Media agency Initiative (owned by Interpublic Group) has been appointed as media partner to ASB and will expand its global footprint by launching in New Zealand as Initiative Aotearoa.
The new business announcement follows a competitive pitch process which saw expressions of interest from local and international agencies including incumbent Dentsu and OMD’s Dynamo.
According to FCB New Zealand, also part of Interpublic Group (IPG), there were intentions by IPG to bring Initiative to NZ to increase the Group’s footprint. Hence the expression of interest by Initiative.
Chief Marketing Officer of ASB, Helen Fitzsimons says Initiative is the right partner for ASB as it evolves to meet changing customer needs and expectations in an increasingly complex and fragmented marketplace.
“We were inspired by Initiative’s philosophy and the impact this is having for its clients around the world. Initiative’s energy, strategic thinking, data smarts, and overall approach were aligned to ASB’s transformational agenda and the ambitions of our marketing practice. We’re excited to welcome Initiative Aotearoa to New Zealand and to the ASB team,” says Fitzsimons.
Initiative will deliver integrated media strategy, planning, and buying across all channels for the bank.
Melissa Fein, Initiative AUNZ CEO, says that the move to open a New Zealand office has been on the agency’s agenda, but it was waiting for the right brand to launch with.
“We’ve always admired the sheer creativity of marketers in New Zealand and share their philosophy on embracing bold cultural ideas to fuel growth. As such, a New Zealand presence was always on our radar, but we were waiting for the perfect partner to set up shop. ASB is that partner.”
Employing a model of flexible working solutions, Initiative Aotearoa will combine local resources with those in Australia to build a trans-Tasman team to meet ASB’s ambitions.
“We’re excited for this partnership that will see global expertise with the best of New Zealand, delivering innovative solutions in support of ASB’s ambitious plans,” says Initiative AUNZ Managing Director, Sam Geer.
This sentiment is echoed by Chris Colter, Initiative AUNZ Chief Strategy & Product Officer.
“ASB’s passion for its customers and innovation is infectious and has led them to create some of the most compelling marketing in the Southern Hemisphere. The opportunity to combine that with our world-class talent, tools and technology, is beyond exciting and we can’t wait to get started,” says Colter.
Fein adds: “Announcing Initiative Aotearoa and our partnership with ASB marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Initiative’s evolution, and all I can say is watch this space.”
Initiative Aotearoa is part of the Interpublic Group, a global provider of marketing solutions, with offices located around the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and now Auckland.
The new contract takes effect on September 1, 2023.