Movings/Shakings: 31 January

Admit three

Digital agency Admission continues to expand, with three new staff added to the roster at the start of the new year, taking the Auckland complement up to 14.

“The workload is such that we’ve had to hire another web developer, a content manager and an account executive to help cope,” says business director, Graham Medcalf. ”Our trans-Tasman workload has seen more and more Australian jobs added to our New Zealand portfolio. Our Brisbane office now has ten people and we are looking to expand our client service in Sydney. 

“It’s hard to believe that when I joined up with my mate Rob Davis, in February two years ago, I was the fourth member of staff in a very small Auckland agency. It just goes to show how much demand there is in the digital sector.”

Despite being primarily a digital agency, Admission still has a number of clients for whom the agency continues to produce work in traditional print and broadcast media. 

“The agency is growing like topsy,” says Medcalf. “We are already looking for another web designer and another web developer in Auckland, just to keep pace with the current workload.”

Christmas present

Ana Christmas has joined Fuse as account director of activation. 

Christmas will be working with a significant portfolio of clients’ brands, including PlayStation, Frucor, Heinz Wattie’s, Roadshow and Schwarzkopf. Her team is responsible for in-store activations, event management, radio promotions, brand and media launches. 

She joins the now thirteen-strong team at Fuse, having previously been ACP Media’s event manager. Her ACP role entailed managing events and sponsorship activations, including The Shopping Channel launch with Eva Longoria, 30 Days of Fashion & Beauty events and the prestigious Metro Restaurant of the Year Gala 2012.

“I’m excited to be able to collaboratively work with such a talented, forward- thinking team to bring our clients’ brands to life,” she says. “There are so many dynamic ways we can ‘fuse’ together to create experiences for consumers and gain brand recognition and loyalty for our clients.”

She also brings additional creative strengths to the team, with experience in music and events PR, editorial and project management skills. And she is also the newest vocalist for OMD’s BOTAB crew, The Chased.

Taking flight

Based on a new acquisition of skills and expertise, Eight80 social media has undergone a transformation and re-launched as Oddbird Ideas and Marketing

After being purchased in July last year by United Sweets chief executive Finn Puklowski, Eight80 focused on developing the United Sweets “candy empire.” This ranged from building a 34,000 strong fan base on Facebook to branding and launching the new United Sweets website.

The combination of Puklowski’s business experience, two new team members and two Eight80 founders has meant the newly launched Oddbird “now has the manpower and expertise to take on bigger and more varied projects” across advertising, marketing and e-commerce design and integration. 

Daniel Yarranton, a founding team member of Eight80, says the re-launch is about “giving a new name to a new face”. 

“We now have a wider skill set and want to offer our clients a holistic marketing experience,” he says. 

Fire sale

Auckland-based Salt recruitment group has acquired creative, digital and marketing expert Firebrand Talent Search.

Salt, which has offices in New Zealand and Australia, has acquired the Firebrand business operations in Auckland, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Firebrand will remain a specialist in digital, marketing and creative recruitment. The Australian operations of Firebrand were not involved in the sale. 

The terms of the sale are confidential but ownership changed hands this month and all staff have been retained.

Salt chief executive Jacqui Barratt says the purchase is an exciting opportunity for her company, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.

“Firebrand is a well-respected specialist brand in the market with a clearly defined strategy and we are committed to them remaining specialists in digital, marketing and creative.”

Barratt says continued growth and development in the digital market means the acquisition was a natural move for Salt.

“With the international mobility of talent today, a strong Asia-Pacific presence fits with our overall business direction. The acquisition of the Firebrand operations will further strengthen the depth of recruitment expertise and specialisation we can offer clients,” she says.

Firebrand chief executive Greg Savage says his company is delighted that a business of only two years’ standing attracted such a quality buyer.

Digital economies

Komli Australia and New Zealand is now the exclusive partner in this region to global media group, The Economist. 

“This major partnership strengthens Komli’s already enviable premium offering to online advertisers in the business, news and finance categories,” says Komli managing director Andrew Reid. “More than 45,000 New Zealanders and 223,000 Australians read The Economist online each month. This audience has a profile that stands the publication far apart from every other news and finance site that Antipodeans read.”

Judges, juries and executioners

In awards news, Josh Moore will take a place on the Content and Contact/Integrated Campaign Innovative jury at the Clios, while Clemenger BBDO’s Philip Andrew and M&C Saatchi’s Dave King have signed up for duty with AWARD, chairing the Print, Poster & Outdoor jury and Direct Marketing juries respectively. 

Palmer D’or

Sydney-based Kiwi director Matt Palmer has switched from Prodigy and joined The Feds for exclusive representation for the Australasian region.

He has built an extensive career both in New Zealand, Australia and overseas and his distinctive style has earned him awards for his short films as well as commercial work. He has recently worked on major campaigns for brands such as Sony, Telecom NZ and Ford. 

Free Lance

Award-winning Kiwi-born director Lance Kelleher has re-signed for representation in Australia, New Zealand and Asia with 8com. Most recently he was with Curious. 

His commercials have won global awards, including Cannes, Mobius, London IAA, AWARD and he most recently won a Gold Craft Award in Direction at the Melbourne Art Directors Club.

“Lance and I have a long history,” says Mike Vanderfield, 8com principal. “We’ve done some great work together and after many years in this game he still retains the passion, creativity and energy required to create world class work. It’s incredible really. I’m looking forward to having him back in the fold. There’s only handful of directors in this country that can deliver to the level he does.” 

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