Last week was a rough one for Ogilvy & Mather, with Kiwibank deciding to scratch its seven year itch and shack up with its STW stablemate Assignment Group. But it's balanced out the bad with a bit of good after being installed as the lead strategic and creative communications agency for Pernod Ricard, the country's biggest wine and spirits company.
Pernod Ricard, which represents brands including Brancott Estate, Stoneleigh, Jacob’s Creek, Church Road, Absolut, Jameson and Chivas, didn't want to comment, but Whybin\TBWA was the incumbent and won all of the above the line work in 2010, in part because of a network relationship with Absolut.
Pernod Ricard, which isn't thought to have a global agency alignment, has also worked with a handful of other smaller agencies from time to time, but this decision means Ogilvy & Mather (the global network has recently hauled the brand in to line so all outposts are now known as Ogilvy & Mather) will now lead strategy, creative, digital, activation and production for the New Zealand market. Media planning and buying continues to be handled by Carat.
Ogilvy's shopper marketing subsidiary, OgilvyAction has worked with Pernod Ricard New Zealand for the past three years, primarily as the company’s retail activation agency for the New Zealand market. And Paul Manning, Ogilvy's executive director, says the expansion of the relationship was made possible through "several years of focus and determination to help the company achieve outstanding results".
"It's an extremely innovative business—quick to embrace new thinking and their marketers have a willingness to go beyond convention," he says.
While he says there is a lot of international work to be adapted for this market, there is also a lot of "ground-up work, so the creatives are quite excited about it". And with changes to the liquor advertising laws on the horizon, he says part of its job is to prepare for that by using different channels and more direct marketing.
TBWA\, which has recently welcomed a host of new staff and is set to welcome Toby Talbot as executive creative director in the coming weeks, also lost The Radio Network's Hauraki business to Saatchi & Saatchi.