Movings|Shakings: 17 October—UPDATED

Aussie bound

After almost three years with OMD, Andy Taylor is shifting to Australia. 

Taylor started off as head of print, outdoor and radio in January 2012 after coming from five years at Aegis in the UK. He then took on the role of trading director of OMD and Total Media in June 2012. And he is moving across the Tasman to take up a similar role at Starcom. 

“I know he’s always had his heart set on Australia and I hope Andy and his family will be as happy there as they have been here,” says Kath Watson, chief executive at OMD. “He has been a great servant to OMD and we are in a fortunate position having fantastic depth of talent across the group to call upon. While it’s sad to say goodbye, we wish him all the best in his new role and new life over the ditch.” 

Back to the corporate bosom 

After leaving TVNZ to co-found and lead second-screen start-up Buzzdial, Tom Cotter has gone back to big media and taken on the newly created role of chief information and product officer (CIPO) for MediaWorks.

The role is part of a new service delivery structure that combines both technology operations and technology product development into one department. Led by Cotter, this department will be responsible for the delivery and design of all IT and IT-related products across the group.

“Tom has outstanding knowledge of technology and media, and extensive experience in delivering digital innovation and fantastic user experience in a number of companies, from Virgin Media, to Sony to Spark to TVNZ,” says MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon. “With cross-platform products such as the recently announced combined TV and breakfast show, and the growth in customer consumption of content at different times of the day and night on all sorts of devices, experience and skills such as Tom’s are critical to building a winning media business.” 

Cotter says he’s never been so excited about a role and he believes no other New Zealand media company has such a strong relationship with Kiwis throughout the day. 

“I’m looking forward to enabling the TV and radio teams to make the love for our brands even stronger, regardless of platform.”

Cotter has 15 years’ experience in developing and implementing digital strategy within large businesses. As general manager for digital media at TVNZ from 2007-2014 he led the digital growth strategy, including responsibility for tvnz.co.nz, tvnzondemand, onenews.co.nz, and the development and launch of Australasia’s first mobile and tablet catch-up TV service. He was strategy leader for Telecom’s new media and emerging services, head of product and content strategy for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (Playstation), and head of games for Virgin Media UK. 

UPDATE: As for Buzzdial, senior vice president of marketing and operations Geoff Devereux says: “Tom remains active as a shareholder and director of Buzzdial where he continues to assist in a strategic capacity as we continue to grow the business both here in New Zealand and offshore. We’re excited for Tom in his new role. It’s a great move for both Tom and MediaWorks.”

With Grace 

Karyn Arkell, former chief executive of Acumen, has announced the launch of her new, independent agency, Grace, a boutique communications agency based around “personal relationships with people and organisations we admire and respect, where we think we can make a demonstrable impact on the business”. 

“There is a subtlety and art to ‘grace’ which is synonymous with expert communications,” she says. “Grace is equally relevant in a crisis or in the way a company or product talks about itself or invites others to talk about it. We have a particular interest in helping world-class New Zealand companies to realise their potential.”

Arkell says she has hand-picked the best people she has worked with over twenty years in agency life to form the backbone of ‘Grace’, including specialist corporate communications, marketing communications, and events and activation leads (in addition to Arkell, Kirsten Blanchard is director and there are five other staff). 

Arkell left Acumen last year after 13 years and after around two years in the role of chief executive. Prior to this she was with Hill and Knowlton and worked in-house for Telecom NZ. 

As for clients, the company currently works with, among others, Vero, Griffins, Moa, Trilogy, Dorchester Pacific and Snaphire. 

Designing talent 

Designworks has appointed leading business and talent development professional Shelley Winsor to the newly-created management role of group general manager talent and operations. 

Working directly with chairman and group chief executive Sven Baker and the senior leadership team in each of its six offices, Winsor will be responsible for growing talent and capability, and leading operational efficiency across the Designworks group. Designworks has 135 staff working from offices in New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia.

She brings more than 20 years experience in Australia and New Zealand to the role, including senior management positions at Saatchi & Saatchi (Auckland and Sydney), Y&R Auckland, Mojo Sydney and Ogilvy Sydney. She also specialised in multicultural communications at Ogilvy Australia’s Etcom. 

New arm 

Ambient Group has announced the addition of public relations services to its existing OOH and experiential departments.

The move acknowledges the increased convergence of advertising and marketing communications and the increased demands and expectations from brands that insist experiential and PR work together to achieve measured results. 

“Brands are seeking synchronistic services more and more,” says Chris Monaghan, director, Ambient Group. “Our strategy allows our campaigns to increase reach and ROI.”

The addition of PR will allow the company to utilise a combined approach to managing experiential activities while generating earned media.  

“We’ve started by hiring Fred Russo, a senior practitioner with a lot of depth in traditional consumer and technology PR, as our PR Director,” says Monaghan. Russo was most recently PR manager at Samsung NZ and has about nine years’ experience agency side.

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