Movings/Shakings: 25 March

Sparking some silo-breaking

Alysha Delany, the general manager of digital specialist agency, PHDiQ, has resigned after six years in the job. And Spark is using the departure as a chance to knock down a few silos and promote head of strategy Jane Stanley to the position of general manager PHDiQ and strategy.  

“Alysha has been instrumental in building PHDiQ to become one of the country’s most successful digital media agencies and her contribution over the years has been invaluable,” says Louise Bond, chief executive of Spark Group. 

Delany was the single founding member of Spark’s digital business arm back in 2007. Under her leadership, the business is now made up of 25 experts across search, social, digital consulting and data in addition to the core competencies of digital media planning and buying (as for where Delany is heading, Spark’s Jennifer Porter says “there is going to be a separate announcement about where she’s going, which I believe will be made imminently.”).

Says the release: “For too long, traditional media and digital media departments around the world have operated in silos, with each discipline focused on growing the expertise related to their particular channels. Spark Group is an agency that looks to guide clients on the future, away from a solo mentality approach to communications, and towards joint thinking.”

Bond says it intends to maintain Spark’s current model of three separate business units—Spark PHD, PHDiQ and Spark PR and Activate—working under one roof, but “strategy is the fundamental link between the media disciplines and it’s at the centre of everything we do”, so Stanley’s new remit will include both business management of PHDiQ and the function of the Spark Group strategy team.

Increasingly, digital has to be at the heart of every strategy, not an adjunct or afterthought to it, says Bond, and she says having the head of the strategic offering in charge of digital “is a game changer in New Zealand”.

Prior to taking on the role as Spark Group’s head of strategy in mid-2012, Stanley headed up the strategic planning team at creative agency Clemenger Harvie Edge in Melbourne, where she also led the creation of the agency’s social media offering and was responsible for the leadership of digital production.

She also held the strategic planning director position at TMW in London for eight years and was responsible for a large team of digital and direct strategic planners, search and social media experts for the likes of T-Mobile, Unilever and Diageo.  

Stanley returns to Spark from maternity leave on 2 April, with a one-month handover with Delaney.

Spark is also creating several new positions and will be recruiting new talent into the business.


DDB NZ will be welcoming some more senior muscle to the fold, with Kiwi expat Oliver Lynch departing his role as and managing partner at DDB Melbourne and filling the role of general manager in Auckland. 

Managing director Justin Mowday says it’s still a bit early to define what Lynch’s role will be, but it is likely to be a combination of some account responsibility and general senior level leadership. 

Lynch has been working in Melbourne’s advertising industry for over 12 years, with stints at Grey, Clemenger Harvie Edge and DDB Melbourne. In 2012, he was recognised as the Australia/New Zealand Account Person of the Year by Campaign.

Arts and crafts

Brand and packaging design agency Dow
Design has appointed Tony Masterantonio as a senior creative.

Masterantonio recently
returned from three years in New York where he was a senior art director at New
York Agency Laird and Partners. His portfolio includes projects for major global
brands including Hilton, Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Largerfeld. 

Originating from
New Zealand, he mastered his trade over a ten year period in London
working for several renowned agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann
Relationship Marketing and Publicis Dialog.

Masterantonio also has an impressive musical resume and continues to record and perform with instrumental Kiwi trio Quarter Acre Lifestyle.


Birds of a feather 

Nikki Walker has joined Finch as an executive producer in Auckland.

Walker, who has prolific experience on both production company and agency side of advertising, brings 20 years of commercial, film and television experience to the job. 

She has worked at AMV BBDO London, Colenso BBDO Auckland, Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, McCann Erickson Auckland and numerous production companies, and has worked with international brands Samsung, Westpac, Nokia, Vodafone, Sony, O2 (Germany), Mercedes, Ford, Ikea, and Coca-Cola. In 2012 she produced the ‘Every Day a New World’ campaign for New World with Finch’s Patrick Hughes and she also produced Westpac’s ‘Hand Outs’ for Prodigy. 


“I think Nikki is awesome,” says Rob Galluzzo, executive producer and founder of Finch, which was established two years ago. “Our directors agree. Except for Christopher Riggert who hasn’t met her yet, but is open to the idea of liking her.”

