Movings|Shakings: 15 January

Sweet nothings

After around two years at Cadbury, both Iaan Buchanan, general manager of marketing, and Lisa King, marketing manager, have left the company.

Cadbury’s managing director Alastair de Raadt is currently overseas but Julia Marget, head of corporate affairs – snacking ANZ at Mondelez Australia responded to questions about the departures being linked to a relationship and whether there have been other departures from the marketing team with this statement: “We can confirm that there have been some changes in the marketing team in New Zealand and we are currently recruiting for two vacant roles.”  

There has been some recent media coverage on the changing attitude of businesses to workplace romances, with Air New Zealand confirming to the Herald that it has implemented a formal code for its 80 senior executives requiring personal relationships to be declared “so there is never any ambiguity around the company’s expectations”.  

Guyon the radio

Political journalist and broadcaster Guyon Espiner will replace Geoff Robinson from April on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report. 

“We are delighted to have a journalist of Guyon’s calibre taking over from Geoff,” says Radio New Zealand chief executive Paul Thompson in a release. “Guyon has an impressive career, impeccable journalism credentials and is an incisive interviewer. He has a strong understanding of both the political and commercial worlds and an extensive network of contacts at the highest levels in the public and private sectors … The public expects the country’s business and political leaders to be held to account and Guyon’s appointment means New Zealanders will be well served in what is going to be an interesting election year.”

Espiner has a 20 year career in journalism and has worked in both print and broadcast media. He has a proven track record in political reporting, having been political editor for Television New Zealand and, earlier, the Sunday Star Times.

He hosted TVNZ’s Q+A alongside Paul Holmes and he most recently worked for TV3 as an anchor and journalist on 3rd Degree and The Vote and he told the Herald he turned down a role presenting The Nation for this job. He will continue to host 3rd Degree (the monthly The Vote has been canned) until he starts his new role and MediaWorks is in the process of finding a replacement. 

“This is a great job,” Espiner says. “Radio New Zealand is renowned for the quality and authority of its journalism and Morning Report is dedicated to upholding that standard. I want the best forum to do the pure journalism that I enjoy and that forum is Morning Report. I’m very excited by this new role and can’t wait to get stuck in and give it everything.”

More than a quarter of a million New Zealanders tune in to listen to Morning Report. The programme attracts a cume audience of 355,000 according to the latest Nielsen 2013 All New Zealand Radio Survey.

Also in RNZ news, late last year Wallace Chapman was named as the replacement Chris Laidlaw, who has presented Sunday Morning on Radio New Zealand National for more than a decade. 

Chapman has previously been a breakfast host at Auckland’s 95bFM and KiwiFM and a presenter on talk station Radio Live. He presented pub politics show Back Benches and is well-known as a public speaker and facilitator, moderating the highly regarded series Smart Talk at the Auckland Museum, a panel discussion broadcast on Radio New Zealand National.

“I have long been a fan of Sunday Morning so the opportunity to host the show represents a dream realised,” he says. “Chris Laidlaw’s shoes are big shoes to fill and Radio New Zealand is a powerhouse of quality broadcasting in this country, so I am honoured to be a part of the line-up for 2014 and beyond.”

Sunday Morning on Radio New Zealand National has a live listening audience of more than 200,000 people and Radio New Zealand networks presentation manager, John Howson, says the appointment provides an opportunity to review the current programme format and to explore options for new content.

Laidlaw announced his decision to retire following recent local body elections when he was elected to both the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

More Hauraki changes

After last year’s major brand overhaul by Saatchi & Saatchi, Radio Hauraki has made some more changes to its line-up, this time in the key breakfast and drive time slots. The new Hauraki Breakfast Show (6am-9am) sees Jeremy Wells team up with Matt Heath and Laura McGoldrick, while Mikey Havoc moves into afternoons (4pm-7pm).

Best known for his presentation of the satirical comedy shows, Eating Media Lunch and The Unauthorised History of New Zealand, Wells moves into breakfast after a year hosting Hauraki’s popular Saturday morning show The Saturday Special. 

“I’ve pretty much burnt every broadcasting bridge there is,” says Wells. “So it’s no surprise that I’ve ended up co-hosting Hauraki’s breakfast show. I give it 12 months before the Broadcasting Standards Authority hunts me down and expels me from radio indefinitely.”

Matt Heath, much loved for his work on cult television show Back Of the Y and his musical exploits in Deja Voodoo (and also a recipient of the occasional hand smack for offensive ads), moves to breakfast after three years hosting Hauraki’s afternoon drive show. 

“The new Hauraki is a sensational place to work,” says Heath.  “It will be an absolute honour to peel my sorry arse out of bed each morning for a hearty breakfast with my good mates Jerry and Laura.”

The Radio Network’s group content director Mike McClung can’t wait for the new shows to hit the airwaves.

“Matt and Jeremy are smart, funny guys and talented broadcasters. They’re two of the best in the business and I’m sure listeners will agree they’re very funny to listen to. We’re stoked that Laura is on board – she’s one of the country’s up and coming talents. And it’s great to be able to bring Mikey Havoc into the prime time drive time slot, exposing his infectious energy and on-air genius to more people.”

