DDB ends year on high: will it celebrate with a Speight’s?

After losing the VW and George Weston Foods accounts in November, DDB NZ seemed to be headed for a very subdued Christmas party. But fast-forward a few weeks from those dark days, and it now seems that the agency will be ending the year on a high.

In addition to recently returning to the driver’s seat by winning the BMW/Mini account, DDB has just been announced as New Zealand’s leading creative agency for 2013 at the annual Campaign Asia Agency of the Year Awards.

Victory at the Singapore-held ceremony, which has been running for 20 years, will taste even sweeter for DDB, because the agency pipped Colenso BBDO, which took over both DDB’s November account losses, for the gold. DraftFCB completed the top three, and took home the bronze.

Colenso did, however, also get its hands on some gold during the course of the evening by winning the New Zealand Digital Agency of the Year Award, a category in which DDB took silver. 

“I think that the local industry definitely benefits from this type of brotherly competition. I have huge respect for the guys at Colenso, and think these awards show that both agencies are doing great work across the board – both digitally and creatively. But, that being said, it always feels good to pip the competition to an award,” says DDB chief executive Justin Mowday.

Although Mowday says he was “delighted” about having won the New Zealand-based awards, he said he was happiest that Lucinda Sherborne, DDB’s planning director, had won the Austrailia/New Zealand Planner of the Year Award.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Lucinda’s talent has been recognised with this award. This acknowledges her not only as the best planner in New Zealand, but the best planner across the Australasian market,” he says.

The agency’s executive director Andy Fackrell was chosen as the runner-up in the Australia/New Zealand Creative of the Year category, and Mowday was also pleased about this, adding that it shows how strong the team is in every department.         

But awards aren’t the only reason why DDB finds itself in a celebratory mood at the moment, because it is also thought that the agency has recently added the Speight’s account to its ledger.

At this stage, Mowday could not comment on or confirm the new account and referred StopPress to Lion for further information. Judy Walter, the external relations manager at Lion, referred us to Zenith Optimedia, which also wouldn’t comment. 

Shine, which has held the Speight’s account for several years, was also contacted with regard to Lion’s purported decision to take its business elsewhere, but no one was available to talk. 

StopPress understands that Speight’s was not put up for a pitching battle, because DDB was seen as a good fit on account of the Auckland-based agency already holding many of Lion’s other products, including the whole Steinlager range, Lion Red, Bridgewater Mill, Wither Hills, Corbans, Corona, Stella Artois, Lindauer, Huntaway and Budweiser. 

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