NZ Post has taken its sweet time choosing a new agency to replace long-time partner Saatchi & Saatchi, which decided not to repitch for the business when the expressions of interest were called for in December. The pitch was thought to have finished more than six weeks ago and it seems a decision on its new agency has been made. But no formal announcement has been released and the lips of the Posties and the two agencies thought to be battling it out for the win—Clemenger BBDO and DraftFCB—are staying sealed.
Ogilvy is definitely out of the running, and M&C Saatchi's Darryn Melrose couldn't be reached for comment. But according to a well-placed, well-seasoned insider, it was whittled down to Clems and Draft, both of whom have been doing some extra hoop jumping and work through the financials recently.
DraftFCB chief executive Bryan Crawford admitted a decision has been made and he knows what that decision is, but he says if nothing official has been announced by NZ Post, it probably wasn't too wise for him to comment on it.
Whether this means it has won and the crew have been sworn to silence by the PRs before send is pushed on the official release or it has lost out to Clems, we're not really sure (Clemenger's Philip Andrew wasn't able to be reached for comment either). But with Draft's recent decision to pull out of the Auckland Council pitch due to resource issues, a betting man might say the signs are pointing towards it. NZ Post also reportedly wanted an agency that was strong in Welly, and while Clemenger BBDO certainly ticks that box, Draft recently shored up its capital ranks after convincing Ogilvy's Paul Irwin to take up the role of business director.
As for the size of the account, The NBR suggested it was worth around $6 million early this year but at the time NZ Post's Fiona Woolley said she didn't think that figure was accurate. The NBR requested ad spend and effectiveness figures through the Official Information Act and they showed that estimate was bang on, with almost $6 million spent on advertising and media in the 2010 financial year. Information about effectiveness was not forthcoming, however.
As it faffs about with the announcement of its new agency, failing mail volumes and cost cutting mean a number of NZ Post outlets are set to close and jobs will be lost. NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche told NZPA fewer than 20 outlets were likely to close. But, in an effort to counteract the digital uprising and its effects on physical mail, it recently signed a licensing deal with digital postal mail providers Zumbox.