Movings/Shakings: 14 May

UK bound

Carat’s business director Gareth O’Connor and his wife, Val Morgan’s sales director Natasha O’Connor, are off to the UK. 

Gareth, who is Scottish and finishes up next Friday, is taking up a job as strategy director with Phd working on the global Unilever account and he says it came about after a few discussions with Guy Cousins, who ventured to the UK to work on the Unilever business last year after time at Spark PHD and Naked. And while O’Connor says he wasn’t keen to head back to London initially, he and the family eventually came around the idea.  

As well as spending more time with his family, he says he’s looking forward to actually creating work that that runs in international markets rather than simply placing it, as is often the case when working with big international clients in New Zealand. But he says he’s loved his five years here and they are planning on heading back at some stage. 

O’Connor transferred from Starcom London to Starcom New Zealand in 2008, where he looked after Telecom Home, Telecom Business, Gen-i, NZ Navy and Auckland Museum. In 2010 he left to work as a business director at Carat responsible for all strategy and planning for 2degrees Mobile (which Carat has recently lost) and Pernod Ricard. As an extension of that role, he also worked as the media specialist/strategist at Whybin\TBWA and produced a semi-weekly video wrap of happenings in the media biz. 


Suzie Lamborn, who was strategy director at Val Morgan, has taken Natasha O’Connor’s role as sales director. 

Caulton’s choice

MediaWorks TV has appointed Mark Caulton as director of programming, responsible for commissioning, acquisitions and scheduling for television channels TV3 and Four. 

Caulton’s 18-year television career includes 15 years in the programming department at MediaWorks TV, most recently as associate director of programming, a role he took up in 2008. After the departure of Kelly Martin last year, he has been acting director of programming. 

“Mark has played a key part in the success of TV3 and Four for many years, bringing top-notch international and local content to our screens,” says Paul Maher, chief executive officer of MediaWorks TV. “Mark is a hugely talented individual, highly respected by his colleagues within MediaWorks, and the wider television industry, local and international. He is passionate about our business, and understands what works for viewers and clients.”

Poster post

Adshel has announced the appointment of Angela McDougall as New Zealand marketing manager. She replaces Emma Barnes, who is now on maternity leave until January 2014. 

McDougall will take full
responsibility for all marketing activities in New Zealand, with a focus on
continuing to roll out activity associated with the recent rebrand and
simultaneously executing an exciting and refreshing calendar of marketing

She comes to this role
with a strong background in media and creative services marketing having worked
in similar roles at OMD in London and at Sydney-based design agency,
Presentation Studio.

She will be based in the Auckland office and will report into general manager Nick Vile.

Three more on the stack

Haystac has announced a trio of recent wins: Universal Pictures
Home Entertainment, Charlie’s Trading Company and Breville.

The Universal Pictures Home Entertainment account
(including distribution for Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures) was
won in a four-way competitive pitch. 

Coley, managing director of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment New Zealand
says Haystac demonstrated a natural connection with the business and a great understanding of the industry and its challenges.

Focused on growth in New Zealand and Australia, Charlie’s Trading
Company has appointed Haystac to handle consumer PR based on their strong FMCG
expertise and trans-Tasman offering. Pead PR is still doing some corporate PR work and handled the sale to Asahi. 

“Haystac was a great fit for us. We wanted strong and proven FMCG
experience, a natural cultural fit, an agency that worked well with our
existing partners and the ability to deliver New Zealand-led PR campaigns
across both markets. They ticked all the boxes,” says Steve Cook, Phoenix marketing manager.

Global appliance brand Breville also has clear business
ambitions and needed a new agency partner to help bring this to life. Haystac
was selected off the back of the agency’s strong cuisine and consumer
technology experience, and as New Zealand managing director Brett O’Neill says, Breville is experiencing the benefit of an
integrated service.

“Our business is growing
exponentially. We felt that Haystac represented the ideal PR fit as we take the
brand to the next level. On top of that, we now have our key agency partners
working together under the one roof at Aegis. Collectively they have already
delivered a standout campaign resulting in exceptional sales.”

Feature focused

Feature film group Strange Weather Films has formed a strategic partnership with The Sweet Shop and the collaboration will see the two companies developing and co-producing feature film content for the The Sweet Shop’s growing roster of directorial talent.

Strange Weather leads Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner, and Jeffrey Fierson have a combined total of more than $3 billion in box office receipts between them, with hits like Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, 21 Jump Street, and Cirque Du Soleil’s 3-D spectacular, World’s Away.

“Working with Melanie, Paul and the rest of the gang at The Sweet Shop has been a sincere pleasure. We feel very fortunate to have a financial and creative partner so in sync with our artistic vision,” says Strange Weather Film’s principal, Aron Warner.

The Sweet Shop’s reputation as a leading producer of content has made them home to some of the world’s premier directorial voices and has earned them recognition from the Cannes Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, D&AD, Creativity Magazine, Best Ads on TV as well as multiple Production Company of the Year awards, including the most recent Axis awards gong.

“Strange Weather is a special collaboration of extraordinary talent,” says Paul Prince, chief executive of The Sweet Shop. “We are blessed to have such great partners and mentors in this space. With Adam, Aron and Jeff, we have knowledgeable, resourceful allies who share our values and beliefs in the avant-garde and the magic of stories.”

The joint venture’s first project will be directed by Melanie Bridge, who has won numerous awards for her commercial work as well as a spot on Shots Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Directors in the World’ list. The film will be based on an original book by author Jay Furby who says, “it’s a great compliment and an amazing opportunity to have the makers and masters of the Shrek andNarnia franchises see the potential in my work and grab it”.

This expansion marks a new chapter for The Sweet Shop, which, like some other local production companies, is increasingly moving into long-form features, as evidenced by the recent launch of Shopping by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland.


Cats get the cream

Spark PR & Activate has won the PR and events business for New Zealand gourmet dairy brand The Collective in a competitive pitch. It was previously with Bare PR. 

Founded in 2009 by chefs Angus Allan and Ofer Shenhav, The Collective has expanded quickly thanks to its highly creative, award-winning flavours and strong, quirky brand presence (it was number 14 on the fastest growing companies list at last year’s Deloitte Fast 50). 


“We’re now a global brand and are proud to be a household name for creating ‘great dairy… no bull’,” says Allan. “Following our growth here and abroad, and with our commitment to churning out the very best in all we do, we felt a great natural fit with Spark PR & Activate.” 

Louise Paul, Spark PR & Activate general manager, says the agency is enjoying a great period of growth and is “looking forward to applying our creativity, strong talent pool, and strategic insights to New Zealand’s greatest – and fastest growing – little dairy company”. 

“And as part of the wider Spark Group, we’re able to tap into innovative and international tools and resources, which set us and our ideas apart.”

Raamping it up

Digital marketing and demand generation agency Aamplify has appointed Timothy Roberts as optimisation specialist, taking the team at the newly established agency to six employees.

Roberts has a background in finance and law and previously worked at Deloitte in the financial services industry corporate tax team, before taking time out to work on a new start-up business venture.

At Aamplify, he is responsible for compliance matters, digital campaign analysis and reporting, and project management.

“Timothy has a love of ideas and innovation coupled with a highly analytical mind,” says Samuel Williams, managing partner of Aamplify. “He has a keen interest in how technology can change the world we live in and is fascinated by the value that can be created by truly understanding how people interact with a brand or product through measurable data. This type of thinking will ensure that we’re delivering campaigns that deliver return on marketing investment through audience engagement, effectively creating measurable magnetic demand.”

Roberts holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws conjoint degree from the University of Auckland. He has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

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