… as Saatchi & Saatchi adds two new senior hires, M&C Saatchi raids Clem’s coffers and signs up three newbies, Nick Worthington gets the nod for Spikes Asia, Kim Ellison departs Hotfoot for freelance fields anew and entries open for the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year.
Saatchi & Saatchi seems to have got back a bit of momentum recently, and it’s added a bit more with the appointment of Haydn Thomsen as digital executive producer and Ben Fielding as senior strategist.
Thomsen comes from Colenso BBDO where he was senior digital producer and before this he spent 15 years working in a range of roles for software development firms, IT services, digital agencies, retail, government and corporate organisations. He replaces Kevin Sherman, who is returning home to the United States.
His recent work includes Pedigree Doggelganger, MiZone – ‘Me In MiZone’, Tourism Auckland ‘Make Your Own Adventure’, Pepsi Max It Jobs, Fresh-up Thirst Is Creepy, V ‘Tricked Out’ online game and integrated campaign, Republic of V online, Air New Zealand’s ‘Changing the Way You Fly’ campaign and the social community programme Pass The Parcel for Vodafone, and he has won accolades such as Cannes, FWA Site of the Day, B&T: Digital Agency of the year, Effies, Webbys, and the Full Code Press.
Fielding joins Saatchi & Saatchi from TBWA\London where he was digital strategist on British Airways and adidas. He brings more than eight years global experience in Asia and the UK, working in communications strategy roles across automotive, banking, FMCG, sports and technology industries.
“Ben is a rigorous and ambitious creative thinker who gets under the hood of his client’s business and drives innovative solutions,” says Murray Streets, director of strategy. “His international experience means he brings fresh vision and a depth of experience that we and our clients’ really value. He’s a great addition to the planning team and the agency as we pursue our goal of raising the bar on strategic thinking and creativity in this market, and the region.”
M&C Saatchi has been on a bit of a roll recently, winning lots, losing not many (if any) and putting out some consistently high-quality stuff. And, to cope with its recent growth, it has added three “leading lights” to bolster its Wellington office, with Aaron White joining as general manager, Ben Pujji joining as head of digital and Guilherme Kunzler joining as senior digital designer.
“We’ve been growing very quickly in Wellington so the time was right for us to employ some top talent,” says Darryn Melrose, chief executive of M&C Saatchi. “Luckily for us, we’ve managed to get the very best Wellington has to offer. Aaron is someone I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with in the past. He’s smart, he’s a great cultural fit for us, and clients absolutely love him. Having him as the general manager of our Wellington operation means we have the person I consider to be the best agency brain in Wellington running our office.
White was previously employed as general manager of AIM Proximity and also had account and planning responsibilities across some key Clemenger BBDO clients. He has many years experience across both client side and agency side and has worked on brands such as Kiwibank , New Zealand Post, IAG and Telecom.
“I’ve been watching what the team have been building since they’ve joined M&C Saatchi and I want to be part of it,” White says. “I’ve always got on with Darryn, Dave and Tony and am looking forward to getting stuck in and doing what I think needs to be done for clients. Having Ben join at the same time was an added bonus. I’ve loved working with him and can’t wait to do even more together. Gui is a cracking guy as well and the current staff in the Wellington office are fantastic. This is going to be huge.”
Pujji, who has run his own digital business, been strategy director for DNA Design and was most recently the head of digital strategy at AIM Proximity/Clemenger BBDO, is someone Melrose has met more recently, but he impressed immediately.
“We’d heard that he was very savvy in digital but he’s way more than that. He’s a very clever guy across the board who just happens to be extraordinarily smart in the digital space.”
Kunzler has nine years digital experience, mostly in Brazil, and most recently he was senior visual designer at Springload in Wellington.
“Gui contacted me before he left Brazil and I wanted to employ him on the spot,” says Dave King, executive creative director of M&C Saatchi. “I’ve worked with some very talented digital designers and I’d rank Guilherme right up there with the best of them. I’m very happy to finally have him on board.”
Colenso BBDO’s executive creative director Nick Worthington has been named on the Film, Print, Outdoor & Radio jury at Spikes Asia. He is the only New Zealander to be appointed as a jury member so far, but the Digital, Media, Design, Craft, Integrated and PR jury members are still to be announced.
Colenso planning director James Hurman, whose new book The Case for Creativity has sold out of its first run, is a keynote speaker at the festival alongside Crispin Poter + Bogusky’s Jeff Benjamin and a few more high-rollers.
Ex-DDBer Kim Ellison has left the Image Centre Group’s retail advertising arm Hotfoot to do more freelance work. She was working three days a week and was already working on other projects but she is currently contracting to Ogilvy.
Once again New Zealand Geographic is inviting amateurs, professionals and students alike to demonstrate their skills with a camera. Last year nearly 2,400 images were entered from over 1,000 photographers, making it the country’s biggest photo comp, so get your entries in.
This year there are four categories (Wildlife, Landscape, Society and Culture and Photo Story, which is a new category this year). From these a Young Photographer and overall Photographer of the Year will be chosen.
The New Zealand Geographic Young Photographer of the Year, which is sponsored by Getty Images, will be awarded $1000 cash and the opportunity to attend a nature photography workshop with Kim Westerskov (entrants under 21 years on September 30, 2011 are eligible).
The overall New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2011, which is sponsored by Nikon, will win $2000 cash, a guaranteed creative contributor contract offer from Getty Images and a berth as a New Zealand Geographic photographer on board a Heritage Expeditions’ voyage.
This year the awards night on October 27 at the Auckland Museum will follow a full-day photo symposium with seminars from a range of world-class editorial photographers. Tickets can be purchased from the New Zealand Geographic website.