Horse's Mouth: Josh Moore, Y&R NZ

  • Horse's Mouth
  • June 6, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Horse's Mouth: Josh Moore, Y&R NZ

After a year of collecting awards at every advertising show that mattered, Y&R NZ was this year declared by the Big Won Report as the third most creative agency in the world and its ‘McWhopper’ campaign the most-awarded idea of 2016. Suffice to say, the agency’s chief creative officer and chief executive Josh Moore had plenty to smile about. 

On Y&R’s success in 2016

"Any fool can make an ad. But you need to work damn hard and have an agency model that’s efficient and nimble with exactly the right mix of talent to be successful in this new advertising world. I would argue that Y&R is just that. We have the enormous advantage of being a full service or integrated agency. Our creative teams generate media solutions and
our media teams generate creative solutions. Other agencies don’t work this way. They’re regimented and roles have boundaries, and those boundaries become barriers to creative media solutions. When speed to market and efficiency is king, a client can’t afford to have multiple agencies. It simply no longer makes any sense. But this approach only works when the talent mix is exactly right. So we’ve continued to hire the best people in market for us. Those are the talented folk with mixed media and creative backgrounds, people who listen, people who work together and work beyond their roles. They have perspectives clients care about and knowledge and talent that agencies don’t have. You get enough of these people in a room and clients reap the benefits in bottom line value. Next, we continually foster our relationships with our like-minded clients, we give out clients’ proactive ideas as they come to mind, spotting opportunities and acting on them. And we seek out new equally like-minded clients to work with. You do all of these things and you end up with a culture that embraces bravery and is exciting to be a part of and produces exceptional work for clients. The by-product of that great work is happy clients, happy clients then produce another by-product: the awards."

On the relationship between creativity and business results

"2016 was Y&R NZ’s best year financially since Ross Goldsack retired from the business in 2008. After his departure, the financial crash hit and the business lost its way. Today, Y&R NZ is three times the size it was when the new management team took over in 2011. The margin and revenue growth is strong. We are finding that our approach and style of work really resonates with clients both here and offshore who are looking for great ideas that are genuinely different to those offered by our competition. Clients aren’t in the business of throwing their money away, which is why agencies making generic work are struggling. Great work is work worth paying for and it shows in our bottom line. If all goes to plan, 2017 will be even bigger." 

On whether it’s more difficult to stay on top or rebuild from scratch

"It’s easier to stay on top. When you’re on top you have the right client mix, the best talent and revenue for investment. If that is your starting point then you have options. When you rebuild from scratch you start from zero. It’s just a really hard slog, wearing many hats until you can hire the right people and tools. It takes a team with resilience and lots of self- belief. It’s not for everyone, and we lost plenty of good people along the way. 

On creatives as executives 

"The evidence is everywhere that the future of our industry will be determined by those who create. Clients want to be as close to the problem solvers as possible. Results, not flesh pressing, is what clients are after today. David Droga would be my best example of both an executive and a creative. He has built a highly successful agency with exceptional product for which he commands a premium. He’s done this while traditional agencies with traditional executives have floundered and failed. I’d suggest this is because he’s quick to adapt to the changing needs of his customers and equally quick at creating new product. Two things you can’t do if you’re an accountant." 

On sharing the spoils 

"The best way to keep people motivated in an agency is to make sure the proceeds of success are shared across the agency. If people are making financial progress in their personal, lives it’s easier for them to concentrate on their professional lives. Hard work makes for great work, so if you’re free to work hard because you’re well remunerated, the work stays fresh and your team stays intact." 

On the awards culture in advertising 

"Whether you’re a builder, a peace-maker or a banker, every industry has award shows. Patting yourself on the back is not unique to advertising. When the All Blacks win a World Cup, no one tells them not to attend the Halberg awards as all the accolades are becoming a bit much. So I don’t think award shows are an issue in themselves. But I do believe there are too many international shows. We don’t need 15-20. Five is fine. Then, each county or region should have its own show that reflects the local industry. The problem is that when you’re part of the global networks, they want their great work celebrated all around the world in many regions. So your work ends up being celebrated all over. This can make it look like the local office is chasing awards, when in fact head office simply wants your work celebrated in North America to drive new regional business opportunities." 

On whether clients care about awards

"Of course, they care. Our new business pipe is testament to this. We have developed a unique style of work that we believe is a direct result of our integrated model. This sometimes requires a leap of faith from our clients. Accolades alleviate a little of the fear, giving our current and prospective clients confidence. Besides, it’s no coincidence that the more awarded agencies in New Zealand and abroad are also the largest and most successful. These accolades are well-deserved and hard won."

On the awards that actually matter

"The bigger the show, the more entries there are, the more competitors in the competition, and the more significant the win. The Mitre 10 Cup is a great competition, but the World Cup is still the one to win. Winning most-awarded idea in the world in 2016 reflects a wealth of IP, talent and skill within our company that others do not have. In no particular order, the Effies, Cannes Lions and D&AD are the most important advertising awards shows in the world. They are representative of all advertising disciplines and are judged with integrity by a very diverse group of advertising professionals."

