M&C Saatchi quick to snap up Clemenger surplus

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  • February 1, 2012
  • Cath Winks
M&C Saatchi quick to snap up Clemenger surplus

M&C Saatchi has taken recycling up a notch, hiring former Clemenger BBDO group account director Jonathan Hales as its Wellington-based business director. Hales was recently laid off after 13 years at Clemenger, where he set up its design agency, Clemenger Design, and led accounts such as ACC, New Zealand Post and the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Clemenger BBDO  managing director Andrew Holt told the NBR there were a number of redundancies after the agency lost the ACC business and Hales was unfortunately one of them.

M&C Saatchi's chief executive Darryn Melrose said the hire was a further investment in the Wellington market.

"In the past year we’ve quadrupled our agency presence, with senior hires on the back of new business wins. We feel there is a lot of potential to grow further”.

He said Wellington was a key market for relationships.

"If you've got a great track record you're really sought after in that  market, so for us it's a really significant hire to make - that we could attract someone like him."

He told the NBR he he knew how Hales worked, having worked with him in the past.

"There is a really strong fit around having a really strong sense of passion and drive that 'This thing is going to provide the result'."

What worked in Auckland did not necessarily work in Wellington, he said, and while it was a smaller market, there were more new business opportunities than in Auckland.

"Obviously I'm bias but I feel most of the other agencies are a little bit out of date with their business model, they're still very traditional."

Mr Melrose said in the Wellington market, with government and businesses, there was a big focus on really proving the dollars invested provided return, and this was not really being provided in Wellington.

Mr Hales said he had long thought it was time for the industry model to evolve and M&C Saatchi's approach of brand, retail and digital expertise was what was needed.

"I can now be in a position to provide a range of skills and talent, depending on the client need."

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