Movings/Shakings: 27 April

Contagion welcomes a new, very experienced partner, merger she wrote as Method Studios and Magnet Design join forces, Suzanne Dale says adios to Taste magazine, glossy mag ME adds a new partner, and Let’s Travel editor-at-large Gary Dickson picks up an international writing award.

Thompson catches Contagion

Contagion has announced that Richard Thompson has joined as a new partner in the company and will take the role of head of media channels.

He joins from the role of general manager, digital, at Starcom and across the Vivaki group in New Zealand (Starcom & Zenith Optimedia), where he has been pivotal in the ongoing digital growth of Telecom, Westpac, Toyota and AA Insurance.

Prior to joining Starcom in New Zealand, he was general manager of Total Media and he has worked on the client, production and agency side of the business in the UK, including roles such as digital strategy director, Europe, for Universal McCann and head of digital marketing for leading TV producer Endemol.

“It is one of those cases where you like the company so much you decide you just have to be a part of it,” Thompson says. “The energy and experience this team have, coupled with our shared focus on digital excellence made the hard decision to move on from my role at Starcom and the Vivaki group much easier.”

Thompson has been working closely with Contagion over the past year on clients such as Tourism New Zealand and TVNZ and Dean Taylor, Contagion’s managing director, says they loved his approach.

“We know that in the new environment media is often the message, so to have someone with such strong digital expertise and a career full of innovation is a perfect fit for us.”

Merger she wrote

Auckland digital agency Method Studios, which was established in 2003, has merged with web development company Magnet Design in an effort to offer a broader range of services with increased capacity and resources.

Director of Magnet Dean Woodall will join as a director of Method Studios under the title of technical director, while existing Method directors Samantha Ramlu and Eugene Eastlake retain their current titles of managing director and creative director respectively.

“We’ve been collaborating with Magnet on projects for a while and it seemed like a natural progression to join forces and strengthen Method’s technical know-how,” says Ramlu.  “Magnet’s 12 years of experience in design and development, programming and applications, and the team’s technical expertise, is the perfect addition to strengthen our offering to the market. Not only that, they are a fantastic bunch of people and we are thrilled to be working with them under the Method umbrella.”

Already-shared offices mean neither company will be shifting, and they will now also be sharing clients like Bell Tea, Twinings, Intel, Much Moore, Smith & Smith and The Retail Institute.

A question of Taste 

Following on from news that Woman’s Day’s deputy editor Fiona Fraser would take over from Leonie Barlow as editor of Australian Women’s Weekly (Fraser was replaced at Woman’s Day by associate editor Kylie Baylie), Suzanne Dale is also leaving as editor of Taste Magazine.

There’s no word on a replacement yet.

All about ME

Denise Michelle Coco Tuson, the former editor of Verve Magazine and experienced writer, has entered into partnership with Charlotte Carlyle Wilson, publisher of ME Magazine, a bi-monthly, high-end, lifestyle glossy magazine that is distributed nationally via Corporate Cabs and five star hotels and lodges.

Corporate Cabs has a 400-strong fleet in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown and every cab carries a copy of ME which may be kept by the passenger. Hotels and lodges include The Sofitel, The Hilton, Mollies, Eichart’s, and the Intercontinental.

The current print run is 8,000 to be increased substantially through the year to provide for retail. Advertisers have included Emirates, Hilton, Luxury Real Estate NZ, Cavit & Co, Mt Difficulty Wines, BMW, Independent Prestige, Partridge Jewellers and Jane Daniels.

“I am extremely excited and proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with Charlotte in publishing and editing ME Magazine, with more Auckland and Wellington content to come, it encompasses everything I love about life and living in our fabulous country,” Tuson says. “No other local magazine highlights New Zealand in such a luxurious yet attainable manner that is easily accessible to international visitors and locals alike.

“Charlotte and I are looking forward to expanding ME Magazine together with great anticipation. We aim to enhance the lives or our ever-increasing readership by discovering fabulous places, people and products. Above all, we will deliver these to you in a thoughtful and tastefully designed magazine that will surpass your expectations.”

San Fran glory 

Gary Dickson, a New Zealand travel writer and the editor-at-large of Let’s Travel Magazine, has been chosen from over 160 entries at the International Pow Wow travel writer awards for ‘Flowers in my Hair’, an article that related a first-hand account of the history of music that San Francisco is famous for.

Dickson accepted the Best International Pow Wow 2011 Host City Article from the founders of City Pass, which sponsor the annual awards event and was held this year in Los Angeles among some 6,000 delegates.

“It was my first ever visit to San Francisco, so to be able to visit some of the most revered music sites and write about them was extra special,” he says. “I’d always wanted to visit the Haight Asbury district, the Fillmore Theatre and North Beach and, as a music buff, the tour I experienced hit all the right musical notes.”

In true hippy style, he boarded The Magic Bus tour that promotes itself as not just a tour, but a a trip, man.

“It is, without a doubt, the best 90 minutes of nostalgia, romance, heartbreak and fun I have had on a group tour for a long time.”

Let’s Travel is a bi-monthly glossy publication that was established only three years ago so Dickson says it is especially pleasing for the small publishing team to win such a major travel writing award.

To read the article go online to find it under the Escape section at www.letstravelmag.com


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