Movings/Shakings: January 24

DraftFCB says farewell (kind of) to another senior creative, Yellow brings in two foreign imports in its quest to go digital, Localist undergoes a restructure, Ambient Advertising adds one to the flock, Colmar Brunton welcomes a newbie, and Datamine kicks off 2012 with a triple treat.  

Simpkins goes freerange

DrafFCB has just won the majority of the Air New Zealand account and is still waiting to find out if it’s snaffled Vodafone, and, if it does claim victory, it will probably have some hiring to do, because, following on from the defection of DraftFCB’s creative director Chris Schofield to DDB, Matt Simpkins has also departed to work as a freelancer.

Simpkins, who has been at the agency for six years, co-founded Generator in 1995 and has taken home an Axis Grand Prix and a host of global awards including D&AD, Cannes, One Show, AWARD and the Caxtons, says he’ll probably carry on working for DraftFCB on his current accounts, albeit as a freelancer. And as for replacements for himself and Schofield, he believes executive creative director James Mok is waiting for the results of the pitches before making any new hires.

“It’s been a great and successful period, and really pleasing to see DraftFCB grow so much in those years, but as a creative you need to keep challenging yourself and this is what this next step is all about,” ” says Simpkins. “As a freelancer, I’m looking forward to working with new people and seeing how other agencies do things.”

In a statement, Mok said: “Matt’s the go-to guy for those difficult, curly briefs and will certainly be missed.”

He is available for freelance work from Feb 5, and can be contacted on 021 683 156 or [email protected]

Yellow peril

Yellow is undergoing a major transformation at the moment as it shifts its focus towards digital marketing and this has led to the appointment of two new international executives to the senior management team, with Lara Bancroft appointed as head of marketing and digital and Michael Hendry joining as acting chief technology officer.

Bancroft has a wealth of global experience in all aspects of marketing and project leadership and began her career in the United States. She has also worked in the UK and most recently as a consultant in Australia.

Hendry has a mix of international experience gained in large multinational companies, as well as a number of New Zealand corporates including IBM and Telecom. He has also spent time building several successful private technology companies based in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

“The directories industry is in the midst of a digital revolution,” says Yellow managing director Chris Armistead. “Consumer usage is diverse thanks to the emergence of online media which has changed the way buyers and sellers connect forever.

“Like many directory businesses around the world, Yellow has recognised that in order to remain relevant and to increase value, our focus needs to be solely on transforming from a predominantly print-based directory to a sophisticated multi-channel advertising network.”

Yellow’s new online focus offers small business customers the ability to gain quality leads through its extensive range of digital solutions including the design, build and maintenance of tailored websites, online videos and Facebook business pages. Yellow can also ensure its customers’ online presence is maximised thanks to a recent partnership agreement with Google Adwords.

Duelling directories 

As Yellow shifts its focus, the company trying to steal its directory thunder is, according to the NBR, undergoing a restructure that will result in a smaller management group and a sales team that will shrink from 28 to 16.

The NBR quoted chief executive Blair Glubb as saying four managers in Localist’s sales division, and all senior managers, have been asked to reapply for their jobs. And head of products and marketing Sheryl Nichols has also resigned to follow her partner Tim Nichols, the head of global sales for New Zealand network security company Endace, to Silicon Valley.

In keeping with Yellow’s new foreign contingent, it has also secured the services of Christina Domecq to help with the restructure.

Upping the Ambience

Carlee Atkin has swapped her role as agency account manager at Healthy Life Media for an account manager role at Ambient Advertising.

“Carlee will have an agency and direct portfolio, and work across our ambient media and experiential/events divisions, led by Lucy Grigg,” says Ambient’s Auckland-based Australasian chief operating officer Chris Monaghan. “This side of the business has been pumping out great experiential. Now it’s time to show what we can deliver.”

Head case

Colmar Brunton has named Richard Head as account director, qualitative.

Head brings with him a wealth of research and brand planning experience, having previously worked as head of qual at UK agencies TNS and Hall & Partners, as well as a planner and strategist at Ogilvy Action and Fitch in London.

His focus will be to work alongside Colmar Brunton’s key FMCG clients, incorporating new methods and emerging technologies to develop brand strategy and communications through deeper conversations with consumers.

“Nice to have someone on the team with such extensive FMCG brand experience and who sounds more English than me,” says Spencer Willis, head of qual.

Inheriting the Earth

Datamine has brought in a triple treat to kick off 2012, with Jo Wright, who has a background in project management, technical consulting, and business appointed as platform services manager, Michael Camilleri, a former BRANZ research scientist, joining as analyst, and Winnie Guan, formerly senior data analyst at Auckland City Council, joining as a systems developer and technical analyst.

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