On local industry bodies

"I think the ASA and IAB do a good job. But CAANZ is a different beast. Not only does it fail to support the industry but it fundamentally fails to represent it. Here’s just one example of why it grinds my gears. Last year, I made the mistake of attending the ‘pre-Axis meet the judges’ talk at the Spark Labs venue. The point of the event was to introduce our industry’s younger generation to one of its fine global leaders. The intro to the male guest judge involved a couple of lines about how he lives in Asia because he likes young Asian women. The speaker wasn’t censured at all; in fact, the all-male New Zealand judges guffawed like it was hilarious. This was in front of the very people we were trying to inspire into our industry, a multi-cultural room of young men and women. To top it off, we were then subjected to some god-awful ideas from the same foreign juror as examples of his cleverness. When Q&A started, the first question from the young audience made the sentiment in the room obvious. Question: ‘When will there be females on the executive jury?’ Answer: ‘Errr it’s something we are working on.’ This is just one incident that highlights how backwards this organisation is, and don’t even get me started on the petty politics. My view is membership makes you complicit in the behaviour of an organisation whose values are inconsistent with the direction of our industry both here and abroad. So for the foreseeable future Y&R will not renew it’s CAANZ membership."

On pitching

"I think you have to be really careful with which accounts you pitch for and why. Last year, we were appointed to three new accounts without a pitch. We were then invited to pitch on three other accounts. We turned down two and we pitched on the third. That one pitch took up a huge amount of time, was very expensive to participate in, and was ultimately decided by procurement advisors rather than marketers, and we lost. So what can you do? Well here’s how we approach it today. We ask some very simple questions: do we need the revenue? Do we have capacity? Will our staff be passionate about this client’s business? Will the new client complement our existing clients? Are there obvious client partnership opportunities? And has the client clearly articulated why they want to work with us? If any of the answers are ‘no’, or if there are simply too many agencies involved, we politely decline. It’s the only way to balance risk with reward." 

On the pressure of working for a holding company

"Pressure makes for an exciting environment and ultimately great work. But from a financial point of view, owning your own agency is much the same as working in a holding company, because you still have constant demands for revenue growth and margin. I know this from my prior role as a partner at a Sydney indie. So, I know that the issue is not pressure; the issue is skin in the game. Building a business without significant long-term upside creates instability, and senior staff become more and more susceptible to poaching if they don’t have long-term incentives to stay. The bulk of agencies all lose great talent regularly. This is definitely an issue that shows more signs of changing. Loss of senior talent and the IP that goes with it is simply bad business."

On the accountability and transparency issues in advertising

"The accountability issues you refer to aren’t a creative or integrated agency issue. They are very much the burden of the media-only agencies. The truth is they know they need to change and they’re changing. My biggest concern is that the practices that have been exposed of late do nothing but demotivate the smart and hard working staff that populate those companies. You’ve got to feel sorry for anyone who’s lead down the wrong path through poor practices. Stronger leadership with genuinely innovative ideas, not smoke and kickbacks, are what’s needed." 

On the impact of scandals on client trust

"Does anyone trust a guy who shakes your hand and steals your watch? Obviously, the relationship damage is deep and detrimental. For an integrated agency, however, I don’t feel that we have an issue. Our processes are highly transparent, there’s nothing to hide and nowhere to hide it. We have a straightforward transaction with clients, results for dollars, and dismissal for failure." 

On what agencies got wrong in 2016

"I think a preoccupation with magic beans is causing a lack of truly great advertising. Agencies without great ideas spend their time peddling widgets, specialisms, media tech, digital tech, retail tech, blah blah blah. It’s all bollocks, fairy dust and a distraction from the truth. The truth is nothing beats a good idea. And if you spend your time trying to sell something else, you’ll end up with an industry with nothing to sell. We build agencies which create concepts. We shouldn’t try to make factories that create products. Other industries can make those things and probably better than we can. We make the intangible and it’s enormously valuable. Sure, we can make things that bring concepts to life and that’s awesome, but let’s simply remember that the most powerful product we make is the idea. You don’t need to hold it or touch it and it doesn’t need to be physical, if doesn’t need to be a product. It’s bigger than that and no other industry creates it quite like we do. If you look at the smart global clients, they are moving their businesses to smart, focused teams. They are looking for single agency solutions – that’s this week’s new term for integrated agency." 

On what we can expect of Y&R in the future

"The opposite of what everyone else is doing."

This interview originally appeared in the Agency Perceptions issue of NZ Marketing. 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2019: Auckland Council's Emily Thorn named Rookie Marketer of the Year
features

TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2019: Auckland Council's Emily Thorn named Rookie Marketer of the Year

Since 2016, Emily Thorn, a marketing and publicity specialist for Auckland Council, has quickly excelled in marketing with ideas that cut through the marketplace. It’s no surprise her colleagues call her a driven, strategic and creative marketer who is a real asset to the team.

