Movings/Shakings: 8 July

A resignation

After just over a year as the head of Eleven PR at Whybin\TBWA, Lauren Vosper has ended her tenure at the company. 

Whybin chief executive Todd Mcleay says that TBWA has no plans at this stage to replace Vosper, and that they will be relying on existing staff structures to cover her responsibilities.

“Lauren resigned from Eleven PR and we wish her well,” he said. “The team is now reporting in to me, with day-to-day leadership provided by group account director Rebecca Hyndman who has a long association with the agency and its clients.”  

He also added that recent account losses at TBWA did not play a part in Vosper’s decision to resign.

“There have been no recent account losses in Eleven PR – rather an influx of new clients and projects particularly in the corporate space,” he said. 

Prior to taking on her role at Eleven, Vosper worked in Sydney for Clemenger BBDO as the Sydney business director for approximately one year. Before that she worked as a group account director at DDB Sydney between 2012 and 2013 and as a brand project director at Graphite Media for approximately nine months.

Vosper has also notched up some New Zealand-based experience during her career, working as the sponsorship manager at Vodafone between 2006 and 2007 and as an account director at Mango from 2005 to 2007. 

Hyped up

There have been a number of staff changes at Hypermedia since the company launched, and this trend has continued throughout the first half of this year.

In April, Belinda Freeman took over as the managing director of the company, replacing general manager Jonathan Symons, who joined TVNZ as the general manager of data and insights in January. 

Prior to joining Hypermedia, Freeman worked with Nielsen and Ipsos in the UK for over 10 years and she also held a varied range of New Zealand-based roles over the course of 17 years before that.   

Music to the ears 

Insight Creative has been appointed as the design agency for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) following a successful pitch for the business.

Insight’s strategic development director Steven Giannoulis said that he didn’t know which other agencies were involved in the pitch, but he says the process was competitive. 
As the new account holder, Giannoulis says that Insight will be required to extend the reach of the concert programme to more sections of the population.

“We are delighted to be working in such a creative partnership to make the NZSO’s concert programme accessible to more New Zealanders.”

He says that Insight will work with NZSO’s internal team to extend its brand and audience reach through the effective design of the season programme and the specific communication materials that support each concert.

Last year, The Church, the previous NZSO account holder, launched an elaborate online- and app-based campaign that featured a series of 16 YouTube videos.  

Directing solo

Campbell Hooper has signed to The Sweet Shop for individual representation, stepping into directing full time after seven years co-leading design studio Special Problems.

Having previously worked alongside long-term collaborator Joel Kefali, Hooper’s decision to step away from the collective was driven by a desire to focus purely on film-making, and has immediately seen him enjoy individual success with his short film ‘43000 Feet’ playing at festivals around the world and featuring on websites, including Short of the Week and as Staff Pick on Vimeo. Music videos for The Naked and the Famous and Little Daylight, and commercial work for Ubiquiti, Ford and Leggo’s have all followed quickly after.  

Hooper’s progression into solo directing makes sense, given the experience he gained at Special Problems, where he worked on projects ranging from album artwork to fashion film, from brand design to music videos.

Special Problems’ success—winning NZ Music video of the year three times, two awards at the NZ Film Awards in 2013 and Gold Lion at Cannes in 2011 among other accolades—also pushed Hooper in the solo direction. As the studio became renowned, Hooper and Kefali increasingly had to split their efforts between projects, leaving each more independent in their approach than before.

With his focus now purely on directing, Hooper hopes to continue the good vein of form that has seen him enjoy so much award success in recent years.  

New faces, new clients

MediaR has added two new faces to its team, and these appointments coincide with a number of new business wins.

Hayden Ricketts joins the agency as head of digital reinforcing the agency’s growth in the digital space and broadening its scope of services in this area. Ricketts most recently worked as a digital marketer at Air New Zealand, managing the social media community and prior to that he headed the digital channel at Genesis Energy, focusing on acquisition, retention and engagement strategies.

The second recruit, Rachel Hitchcock, joined the agency in May as group account director and has over 20 years’ experience on both the agency and client side, working with organisations such as Montana Wines, Vittoria Coffee, Simplot Australia and Tegel Chicken. For the last three years, she has been running her own marketing consultancy and handling the marketing of the Taste Auckland festival. 

And in client news, the Alzheimer’s Society has brought on MediaR  to promote the Memory Walk campaign in September. In addition, Dr LeWinns Skin Care has also commissioned MediaR for brand and retail work, Southern Cross Financial has appointed the agency to manage its marketing function and advertising, and Studio Italia has appointed the agency to create a new brand position and direction. 

The final win for the MediaR comes in the shape of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which has appointed the agency to develop and maintain a community Facebook page, as well as developing and managing digital campaigns.

Tony Richards, the managing director at MediaR, says the appointments of Hitchcock and Ricketts and the great client wins are testament to the work and ethos of the agency.

Expanding the empire

Zomato, the restaurant search and discovery service, announced today that it has acquired menumania.co.nz, a popular New Zealand-based restaurant discovery service for an undisclosed amount.

“We are thrilled to welcome Menumania to Zomato,” said Deepinder Goyal, the founder and chief executive of Zomato. “The Menumania team is very passionate about restaurants and helping people discover new places to eat. We look forward to working closely with them to leverage their local expertise. Together, Zomato and Menumania will be the largest resource of restaurant information in New Zealand, and I am sure both our users will love the integrated product once it rolls out over the next few weeks.”

The founding team of Menumania will be working closely with the Zomato team following this acquisition, and Cristian Rosescu, the founder and chief executive of MenuMania, views this as a good thing.

“We will be able to combine our local knowledge about the market, with the technology Zomato brings to the table,” he said. “It will also deliver greater value to local restaurant businesses, as all the users in NZ will have access to their information on a common platform now. Overall, it is going to be a big win for our users, MenuMania, Zomato and business owners as well.” 

In addition to consolidating the two teams, the respective websites of the previously disparate companies will also be conflated under the Zomato web address. 

Zomato has been aggressively expanding its global presence with launches in Europe and Southeast Asia in the past six months, while also working to strengthen its presence in existing markets. This acquisition is a strategic move to establish Zomato’s presence in the Pacific.

This is Zomato’s first acquisition globally, and Goyal says that the company’s mission is to become “the dominant player in this space across the globe”.

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