Movings/Shakings: 13 July

A triumvirate arrives 

DDB NZ has welcomed back two familiar faces and added a newcomer to bolster its Auckland-based team.

Thinza Mon (right) rejoins DDB NZ following more than four years freelancing, working on clients such as NZ Rugby, Coca-Cola Oceania and PwC. Mon, who previously enjoyed a four-year stint at DDB, has returned as a senior strategic planner.

Rupert Price, DDB Chief Strategy Officer, says Mon’s strategic nous and passion for driving growth for clients will be felt immediately.

“Thinza is an exceptional talent and we’re really pleased she’s decided to work with us again,” says Price. “Her commitment to client delivery is well-known and we’re looking forward to the positive contributions we know she’ll make.”

Karla Fisher (middle) has also rejoined the DDB NZ team after five years away from Greys Avenue, taking up the role of lead business partner for McDonald’s.

Justin Mowday, DDB CEO, says having worked on the McDonald’s business previously means Karla’s experience and familiarity with one of DDB’s long-held clients is a huge advantage.

“Karla returns to DDB after five years running the Vodafone business at FCB, and we’re thrilled to successfully entice her back home. We never wanted her to go. Karla is one of the best strategic minds in the business, she cares deeply about her clients and the work, and can deftly manage large and complex pieces of business. Karla’s a great personality to have in the building, and she adds something special to the agency,” says Justin.

Karla says she is excited to be back and working with familiar faces.

“So much has changed, yet so little has changed; in some ways, it feels like I never left. DDB has held a place in my heart for some time now and I have long admired the work coming out of the agency. Now I get the chance to mingle with this extraordinary pool of talent again.”

Also joining the team is Kate Lines, following stints at FCB New Zealand, Saatchi & Saatchi, Colenso BBDO and Special Group. She has held several senior agency positions in Auckland and also worked agency-side in London.

Lines (left) takes up the position of lead business partner, working with clients such as Lotto and AA Insurance.

“I’m really excited to be at DDB,” says Lines. “I admire the work coming out of Greys Ave, and the people who have made that work happen. There is real passion for clients’ business and the results achieved across a succession of outstanding campaigns is impressive.  I’m enjoying getting stuck in and we’ve got more great work in the pipeline.”

Mowday welcomed Lines to the team, commenting on her “extensive experience at helping guide clients into the digital world”.

“She’s a strong strategic thinker, and has a natural drive to make fast progress on any project,” Mowday says. “Kate’s smarts and energy will be highly valued by DDB and our clients alike. Fittingly for our culture, she also happens to be one of the nicest people in advertising. Together Karla and Kate are two of the most accomplished, clever and likeable new generation of leaders in the advertising industry. We’re lucky to have them at DDB.”

Expanding CX 

99 has announced the appointment of Nicola Henshaw as experience planning director.

Henshaw joins 99 from Track New Zealand, and also worked as at Rapp UK and News Corporation. She’s shaped customer experiences and communications programmes for brands including Air New Zealand, AA Insurance, Virgin Media, Dulux, and McDonald’s.

99 managing director Paul Manning says he’s pleased to welcome Henshaw to the team, largely due to her skills in the customer experience space.   

“In 2016 we set a clear vision for our future: to build a world-class customer experience agency,” Manning says. “Our agile environment and results-driven DNA has proven to be an ideal platform for this transformation. But, it only works with the right talent – Nicola’s curiosity, passion for customer insight, and analytics make her uniquely suited to this role. She has an outstanding track-record in experience planning and is passionate about the role of data and technology in positively transforming the customer’s journey. Nicola’s role will be pivotal in designing experiences that connect people with brands.”

Henshaw similarly expressed her enthusiasm about joining the agency. 

“There’s a palpable momentum about the office, and a great set of clients who are increasingly looking to 99 to help with customer and data strategies,” she says. “They talk about ‘logic and magic’ here: combining the logic of systems, data, technology and metrics, with the magic of emotion, commercial creativity and disruptive ideas. I look forward to bringing my logic to 99’s creative teams and seeing what kind of magic we can create for clients collaboratively.”

Henshaw reports to 99’s director of strategy Dan Bye.

Strategic hire

Republik has announced the appointment of Andrew Stephenson to the position of strategy director across its Auckland and Sydney offices.

Stephenson is a 19-year veteran of the industry, starting his career in 1998 at M&C Saatchi in London.

Since returning to New Zealand in 2000, he has held senior agency positions at Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA, and DDB where he has helped to shape some of the New Zealand’s most iconic brands, including ASB, Toyota, Anchor, Tui, Visa, 2degrees, and Lotto.

 His work on these brands has led to him picking up a few gongs at Cannes, Effies, Caples and Warc along the way.  

“What excites me about working with Republik is that the business is not bound by the traditional agency model,” he says. “Republik has been built on adapting the agency to suit the clients’ needs. This difference has created a culture that can take on new ways of thinking and working without the constraints of more traditional shops. Plus, the rumours are true, people at Republik are really bloody nice.”

Republik director Paul McNamara says Stephenson is the perfect fit for his agency.   

“We pride ourselves on getting involved in any aspect of a client’s business, where we can make a difference. His depth of knowledge across a wide range of disciplines and industries means he is able to help our clients with anything ranging from research and innovation to communication planning and user experience.”

The Spaniard and the biker   

The media team at Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu has welcomed two new members: media manager Alberto Rayado and digital media manager Amelia Jonas.

Rayado recently arrived in New Zealand from OMD Madrid where he predominantly worked on the Vodafone account. In his 12 years in Spanish media, he has also worked across Ford, Mazda, Volvo and Beirsdorf. He is a Real Madrid fan, which may lead to some interesting moments in the Rayado household as his wife, who also works in media, shouts for Atletico Madrid.

Jonas joins the team from the slightly less exotic environs of Ogilvy NZ where she worked in the Neo team. While there, she acquired a specialisation of knowledge in digital retail activity. Jonas rides a Suzuki 250 motorbike, which earns her plenty of street cred with the Harley wannabees.
Monica Wales, head of media at Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu, says the two new team members round out the tight-knit media team.

“We’re so excited to have both Alberto and Amelia join us,” she says. “Between them, they bring new insights and energy that we’re looking forward to unleashing on our clients.”

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