NZ Rugby and Sky team up in new broadcast deal

  • Media
  • October 14, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
NZ Rugby and Sky team up in new broadcast deal
Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand Rugby is to take a 5 percent stake in Sky as it unveils a new broadcast deal.

Read more
DB Breweries spreads its wings, wins Supreme at TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards
awards

DB Breweries spreads its wings, wins Supreme at TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards

To turn Tui’s fortunes around, DB Breweries brewed up a new drink, and while it sports the Tui logo, it’s not a beer.

topics
Story IQ
Story IQ
Story IQ is a brand story consultancy. We help brands uncover the hidden, untold stories ...
Up-and-Comers
Up-and-Comers
We give the mic to the industry's future leaders to hear their thoughts on media, ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
The Stoppies 2018
The Stoppies 2018
In February (Valentine's Day to be exact), StopPress gathered the industry for an evening of ...
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

Women Who Lead: In conversation with Motion Sickness head of strategy Hilary Ngan Kee (watch)

  • Women who Lead
  • October 10, 2019
  • Idealog
Women Who Lead: In conversation with Motion Sickness head of strategy Hilary Ngan Kee (watch)

In the first of a series highlighting the vibrant women in New Zealand business doing great things in their respective fields, Elly Strang, editor of Idealog profiles Hilary Ngan Kee, the head of strategy and a director at award-winning agency Motion Sickness.

Read more
When is a prescribed solution not the right answer?
Sponsored content

When is a prescribed solution not the right answer?

Sometimes the brief can miss the mark when expectations are too tight. Here, Insight Creative tells us how the prescribed solution isn’t always the best course of action.

voices

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Spark Sport wins broadcast rights to NZ Cricket fixtures

  • Media
  • October 10, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Spark Sport wins broadcast rights to NZ Cricket fixtures

Spark Sport says it has broadcast rights to NZ Cricket fixtures from April 2020 with TVNZ as free to air partner.

Read more

Huffer and the Mental Health Foundation get lyrical about mental health

  • Advertising
  • October 10, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Huffer and the Mental Health Foundation get lyrical about mental health

Huffer has partnered with the Mental Health Foundation and Kiwi musicians support mental health awareness in a musical campaign by Reload & Smoke.

Read more

Education New Zealand aims to answer the tough questions

  • Advertising
  • October 9, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Education New Zealand aims to answer the tough questions

Education New Zealand has shinned the light on some of the joys of studying on our shores with the help of Special Group. The campaign message encourages potential international students to 'Ask New Anything', as they hear the benefits of studying in New Zealand from past students.

Read more

Stanley St Wellington welcomes five local hires

  • Movings/Shakings
  • October 9, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Stanley St Wellington welcomes five local hires

Stanley St has put a focus on local talent acquisitions. It's introducing five new roles into its Wellington office, including Aaron White as head of Stanley St Wellington.

Read more

Simply the best: the supreme winners of the 21st Best Design Awards

  • Awards
  • October 9, 2019
  • Idealog
Simply the best: the supreme winners of the 21st Best Design Awards

The 2019 Best Awards was held at the Spark Arena on Friday night celebrating the crème de la crème of the design industry. It recognised designers, young and old, for their craft across a range of categories, from graphic to moving image to product design. Most who attended were in agreement that the night was a blast, and resembled the maturing success of the design industry in Aotearoa. Here is a breakdown of the supreme winners.

Read more

Shine welcomes Richard Maddocks and Andy Schick to its team

  • Advertising
  • October 9, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Shine welcomes Richard Maddocks and Andy Schick to its team
Richard Maddocks, Andy Schick

Shine has welcomed Richard Maddocks to its team as chief creative officer and Andy Schick as digital director.

Read more

Have your say on StopPress comments

  • Gratuitous self-promotion
  • October 8, 2019
  • Erin McKenzie
Have your say on StopPress comments

In the wake of comments in bad taste making their way into StopPress' comment section, we want to know what you think of the platform and how you'd like to see it used in the future.

Read more
How Phantom Lab is mixing art and innovation
Sponsored content

How Phantom Lab is mixing art and innovation

From treasure hunts to lenticular images and interactive posters, Phantom Billstickers is generating attention for advertisers and entertaining passerby’s. We talk to its marketing manager Ben Stonyer about Phantom Labs, its creative hub that’s disrupting out-of-home space.

One to watch: whizz kid Eli Smit

  • Media
  • October 8, 2019
  • Eli Smit
One to watch: whizz kid Eli Smit

What would you think if a 10-year-old approached you for an interview? Eli Smit is rubbing shoulders with New Zealand entrepreneurs in his Ground Breaking podcast as well as running his own business Get Mowed. This kid is one to watch.

Read more

Ads of the week: 8 October

  • TVC of the week
  • October 8, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the week: 8 October

Everybody jazz hands for NZTA, Abes Bagels and the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit