Saatchi’s wins and loses, .99 wins again, other agencies chuck out a few pitches

There’s been plenty of pitchy business of late and the most recent news is that Saatchi & Saatchi has won the Sanitarium account and .99 has retained the New World business.

Aside from some news about a couple of big-name additions to the roster, good news has been fairly scarce on the Strand and Sanitarium, which a Saatchi’s insider says fits very well with their stable of “iconic New Zealand brands”, is a big win for the new management team. Not surprisingly, the source says everyone’s fairly happy about nabbing the account, which it won over Ogilvy, incumbent for the last 10 years, Blackwood and one other agency. The media business handled by SparkPHD is not affected.

Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden said “the passion and desire to lift our brands to new levels shown by the new leadership team at Saatchi & Saatchi impressed us and a connection with our team was clearly evident”.

Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive Nicky Bell says brands like Weet-Bix and Marmite are a part and parcel of everyday life in New Zealand, and hold a special place in the hearts of all Kiwis.

“We aim to stay true to Sanitarium’s honesty and authenticity, and to build on that to encourage even greater consumer participation and involvement.”

The secret mole believes the Sanitarium account will be a more than adequate replacement for Griffins. Saatchi’s lost that business earlier this year after 15 years in the hotseat and it is now up for pitch. Josh&Jamie, who seem to be crowd favourites at the moment, are thought to be in the running, as is Publicis Mojo, which already has some of the Griffin’s business. But according to the NBR, the newbie indies J&J are shoe-ins. The two honourable gentlemen in question wouldn’t comment on these salacious claims.

The New World business also went up for pitch recently, and a very brief statement from Foodstuffs said the incumbent .99 had retained the account (StopPress won’t speculate on whether Jagerbombs were involved in the celebrations). That’s all the supermarkety folk would say, nothing more, nothing less, but a well-placed insider says DraftFCB (which lost the account to .99 around a year ago), TBWA\ and Saatchi’s all put their hand up for it. It is thought DraftFCB, which also has Foodstuff’s Pak n Save account, will remain in charge of all Foodstuffs media.

Rumours are also circulating that .99 is about to take all the Westpac business off Saatchi’s. It already handles Westpac’s retail business.

Another well-placed insider says it raises some interesting questions about where .99 is heading. It certainly seems to have veered away from its retail focus recently, with more emphasis on bigger, slicker brand campaigns, an area traditionally taken care of by Colenso. Air New Zealand used to be a Colenso client, and now it’s all with .99 and, with Vodafone’s use of international creative (the recent ‘Talk’ campaign was done by Colenso, however), the ‘well-placed insider’ says the big telco client could possibly follow suit.

Air New Zealand’s Nothing to Hide was .99’s first foray into what could be called a brand campaign (it was about fares, but it would be a stretch to call that retail) and the recent Rob Fyfe response to the Listener editorial was certainly off the retail brief. But it shows the appeal of an agency that does the hard yakka retail advertising to increase sales and then adds all the fun brand stuff to the remit.

Lion Nathan’s neglected children Waikato Draught and Lion Red are also up for pitch. Publicis Mojo is the incumbent and will be invited back for a shot, but sponsorship director Stephen Smith told the NBR that Josh & Jamie, Shine, DDB and Special will also be chucking their pitches out.

Federation, the agency started by Sharon Henderson and Murray Reid, has been appointed to the through-the-line business of New Zealand travel retailer, Harvey World Travel. The incumbent was Consortium.

Harvey World Travel marketing manager, Jodie Burnard says the innovative business model was appealing and the agency offered significant strategic depth and industry knowledge, as well as a collaborative and cost-effective approach.

“It’s a model that really works in the highly competitive market we’re operating in.”

Feberation’s Sharon Henderson says the agency will be responsible for the nationwide retailer’s marketing from TVCs through to digital marketing. It was already handling the digital marketing for Harvey World Travel and sister travel company United Travel (keep an eye out for Federation’s new campaigh for Cavalier Bremworth in the near future, too).

Henderson says the win has been a team effort, but special credit has to go to senior group account director Liz Adams. Newly appointed planning director Janisa Parag, Adams and Henderson all handled the Air New Zealand digital and e-tail business for a number of years at AIM Proximity, and she says that experience will now be used to assist major travel retailer Harvey World Travel and its parent company, Stella Travel Group.

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