Movings/Shakings: 30 June–UPDATED

A sad farewell

Vanilla Brief has announced the departure of director Ben Slater after 10 years of leading its Admission arm with fellow directors Rob Davis and Peter Hodge.

“After the closure of our Brisbane office earlier this year, Ben looked at moving to Sydney or Auckland to lead one of our other offices, but realised that he and Kirsty (and the kids) had made Queensland their home,” Davis says. “They have instead chosen to start exciting new adventures in the city of the competition-winning Firebirds and table-topping Broncos.”

Davis says Ben finishes formally today, but will be keeping his email for a while longer so “that in typical Ben-style, he can continue to help wherever possible.”

New bill for the board

DNA has appointed Matt McKendry of Marmont Capital as independent board chair. McKendry is a former partner at Deloitte and a long-serving design coach with Better by Design. At Deloitte he specialised in building its mid-market M&A and capital raising services practise in Auckland, as well as introducing Design Thinking to its Innovation service.

​McKendry currently sits on the boards of Abe’s Bagels, Mojo Coffee and Tommy & James and is managing director of Marmont Capital.

He will direct the board, consisting of the agency founder, an executive director and a longstanding advisor to DNA, to drive the company’s strategic direction, explore new business models, deliver more value from existing and new practice and access capital for anticipated growth.

McKendry says: “DNA has been working hard to meet emerging client needs for transformation through applied design practise, the agency has long held a strong reputation in design services, and in recent years Gren and the team have been investing heavily in new capability around innovation and customer experience design. It is a great time to join to help capitalise on the platform they have been building.”

Brand new role

 Facebook has announced that Will Easton will be taking on a newly-created role of head of emerging markets for Asia Pacific in mid-August. His previous role was as managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Easton will be based in Singapore and will report to Dan Neary (vice president, APAC, Facebook). His responsibilities will cover some of the larger emerging markets including India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. 

His core focus will be on building and scaling the company’s solutions and offerings across Facebook’s family of applications and services for high growth markets. He will work closely with the local teams, key brands and clients to deliver new customised solutions and experiences, a release says.

“The emerging markets across Asia Pacific are arguably one of Facebook’s biggest opportunities in relation to delivering against our company mission of connecting the world,” Neary says. “Will has done a fantastic job building our Australian and New Zealand business and will bring a huge amount of experience and value in his new role as head of emerging markets.”

Over the last three years Easton has been responsible for driving accelerated growth across the Australian and New Zealand Facebook business.

Easton says: “We have an incredibly talented local team who are well positioned to take the business in Australia and New Zealand to its next stage of growth. Moving forward, the opportunity to lead Facebook’s growth in one of the most dynamic and exciting regions in the world is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ which I’m really excited about taking on.”

Easton will continue to manage the Australia and New Zealand business until his successor is appointed.

A welcome return

​Adshel has announced the return of Christie Tanner to its Auckland sales team as she re-joins as senior account manager.

Tanner will report to group sales manager Simon Paul and will be managing a portfolio of agency clients including OMD, Dynamo and Spark PHD.

“I am delighted to be welcoming Christie back into the team, particularly following the recent launch of Adshel LIVE in the New Zealand market,” Paul says.

Tanner left Adshel in 2014 to take up the role of agency account manager with Clear Channel UK (CCUK) in London. In this role she was responsible for client relationship and revenue management, working on the Talon/Posterscope agency team in presenting creative concepts and selling across the entire CCUK product portfolio including Adshel, billboards, digital billboards, Storm (premium digital billboards), static and digital mall signage and socialite (digital bar network).

Paul says: “The experience Christie has gained selling across a digital out-of-home medium in a market at the forefront of innovation will be invaluable to the team. In addition her exposure to selling across CCUK’s full product portfolio is something we will be keen to tap into to ensure we continue to provide our advertisers with the right solution for the right briefs.”

