Movings|Shakings: 10 February

From Roy Morgan to MPA

The Magazine Publishers Association has appointed Pip Elliott as its new executive director, a position in which she will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the MPA.

Elliott’s appointment represents an evolution of the commercial director role left vacant by the departure of Katrina Horton, now at Ogilvy, in mid-2014 and briefly filled by Julian Andrews.   

This announcement from the MPA follows on from last week’s report that Roy Morgan had closed the doors to its New Zealand office, thus making Elliott’s role as the general manager of the Kiwi business redundant.

Elliott says that she was approached by the MPA to take on the executive director role, and adds that it was an easy decision to join the organisation.

“Media is one of my loves,” she says. “[In my career], I’ve been very involved with newspapers, sales and research, and this was a great opportunity to bring it all together. 

In addition to her recent stint at Roy Morgan, Elliott’s previous roles include include working as the general manager of Netlink Distribution, the general manager of sales and marketing for the New Zealand Herald, and media consultant for the Print Research Group.

Elliott heaped praise on the MPA board, saying that they had all done a great job of taking magazines beyond the page and also that she hoped to continue this work.

She was also optimistic about the future of magazines, and said that research she encountered at Roy Morgan often highlighted the high levels of engagement that readers have with magazines and that ad avoidance tends to be very low in the medium.         

Dual role

There was plenty of staff shuffling at MediaWorks last year, with a restructure under chief executive Mark Weldon leading to number of big senior departures. And there’s another change for 2015, with chair of the board and reality TV doyenne Julie Christie taking up the role of acting manager of TV and video strategy. 

(Image credit: 3News)

Talking to the NBR, MediaWorks spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said Christie will be there for “a couple of months”.

“The TV and video strategy is a defined piece of work with clear deliverables,” she says. “She continues on the board and there is no conflict.”

Away from the executive ranks, Samantha Hayes and David Farrier have been named as co-hosts for MediaWorks’ 2015 late news and entertainment show. The new programme will screen weeknights at 10.30pm on TV3 and 3news.co.nz, replacing Paul Henry’s  

“Samantha and David have spent half their lives at MediaWorks and are two of our brightest news and current affairs talents,” says MediaWorks Group head of news, Mark Jennings. “As a team they bring something special to the late news slot, and I’m delighted to have them as co-hosts for the first time. Both Samantha and David are journalists who engage with New Zealanders in a unique way, through their onscreen storytelling to their social media and online activity. Between them they have covered stories from LA to India to the South Pole – from the glamour of the Grammy’s to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen.”

Hayes has worked as a journalist and presenter across TV3’s news and current affairs programmes for the past decade. Her presenting experience includes three years as Nightline anchor and co-presenting 3rd Degree with Duncan Garner. She has worked as a reporter for 3News, focusing on the environment, science and arts, and on long-form current affairs for 3rd Degree. She was TV3’s Australian correspondent in 2011, and her work has also taken her to Antarctica, Costa Rica, the UK and Europe, India, Australia, the US and Pacific.

Farrier joined TV3 as an autocue operator while still at university. He was the entertainment reporter for Nightline for several years and now works on entertainment and technology stories for 3News and Campbell Live. His other TV experience includes a TV3 documentary about the origins of the National Anthem, and playing the reporter in Rhys Darby’s Netflix series Short Poppies.  He co-hosted radio show (and co-hosts the podcast) The Cryptid Factor with Darby. And he is currently directing The Tickle King, a documentary about the strange world of competitive endurance tickling. He has an extensive social media following and in 2014, hosted an episode of The Paul Henry Show, with his parrot Keith.

Farrier and Hayes will continue to work for other MediaWorks’ news programmes; Hayes on TV3’s weekly current affairs programme, Farrier as an entertainment reporter filing for a range of news brands. Further details, including the programme name, will be announced in the coming weeks. 

And while we still wait for the official word on when Paul Henry’s new show will begin, it has launched a few teasers. 

OMD arrivals

Two senior staff have joined the OMD group with Georgina McKinnon appointed as head of Fuse, replacing PHD-bound Robin Wilson, and Jono Sorenson coming back to the media business as account director on Air New Zealand.

McKinnon has an extensive background in communications, activation and campaign management with over 15 years in the industry. She has worked with clients including ANZ, Telecom, NZ Post and most recently as business director at Beat Communications.

“Her experience in agency roles for clients such as Mondelez, Gillette, Sony, Virgin, Red Bull, DB, Holden, Dove and Persil have given her a solid grounding in strategic planning, content creation and tactical executions delivering strong results for her clients.” 

Sorenson joins the team after spending the last nine months developing and launching his own business, The Muesli Hub. After a successful launch into market he has placed a manager in the company to continue the market growth allowing him to return to the world of media.

