...as the ASA announces its new chair; TBWA\ shuffles the management and says goodbye to its general manager; Affinity ID nails a hat-trick; Kate Alexander takes over from dad at Studio Alexander; Christina Force sells her stake in the "first dedicated photographers agency in New Zealand"; Envy Studios add two to the staff roster; and DNA welcomes a large man from Northampton.
Kick out the chairs
John McClintock has been named as the new chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority, replacing ex CAANZ chief executive Rick Osborne, who recently stepped down after taking up the role of group general manager in the external relations unit with Fonterra.
McClintock, the executive director of the Magazine Publishers’ Association (MPA), has been a member of the ASA since 1999 and was elected as deputy chair in 2009.
Lindsay Mouat, general manager (commercial) of the Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA), has been chosen as deputy chairman.
TBWA\Tequila's general manager Aaron Taylor is to depart the agency after a bit of a management purge/restructure made his position untenable.
Despite winning the ANZ account and having a tiger by the tail with 2degrees, chief executive Dave Walden says things are still pretty tight at the moment and it was an anomaly to have a general manager at an agency of that size. So it's taking a leaf out of DDB and Colenso's book and establishing group account director roles.
Taylor, who arrived in 2009 from TBWA in Sydney and replaced client services head Peter Bracegirdle, was offered one of those new gigs, but turned it down and has decided to contract his services out, partly for his old place of employ.
More IDs for Affinity
Fresh from a stellar performance at the RSVP & Nexus awards, as well as picking up interactive agency of the year and runner up indie agency at the Fairfax Admedia Awards, New Zealand’s largest independent agency Affinity ID added three heavyweights to its direct and digital arsenal.
Sonya Crosby, formerly managing director of Datamine, joins Affinity as general manager customer insights; the Toot Group's Cleve Cameron comes onboard as creative director and Daniel Auld joins as creative technologist.
Crosby’s career has spanned senior management roles responsible for insight generation, strategy and planning with agency, client and industry organisations including Saatchi & Saatchi, NZ Post, McCann Worldwide in Brisbane, TV3, Newspaper Advertising Bureau and Powertel in Sydney.
“Affinity is without a doubt, the best damn digital agency in the country,” she says. “There are very few agencies who have insight at the heart of their offering. In my experience, that’s the real gold dust. These guys really get it and they deliver real business results. Their insight-driven one-to-one marketing generates campaigns that are hugely powerful. The space they’re in defines the future of communications, and they’ve been centre stage with this work for the past 10 years—everyone else is still playing catch up!”
On the creative font, Cameron joins Affinity’s fast-growing creative shop. His most recent roles at BMF and Naked in Sydney follow three years with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington. Known as a multi-media story teller, Cameron takes a non-traditional approach to integrated campaign work and is regarded as highly innovative and compelling creative, whose talents also extend to book writing, film making and music (he was involved in the creation of The Beop).
On the tech front, American Daniel Auld takes up the pivotal role of creative technologist, translating campaign briefs into technical know how. A leading IT strategist, he joins Affinity from Oktober Interactive, after a 15 year career in the US working for a clutch of IT-driven companies including Yahoo and IBM.
Alexander the great
When Design Daily spoke to Kate Alexander of Studio Alexander at last year's Best Design Awards (see video interview here), she said she loved working with her old man because there was so much to learn from him. Now it seems she's learnt enough to ease herself into the position of managing director of the design and brand agency she co-founded with her father in 1999. In the meantime her father and fellow Studio Alexander co-founder, Grant Alexander, is still very much in the picture as a director of the company.
“After ten very happy and successful years spent building the company with Kate, I felt it was the right time for her to take over,” says dad. “The design world is changing, and I feel confident Kate will direct Studio Alexander’s response to that so that we continue to remain at the forefront of New Zealand agencies.”
For her part, Kate’s rather chuffed with the move, one she describes as part of "a long-term vision".
“It’s an exciting time to be moving into the role,” she says. “Since I founded the company with my father, Grant, in 2000, we’ve seen steady growth. The service ethic Grant instilled in the team, and the standard he set for the quality of the strategic and creative thinking for the agency, has seen us attract and retain substantial clients.”
Alexander’s been quite the busy woman. Prior to her appointment as the big MD, she juggled two stints of maternity leave in between working as the director for Endemic World and working in the business development side of Studio Alexander. Like Studio Alexander, she also co-founded Endemic World, together with Elliot and Grant Alexander.
The knowledge and experience gleaned from her work with Endemic World, particularly from a digital perspective, is something she’s keen to apply to Studio Alexander, which she says now has the in-house skills to help grow the digital media side of the business.
Alexander enters her role as managing director at a busy time for Studio Alexander. The agency is currently re-jigging its office to create more space for the new recruits it’s currently on the hunt for and expansion is largely spurred by a wider scope of work for existing clients coupled with having snapped up new clients.
While Studio Alexander’s clients are New Zealand-based, many of them export their products. Alexander says the studio has just finished a campaign for Fletcher Building that was produced in seven languages and will interact with 16,000 global Fletcher staff.
And, as the recipients of numerous Best Design awards, including taking home the overall graphics award for their three-dimensional safety installation for Fletcher Construction at last year’s Best Awards, she says its currently in contention for some international award prestige, though she can’t just yet elaborate on what those awards are.
May the Force be with you
Christina Force, who set up Collective Force, the first dedicated photographers agency in New Zealand, has retired from the business and has also sold her shares in Our Production Team to executive producers Rebecca Vaughan and Megan Wilkinson.
"I’ve been planning for a while now to move out of the businesses, and am happy to be able to leave two high profile companies with solid reputations.’ says Force. ‘I’m also really excited about the potential opportunities to utilise my skills and experience in a wider arena."
Take over of Our Production Team will commence on 1 April when both companies will be moving out of the Morningside Hub, their home in recent years.
Force says she is still in discussion with potential buyers of The Collective Force’s international brand.
Audio and video post house Envy Studios, ex Auckland Audio, has announced a couple of new hires, with Samantha Jukes joining as producer with responsibility for business development and marketing and Jason Fox joining as senior sound designer.
Jukes is ex-Liquid, was a creative at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington and Clemenger BBDO and comes direct from marketing and brand development at Waiwera Water. And Fox, who has worked at top London post house The Jungle Group, moves from Images & Sound.
DNA has hired Graeme Coll as account director in Auckland. Most recently, Coll was working at Brian Richards, but he began his career as a graphic designer.
"Graeme heralds from Northampton, but don’t let the accent or his 6”3 frame deter you, he’s a great guy," says top dog Grenville Main.