A release says Tanner has over eight years experience in outdoor media sales in some of the world’s leading out-of-home advertising companies including OGGI Advertising, Adshel, Clear Channel UK and Val Morgan Outdoor. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Event juggler

Yesterday Orange Productions announced Blair Jagusch has joined the team in the newly created role of operations director, bringing expansive international event experience.

Jagusch has a background spanning 15 years in events including management of a wide spectrum of events such as brand activations, festivals, weddings, roadshows, awards dinners, corporate hosting, and media stunts. 

A release says Jagusch’s accolades include achieving two Guinness World Records, being named in the C&IT Magazine’s Event Producer A-List and leading the production of a festival awarded Best Outdoor Event at the Event Magazine’s UK Event Awards beating eight other finalists.

Returning to New Zealand in 2010, Jagusch was general manager of an Auckland caterer and most recently consulting within the events industry.

He says he’s excited to be joining the team. “I am looking forward to joining a talented team and working with some of the fantastic clients we have here at Orange Productions.”

A new voice

​MediaWorks has appointed Charlotte McLauchlan as group head of communications which she will take up on 26 August. In the role, she will oversee external communications, corporate affairs and internal communications for the group.

Relationships with clients, viewers and listeners are at the heart of our business, MediaWorks group CEO Mark Weldon says. “and the group head of communications plays an important role in maintaining those relationships. Charlotte has a wealth of experience in the media and the entertainment industry, which will be a huge advantage given the increasing number of assets and opportunities we continue to launch and manage.”

McLauchlan says: “After four amazing years with Shine Australia, it is a privilege to be returning home to New Zealand to join the MediaWorks team in what is a pivotal time for the business. With brands that touch almost all New Zealanders, the role presents a fascinating and demanding challenge. I can’t wait to get started.”

A release says she has an established history of working with some recognisable and high profile media and entertainment brands including Channel 4 in London, BBC News, Grazia magazine and has run consumer and corporate PR campaigns for Disney, BAFTA, EA Sports, Universal Pictures and PlayStation.

Controversial changes

Maori TV has announced a “refreshed format” of its current affairs show Native Affairs according to NBR and will feature a new on-screen line up, following the resignation of senior journalists.

Ward Kamo and Billie-Jo Hohepa Ropiha will co-host, with Mātai Smith, Maiki Sherman, Rewa Harriman and Wena Harawira joining the reporting team.

“Native affairs has proven it’s not afraid to ask the hard questions and Ward’s broad understanding of issues will help cut through the spin,” head of news and current affairs Maramena Roderick says in a release. “Audiences are changing. We need to respond to this with a team who can face the challenge head on.”

However, the release leaves out the reason for the new hires or the recent high profile departures, including Mihingarangi Forbes three weeks ago.

Following Forbes’s departure, reporters Semiramis Holland and Jodi Ihaka have also handed in their notice and last Thursday Forbes tweeted that producer Annabelle Lee has also decided to leave.

According to NBR: “Native Affairs has recently been the subject of controversy, following allegations that Maori Television executives – as well as members of parliament – have interfered in editorial content critical of Maori establishment figures and institutions.”

Changing times

Below the Line has had a few changes as of late, including a new digital arm, a new name and a new office in a renovated character space.

The agency has shortened its name to the acronym BTL saying it recognises the changing times and its now fully integrated model.

A release says: “Started 26 years ago by Bob Faram as a sales promotion agency, a lot has changed in that time with the agency now offering a full spectrum of ‘shopper centric’ solutions including shopper marketing, digital, creative, experiential marketing and merchandise.”

A recent merger with digital agency Creative People means the full service digital arm now operates in-house, known as BTL Digital.

The new premises in the newly renovated Kauri Building on Fanshawe Street takes the best of the past and seamlessly combines it with the best of today BTL director Christine Abbott says. “A good analogy for us as an agency as we continue to evolve within the ever changing omni-channel world.”

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