Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu and Independent Liquor part ways—UPDATED

Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu executive creative director and managing partner Paul Catmur has confirmed to StopPress that his agency has parted ways with Independent Liquor.

Catmur said he wanted to front-foot the account move rather than wait for industry rumours to take hold of the story. 

In an email sent to StopPress, Catmur said that the account shift included both media and creative.

“For a number of years we have worked with Independent Liquor on NPD, packaging design, trade packs, media, digital, websites, DM, social media, activation and even a bit of advertising,” Catmur said.  

“We have worn a groove in the road down to Papakura that others will now follow. We’ve had a lot of fun, got through some tough times, worked with some wonderful people, and are very proud of what we achieved as a team with budgets that were always a distant relation of anything reasonable.”

Over the course of its tenure on the account, Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu assisted Independent Liquor in launching a number of brands, including Boundary Road Brewery, Founders, The Resident, Wild Side Cider, Honesty Box Cider, Wild Buck and Long White.

The creative and media partnership between the pair has resulted in ten Effie Awards, including client of the year in 2013 and a Sustained Success gold this year (Independent Liqour also won a TVNZ-NZ Marketing award for Long White last year). 

Catmur would not comment on who had won the account, but StopPress is in the process of getting confirmation of where it has gone.


A source has revealed to StopPress that the media account is in the process of moving across OMD, while the creative has shifted across to Whybin\TBWA.

Whybin\TBWA sent out a release on Friday afternoon confirming that it will be working across Independent’s full portfolio of brands including Asahi, Boundary Road Brewery, Carlsberg, Kingfisher, Estrella Damm, Long White Vodka.

“We are very excited about working with Independent Liquor,” says Whybin\TBWA New Zealand CEO, Andrew Scott. “They have a dynamic marketing team and a strong suite of diverse brands. To best meet their needs, our team will draw on the expertise of the four divisions of TBWA Group NZ; TBWA (brand), Eleven (PR, social), Integer (shopper marketing), and The Digital Arts Network (Digital/UX).”

The release goes on to explain that Whybin\TBWA saw a major senior management change late last year with the arrival of Scott and executive creative director Christy Peacock, who spearheaded a new approach called “Disruption Live”.

“This is a more connected way of working that enables us to create relevant content for clients at speed,” says Peacock.

“Digital media is rewiring consumers’ brains. Ten years ago the average attention span was 13 seconds and now it’s closer to seven. The way consumers interact with media continues to evolve, and as a network we recognise the traditional agency model has changed forever.”

OMD has also sent through a release confirming its appointment.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a great team and such an amazing portfolio of brands,” says OMD managing partner Andrew Reinholds. “The entire office is fizzing, and chomping at the bit to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. We are also looking forward to working with Independent Liquor’s new creative partners.”

Both appointments are effective immediately.

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