Living Skinny 

Ross Parker has been appointed as the the third general manager of Skinny, Telecom group’s mobile prepaid business, in as many years. He takes over from Paul Taylor, who has left after around one year at the helm. 

Skinny’s first boss was Paul O’Shannesey, who focused on attracting youth to the low cost service with a major focus on social media and experiential activations. But Taylor shifted that focus and concentrated on promoting the value proposition to a broader market. When contacted he said he is currently unemployed, but is exploring “three or four different opportunities”. 

On his LinkedIn profile, Taylor says he “grew the net base 13x [Telecom is yet to release any customer numbers]; improved ARPU by ten percent; reduced Opex $6m (incl: headcount down 22 (35%), whilst improving employee satisfaction; and rebranded and re-launched New Zealand’s best prepaid offering in August 2013”. 

“Skinny’s transformation from a youth orientated brand to a mobile business with much broader appeal is well underway,” says Telecom Digital Ventures SVP mobility, commerce, data and apps Ed Hyde (Skinny will continue to operate as part of Telecom Digital Ventures, the Telecom digital services and innovation unit. Previously it was controlled by Telecom Retail). “Skinny’s new branding and market proposition, launched a few months ago, is working well and gaining good traction with consumers in our target market segments.”

Ross will join Skinny this month from Vodafone Australia where he was the executive general manager for prepay and prior to that the general manager for pricing, devices and inventory. He has 13 years of experience in the telco industry. 

Fully sick Rappers

Rapp has announced the appointment of two additions to its creative team, with Nicole Yeoman joining as art director and Lucy Morgan joining as copywriter.

“Nicole and Lucy are a perfect complement to Rapp’s growing team, bringing a fresh approach with no small measure of talent and enthusiasm,” says managing director Robert Limb. 

Joining from Whybin\TBWA, Morgan brings a huge amount of experience in her young career, having worked on clients such as ANZ, Tourism New Zealand, 2degrees, Mercury Energy, Starship Children’s Hospital and Nissan.

She has received awards for her projects, taking out a Bronze Lion at the 2013 Cannes awards for her Tourism New Zealand ‘100% Pure New Zealand, 100% Pure Middle-Earth’ campaign and additional awards for ‘Middle-earth Passport’ at the 2013 Spikes Asia awards.

Yeoman spent over three years as an art director at Y&R working on Trade Me, Metservice and Fairfax. In 2011 she was a Young Guns Finalist and in 2012, an Axis finalist.

The pair will work across Rapp’s full client roster, including Telecom, Westpac, Sky TV, Loyalty New Zealand and Milford Asset Management.

Flossie finds some fans

Helena and Stuart McMullin, the original founders and current owners of Hell Pizza, have joined as investors in Flossie.

The McMullins heard founder and chief Flossie Jenene Crossan speak at an investment evening and, suitably impressed, fired off an email to her. 

The exact amount of their investment remains under wraps but is part of a series A round worth $500,000 (Crossan points out that it is a private investment, not an investment by Hell Pizza). 

Other investors include Mike Carden and Pete Weaver, formerly of Sonar6 and Flossie also received a grant from Callaghan Innovation. Crossan remains the majority shareholder.

Flossie lets salons sell quiet-time appointments at a discount (taking a commission on each sale) and currently has 149 on board as members. Every business has to be recommended by two people before it’s approved.

Crossan says the aim is to ramp that up to 600 within six months and that there’s a “huge waiting list” for signups. That’s why 2014 will be all about improving the back-end technology.

“The key one is creating automated onboarding, making it really easy for salons to get onto the site,” she says.

Streamlining that process, getting rid of a “convoluted” and old school spreadsheet system in favour of something more akin to LinkedIn profiles will better place Flossie.com to scale beyond New Zealand.

Hunting for pearls

Photoplay Films has signed American comedy director Rob Pearlstein for representation in Australia and New Zealand.

Pearlstein began his career as an advertising creative and writer working at world-renowned agencies such as Fallon, TBWA Chiat/Day and BBDO before making the move into directing.  

He made his directing debut with short film Our Time Is Up, starring Kevin Pollak. It received an Oscar Nomination for Best Short Film as well as screening at festivals around the world. He has since directed commercials and branded entertainment for brands including Samsung, Twix and the USA Network, as well as the hugely successful web series Matumbo.

“When I first watched Rob’s Matumbo series I couldn’t stop laughing, I wanted to work with this guy,” says Oliver Lawrance, Photoplay executive producer. “His directing and the performances were just so hilarious, and he’s a great fit for Photoplay as a director of both commercials and content.”

Pearlstein recently wrote and directed the feature comedy Someone Marry Barry, which will premiere theatrically in the USA and around the world on Valentine’s Day this year. The film follows a trio of childhood friends who scheme to find a wife for their socially awkward friend Barry in order to get him off their hands.

To watch some of Rob Pearlstein’s work please check out his reel here

Dairy culture

Fonterra has appointed Maury Leyland to the newly-created role of managing director of people, culture and strategy.

Previously the group director of strategy at Fonterra, she will lead an integrated function comprising Fonterra’s people and culture and group strategy functions. 

Leyland has been with Fonterra since 2005, working across the supply chain and playing an integral part in Trading Among Farmers and Fonterra’s Value Stream Optimisation programme. She is also a director of Telecom New Zealand and a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand.

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