWA.
The pitch is thought to have been focused on the need for Kiwis to change the batteries of their smoke alarms, and given FCB's positioning as 'the change agency' and its strong history of behaviour-changing campaigns for government clients—such as the Health Promotion Agency, Maritime New Zealand and the Electricity Authority (now with Y&R NZ)—the agency seems a good fit.
Last year, in the lead up to the pitch for the Fire Service account, Y&R NZ made the unorthodox move of announcing its interest in the account by releasing a Guy Fawkes-themed PSA. But the gamble doesn't seem to have paid off.
The NZ Fire Service account followed Dave King (former M&C Saatchi chief executive) across to Whybin\TBWA last year after the closure of New Zealand's M&C Saatchi office in April last year. With King at the reins as the executive creative director, the NZ Fire Service has over the course of the last few years released a range of poignant and well-received spots that have used the power of guilt to drive social change.
"New Zealand Fire Service was one of the most rewarding clients I have worked on," says King. "I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done for them over the past four years, especially the smoke alarms work. I wish them all the best for the future and hope that our paths cross again soon."
Following the closure of M&C Saatchi's doors, the agency's other major clients NZ Police and Rabobank went to Clemenger, leaving the Ministry of Justice.
StopPress asked a spokesperson at the Ministry which agency currently held its account, but we are still awaiting a response. It is however thought that the Ministry of Justice works with a number of different agencies.
UPDATE: the spokesperson has confirmed that FCB is also working with the Ministry of Justice.