Finch was recently awarded a couple of golds and a creative innovation award at AWARD for the 37Degrees technology it used in Pedigree’s Donation Glasses campaign. 

The technology allows cinema patrons to experience different sides of a narrative in a whole new way. And it was launched with a short film that premiered in limited release before The Avengers, the most successful film opening ever. NCM, which controls 60 percent of American cinema screens, have taken an exclusive license for the territory, and additonal licences are underway for Europe, Asia and South America.

Live and direct

Yukfoo has signed up to represent/line-produce for Anders Schroder, the creative director at Frame in Copenhagen, in the Asia Pacific region. 

Schroder is a live action/motion design director. For the past few years he has been the creative director at Frame and prior to this he spent a number of years building his showreel and reputation around the globe, including four years split between New York and Los Angeles, three years in Sydney, and three in London. Throughout the years he has worked with clients such as Sprite, Cartier, MTV, Mazda, Adidas, Nike, Toyota, Ford, VH1, Gatorade and VW.  

Says the release: “He combines the aesthetics and techniques of the motion design industry with traditional live action directing skills that emphasise story and performance. His work, international in scope, is a contemporary fusion of design, live action, motion graphics, animation and visual effects. Anders makes all kinds of clever stuff for screens of all sizes, be it commercials, channel rebrands, title sequences, image spots, films and digital projects. He even starred in a US TV show called Maxim Supercars, which probably makes him the equivalent of Jeremy Clarkson (except he’s younger, has better fashion sense and isn’t a bigoted git).”


It is people

Air New Zealand has been inducted in to the Randstad Awards Global Hall of Fame after being named the country’s most attractive employer for a third consecutive year, the first time an organisation anywhere in the world has won the accolade three times in a row.

The Randstad Awards are currently held in 18 countries and are now in their 13th year internationally. In New Zealand the awards have been running since 2011 with Air New Zealand taking out the top honours every year. 

Randstad, a specialist HR and recruitment provider, surveys around 7,000 employees and job seekers in each country to identify companies they recognise and indicate their preference to work for these organisations.  

Nominated companies are then assessed across a range of areas including strong management, financial health, job security, development opportunities and a good work-life balance.

Air New Zealand ranked highly with 86 percent of respondents acknowledging they knew the airline well enough to have a strong opinion and positive perception about the brand. More than half of this group also indicated they would like to work for the company.  

“We have long acknowledged our people are one of our greatest assets and have worked hard to create a culture which fosters positive and engaged staff and firmly places us at the cutting edge of our industry,” says chief executive officer Christopher Luxon. “We believe this culture translates to more positive experiences for our customers, greater productivity, more innovative thinking and ultimately to strong business results and it’s pleasing to see this commitment recognised externally.”


Social Media Club Auckland (#SMCAKL) has announced its return for 2013 with a new team, new venue and renewed enthusiasm.

Social Media Club has welcomed a number of well-known social media hotshots and communicators onto its organisational team this year, including Vaughn Davis (The Goat Farm), Julie Landry (PR), Kirsti Grant (SocialSauce), Angela Farrelly (Air New Zealand) and Julian Waters, who co-organised the highly successful 2012 events.

“Social Media Club Auckland is the leading forum for exploring the cutting edge of modern marketing and communications, especially social media,” says Waters.

The event series will this year take place at Vodafone NZ, on Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

“As an early adopter and supporter of social media for customer service and engagement, we welcome the opportunity to host Social Media Club at Vodafone this year,” says Geri Ellis general manager of digital and social media at Vodafone NZ.

The first event is on Wednesday 27 March, 6pm at Vodafone NZ (20 Viaduct Harbour Ave, Auckland). And the evening’s topic is ‘Public Relations and Social Media – using Twitter to chirp a brand’s tune.’

The remaining monthly panel topics are currently being decided via a Facebook poll, which event attendees have been encouraged to vote on. 

“We want feedback on our suggested topics for the year. Whatever we cover we’re confident we’ll get together the top thought-leaders and practitioners in New Zealand,” says SocialSauce director Kirsti Grant.

Advertising and social media company owner Vaughn Davis is also enthusiastic about the event series: “Social Media Club is a must-attend for marketers and business communicators in 2013 – if you want to share what you know and learn from others, then attending is a no-brainer.” 

To find out more and register, check out the brand new #SMCAKL website smcakl.com

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