“He returns to the industry with 11 years media experience across New Zealand, Australia and the UK, with a fresh perspective, a new set of skills and a renewed energy to deliver solutions for clients which produce sustained business growth and confront traditional media models.” 

OMD has also announced that Milton Brown, Sandra Smoljo, Hannah Merritt, Sarah Donald, Sophie van Duiven and Caroline O’Fee have been chosen as part of the agency’s annual graduate internship programme.

To be selected for the nine month internship, the graduates participate in several interview rounds, undertake a series of assessments and present to senior staff. 

“Essentially we see this as an investment in the future of the industry,” says OMD chief executive Kath Watson. “It is a great way to educate the up and coming talent on the fundamentals of our business. It educates them on all aspects of the business so they can decide where they want to specialise.” 

Word is Bond

CAANZ chief executive Paul Head has announced that Louise Bond, chief executive of PHD Group has been elected to the position of CAANZ Media Committee chair following Derek Lindsay’s resignation from FCB Media in November 2014.

Lindsay has led a strong Media Committee for most of the past decade, and was elected CAANZ vice-president in 2011. CAANZ chief executive Paul Head said Lindsay would be a loss to both the industry and the Board but he has left the Media Committee in excellent shape and in the most capable of hands.

“I’m delighted that Louise has been elected to lead the CAANZ Media Committee. Louise is renowned across the industry – not just as a talented and accomplished professional, but more importantly as a person who is widely admired and respected.”

In 1999, Bond established the PHD Group of agencies, comprising SparkPHD, PHDiQ and Spark PR & Activate. While SparkPHD has received multiple awards in its history including CAANZ Agency of the Year, Bond was also awarded by the industry and her peers the Sandy Smith Inspiring Individual Award at the 2013 CAANZ Media Awards.

Of the opportunity to chair the CAANZ Media Committee, of which she has been a member since 2012, Bond says: “I’m really looking forward to extending on my contribution to the media and advertising industry and supporting the goals of CAANZ to drive industry development, innovation and growth during these times of rapid change”.  

Filling up the Pond

Creative talent agency The Pond is ramping up its permanent placement capabilities with the addition of senior talent agent Melanie O’Callaghan.

Building on the proven effectiveness of its freelance talent operation, The Pond has widened its business model to provide a more comprehensive, dedicated permanent placement service to its clients.

O’Callaghan brings eight years of recruitment experience to The Pond and will focus on matching up clients looking for full-time staff with the many local and overseas creative stars now keen to enter full-time employment in New Zealand. She has most recently worked for boutique recruitment agency Farrow Jamieson where she specialised in searching for, headhunting and recruiting talent for executive roles across a wide variety of industries.

With her appointment, The Pond is now offering a fast-turnaround and highly reliable permanent placement service that will see candidates sourced, vetted, interviewed and hired within a two-week timeframe, says director Leighton Howl.

“Our dedication to launching a fast-paced permanent placement service in 2015 is complemented by a new range of fees from ten percent buy outs to 13 percent pre-placements to 18 percent global searches,” he says. “We believe clients will be hiring creatives full-time in different ways in the future and they will want to trial candidates before making them part of the central team.”

The appointment will see O’Callaghan pair up with each of the existing four Pond talent agents who currently each manage an active book of clients. This will mean each client will have two dedicated agents focused on their growing business: one concentrating on week-by-week freelance needs and the other supporting this service with more strategic full-time hires.

“Unlike most recruitment firms, The Pond has a huge focus on acquisition,” says O’Callaghan. “In this industry creatives are always your greatest asset so, whether you’re building a team or need a critical hire straight away, you need a recruitment partner that can find that needle-in-the-haystack candidate you’re looking for (in our case we probably already have it). The Pond is ideally suited to step into this partnership role with New Zealand companies looking for full-time creative talent, and we’ll be delighted to discuss how we can help make it happen quickly.”

Unite and conquer

Commercial production company Unity Films has launched in New Zealand, and it claims to bring to the market two unique points of difference: producing television commercials, brand content and engagement videos with a focus on narrative storytelling, and reinvesting their profits back into the New Zealand film industry as investment financing.

Unity’s focus on narrative story telling is in response to the increasing number of brands who are looking to build brand stories and develop meaningful engagement with their audiences, it says in a release. 

“We’re all storytellers, so we don’t just make amazing looking commercials, but also have the capacity to tell compelling brand stories,” says director Adam King, who co-founded Unity with producer Craig Gainsborough. 

The team also includes director Aleks Sakowski, director and writer Roseanne Liang and prolific Auckland playwright and director Thomas Sainsbury.

“There is a lot potential for the advertising industry to work more closely with the film industry,” says Gainsborough. “The film industry is begging for financing, and the advertising industry is constantly on the hunt for fresh ideas. We’re filling the gap between them.”

Unity Films is located in Auckland Karangahape Road. 

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