Movings|Shakings: 6 August—UPDATED

King Tong

Photo: stuff.co.nz. 

Simon Tong has taken over as managing director of Fairfax Media New Zealand. He starts on 30 September and will be based in Auckland. He will report to Fairfax Media chief executive Officer Greg Hywood and is part of the executive leadership team.

Tong’s 18-year career in the information technology industry has included senior executive roles at Compaq Computer and Hewlett-Packard. He joins Fairfax from Paymark, New Zealand’s leading electronic payments provider, where he has been
chief executive officer since February 2006.

“Simon brings deep and relevant experience to Fairfax as we continue to reshape our media business,” says Hywood. “Simon is a 
proven leader who has an impressive track-record of achieving business goals. He has played a key role at Paymark in developing mobile payment leadership in the New Zealand market. We welcome him to the Fairfax team.”

“I am honoured to be joining such an important and respected organisation,” says Tong. “Fairfax is the home of independent journalism for New Zealanders. I can’t wait to start working with the many talented people to pursue new opportunities and develop and grow the business.”

Fairfax’s group editor Paul Thompson was announced as the new chief executive of Radio New Zealand in June, replacing Peter Cavanagh. He starts in September and a recruitment process is underway to find a replacement. Acting chief executive Andrew Boyle will continue in that role until Tong takes over, before moving into the chief operating office role. 

Space invaders

Experiential marketing is on the rise at the moment, and, in an effort to tap into that and create “immersive brand experiences”, independent agency True has launched a new division called True Space that combines architectural and spatial design skills with True’s own strategic, design and digital resources. 

True Space is led by registered architect Bruce Craig, who has over 20 years experience in architectural, interior and spatial design. He has worked both locally and internationally with numerous corporates and commercial organisations, most recently with New Improved

The new addition creates solutions that range from stand alone point of sale units to corporate and retail space fit-outs, through to much larger temporary and permanent public space installations. And the website says it has worked with Air New Zealand, 2degrees, The Box, Industry NZ, RowBox and Hoyts Sylvia Park. 

As the release says: “The aim is to create fresh 3D environments that let people experience brand stories by interacting with form, space and movement rather than traditional channels. These immersive brand experiences impact powerfully on brand loyalty and spark large volumes of word of mouth spread and social media sharing. Working collaboratively with True, True Space effectively rounds out our ability to reinforce people’s engagement with brands through a comprehensive set of channels and touchpoints.”

UPDATE: True’s managing director Matt Dickinson says experiential and retail elements are becoming more integrated with brands, pointing to Shine and Lion’s work with the Mac’s BrewBars and Shaky Isles as prime examples of that. 

He admits that experiential is still a bit of a tough sell, because special builds do tend to get expensive and often get downgraded to off-the-shelf solutions. But producing something physical that represents the brand is very powerful, he says. 

Rowe goes

APN’s digital strategist Eric Rowe has swapped media for tourism and taken up the role of senior digital analyst at Tourism New Zealand. And speaking of ex-APN exmployees, reporter and social media editor Troy Rawhiti Forbes is now communications manager (online) at Telecom New Zealand.  

Breaking down walls

Windup Bird’s John Ferriss and photographer Jason Dorday have set up a new advertising and motion agency called Checkpoint Charlie.

After working together on various projects over the past couple of years, they say they were inspired to operate under a joint banner after the success of their TV campaign for mytax.co.nz. 

The video content for high-profile public lawyer Mai Chen’s new Will to Live website was the first project undertaken by the pair under the new name. 

Chen interviewed prominent New Zealanders including Sir Ray Avery, Barbara Kendall, Sir Bob Harvey, Moana Maniapoto, Nadia Lim, Michael Barnett and Beatrice Faumuina , with filming by Checkpoint Charlie. And the site encourages people to live a full and rich life, while acknowledging the inevitability of death and preparing for it by making creating a will very easy.

Gunn goes off

Jason Gunn, the Christchurch-based host of The Radio Network’s Classic Hits, will be leaving the station at the end of 2013.

“We appreciate his contribution to Classic Hits, he is one of New Zealand’s most well-known television entertainers and we are sure that we will see him back on our screens someday soon,” says TRN content director – Classic Hits, Jason Winstanley

Winstanley says Gunn and his on air partner Dave Fitzgerald will continue to host Classic Hits national drive show, 4-7pm weekdays. TRN will announce the new Classic Hits National drive show for 2014 in the near future.


Gunn has signed with MediaWorks Radio, owners of many of the country’s biggest radio brands, including The Edge, The Rock, MORE FM, RadioLIVE, The Sound, The Breeze, George FM and Mai FM.

“Jason is an extremely talented broadcaster and I’m very happy to welcome him to our family,” says MediaWorks Radio cheif executive Belinda Mulgrew.  

Gunn will take up his contract in 2014. There are no announcements at this stage on the specifics of his work with the company.

Admission granted

After only 10 months in its O’Connell Street offices in Auckland, digital marketing agency Admission is shifting into a bigger space just up the road on High St. 

“With a staff of 19 we’re growing at a speed that means we’ll probably have to move again in another year,” says director Rob Davis. “So see us while we’re here.” 

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