The table. Pretty much every office has one. And they’re generally not the most exciting of objects. But the table that sits in the offices of Assignment Group—and the table that features on the front cover of the November/December issue of NZ Marketing—is surprisingly interesting and has become a rather fitting symbol of how the agency began and how it still likes to work.
For ten years, Assignment Group hasn’t talked to the media. It also doesn’t pitch or enter awards and works in a rather unique and, ironically, very open way with itsclients, so, not surprisingly, it has become something of an enigma. As a writer, you always want what you don’t have, so for a few years now I’ve been trying to convince the Assignment Group gang to go on the record, explain their model, showcase a few of their successes (like Whittaker’s, Hyundai, the freshly sold TelstraClear, Z Energy and Griffin’s) and debunk some of the myths and misperceptions that have built up about them as a result of their relative silence. And, with a freshly inked succession plan in place, they finally agreed to pin their colours to the mast.
Elsewhere in this edition, Lynda Brendish takes a good hard look at whether newspapers are ‘corporate hospices’ or whether rapidly morphing media habits could lead to an unexpected renaissance; Rachel Ramsay delves into the plain packaging debate to see if the phrase should be changed to ‘where there’s smoke there are liars’; Dwight Whitney gets to grips with the current state of the outdoor media industry and how it’s planning to ride the digital wave; Susan Edmunds surveys the ever-changing research landscape (there’s also a handy pull-out research guide); and we showcase some of the ways traditional media is adapting to the modern realm.
We’ve also got interviews with ANZ’s head of marketing Mike Cunnington on the departure of the National Bank and Nosh’s Clinton Beuvink on facing up to the big boys, as well as columns on ‘The Age of the Cull’ from the Research Agency’s Andrew Lewis, OMD’s Andrew Reinholds on how creative and media agencies need to play nice, Special Group’s Michael Redwood on how design and creative need to play nice, Dow Design’s Donna McCort on dealing with design, Ben Goodale on how Subway took the mobile by the horns, Jacqueline Ireland on how mobile is changing research and all our regular stunning stats and jolly japes, including 50 years of Villa Maria.