.99's had a very tough few months. It lost Air New Zealand and Vodafone to DraftFCB and, as far as we're aware, it's not on the pitch list for the brand work for Westpac, although whether it retains the retail business seems dependent on which creative agency the bank goes with. So a few alarm bells went off when we heard Colenso and Special Group were doing work for one of its remaining big clients New World.
Foodstuff's group general manager of marketing Steve Bayliss admits .99 has had some big body blows recently, but he says it's entirely committed to the agency and he wants New World to "be the pony .99 rides back to the top". On the plus side, these body blows mean the agency will presumably have a bit more capacity for New World work and there's no doubt it will have the best people working on the account in an effort to keep it there.
Bayliss says Colenso's creative clout, with Steve Cochran at the helm, has been brought in to help with some new brand work but he wouldn't elaborate on what that new work entailed.
He says the decision is about leveraging the resources of the Clemenger Group and is the equivalent of an additional creative team being brought onboard. The account is still being suited out of .99.
As for Special Group, he says it's doing some design work with them, and particularly Heath Lowe, to ensure the "theatre of it all" (for example, making sure the butchers look like butchers) is taken care of.
Interestingly, it seems the old Air New Zealand band is staging something of a reunion tour on this one, because Jules Lloyd, who left her job at McDonalds last year, is now working with Foodstuffs on contract.