DraftFCB resigned the Westfield account at the start of the year and took up the Paper Plus business soon after. And after a competitive pitch, it's thought Y&R has finally put one in the win column and taken over the account.
Y&R's managing director James Hurman was unable to be contacted, but Westfield's PR manager Deb McGhie confirmed the news and said it would be working primarily with Y&R's specialist retail offering IdeaWorks.
She wouldn't discuss who else was involved in the pitch, but it's thought Special Group and True were also in the running, with True pulling out mid-way through.
Y&R's recent pitches have been a case of close but no cigar, with .99 dominating the recent battles and winning Genesis Energy, Warehouse Stationery and Sunday Star Times. So this will be some welcome good news for an agency that's made some big changes recently and is keen to move up the agency pecking order.
When DraftFCB resigned the account, the company line was that it was due to 'commercial reasons'. DraftFCB's PR manager Angela Spain didn't want to elaborate on the decision or how much the account was worth to the agency, but it's thought a major reason for parting company was that it had shrunk since it took over from TBWA\ (Westfield's media is taken care of by Media R).
DraftFCB did everything from Westfield's above-the-line brand work to all of the centre-specific activity (which stretches as far as creating out of order signs for the toilets), and with Westfield selling three of its 12 shopping centres in 2011—Shore City, Downtown and Pakuranga—this consolidation is thought to have had an impact on the amount of work.
Here's the official release:
Shopping centre owner Westfield New Zealand has awarded its advertising account to Ideaworks, the specialist retail offering of Y&R New Zealand
“This decision comes after a robust pitch process and lengthy consideration as to the best fit for our organisations future marketing objectives, and we are really looking forward to working with such an innovative team,” said Linda Trainer, General Manager Shopping Centre Management and Marketing, Westfield (New Zealand).
“Y&R will work alongside the national and centre marketing teams of our organisation to deliver on all consumer communications.”
James Hurman, Managing Director, Y&R New Zealand said “The opportunity to work with Westfield is an awesome one for Ideaworks. No other retail client touches so many New Zealanders in so many different ways, and being Westfield's partner means being a key part of where the best of New Zealand retail is going."
Josh Moore, Executive Creative Director, Y&R New Zealand said "Ambitious business goals driven by innovative marketing. That's the brief from Westfield and one that perfectly aligns with the Y&R NZ and Ideaworks philosophies."
Westfield’s previous agency, DraftFCB, chose not to enter into the pitch process and will retire from the account as of 1 April 2013.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank DraftFCB for their contribution to Westfield (New Zealand) during the past three years and first quarter of 2013,” said Jo Tait, National Marketing Manager, Westfield (New Zealand).