Movings Shakings: February 1 – UPDATED AGAIN

Digital communications agency Jericho doubles in size, hires two newbies and turns a corner, Richard Buddle buddies up with Aprais, JML strengthens its arsenal by hiring a number of double-barrelled guns, and technology company Optimizer HQ makes a strategic acquisition that would make Optimus Prime proud.

Buddle buddies up with Aprais NZ

Aprais, the UK based communications agency evaluation company, has signed up Richard Buddle as its New Zealand chief executive. Buddle brings to Aprais New Zealand a broad skill set spanning agency management, academic research and brand consulting. Wearing all three hats all at once, Buddle will provide clients with everything from performance advice, to sensitive diagnosis evaluation, to prescriptive recommendations (no viagra jokes please). Prior to this he was chairman and representative director of Hakuhodo:Lintas Tokyo.

Over the years, Buddle has worked with international clients such as Nestlé, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Wrigley, Elizabeth Arden, Diet Coke, and Honda. He has a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Canberra and, whilst acting as Course Convenor and Senior Lecturer for their Bachelor of Advertising program, maintained strong industry association links and has delivered marketing communication conference papers in Dubai, Seoul, and Washington DC.

Optimizer HQ acquires creative agency Desaign

One of New Zealand’s fastest growing technology companies has made its first strategic acquisition, days after listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Optimizer HQ has purchased Desaign, an animation and motion graphics company. Optimizer HQ’s Manas Kumar, says the acquisition of Desaign brings together Optimizer HQ’s leading cloud based business technology and Desaign’s animation and motion graphic design capabilities.

“Desaign’s skills and ability to turn complex concepts into simple communication is what attracted us in the first instance. Optimizer HQ is all about simplifying technology and so Desaign was a good fit. This acquisition will expand our service portfolio and help small businesses around the world simplify business communication through the work this division will produce.”

After listing just one month ago on the Frankfurt Stock exchange Kumar says he felt it was important to maintain the businesses momentum.

“With the company now public, we felt there were a lot of expectations we had to meet and this the purchase is a step in the right direction for us, acquisitions have always been an important part of our growth strategy and we have a few others on our radar,” he says.

Jumping Jericho

Digital communications specialist Jericho has moved into new space twice the size, just around the corner from their old Ponsonby office. They’re now located at First Floor, 209 Great North Road, with room for the whole team, a sunny deck and views for miles. Which is lucky, as they have two new hires this month – Jenna Gugich has returned from London, where she was CRM Manager for online retail giant HMV, to further boost Jericho’s expanding account management team.

Marija Horvatich, previously responsible for the development and maintenance of the NZ Marketing Association’s websites and social media campaigns, joins Jericho’s campaign management team – she replaces Amanda Jeffs, a social media and comms specialist who is moving across to account management to work more directly on strategy in online communications for Jericho’s clients.

JML adds to the arsenal: double-barreled monickers a bonus

Public Relations agency JML Communications has announced the appointment of two senior communications practitioners. Jody Bews-Hair and Helen Easson have taken up the roles of senior consultant and account manager respectively. These placements coincide with the internal promotion of Cassia Bennett-Burkhardt to the role of account executive.

Jody Bews-Hair, senior consultant, joins JML with 15 years experience in marketing and communications industries. Prior to joining JML, Bews-Hair was the global web and communications manager for New Zealand company Living Nature. She has previously worked in the marketing departments of Telecom, TelstraSaturn, Fuse and Konica Minolta in its previous incarnation as Onesource. Bews-Hair draws on her extensive marketing experience to provide expertise in the marketing communications arena for JML.

Helen Easson eases her way in as account manager. Easson recently emigrated from England, and began her career as a journalist. She has six years experience in the public relations arena and her position at JML follows an account manager role at Weber Shandwick, one of the largest global public relations agencies. Easson was recognised for excellent account management skills early on in her public relations career; during her time at Golley Slater PR she was nominated for and received a number of achievement awards. She brings to the team expertise in managing international media campaigns across a wide range of sectors, having previously serviced clients including the British Army, Hilton Hotels and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

AUT University graduate  Cassia Bennett-Burkhardt moves into the role of account executive from the intern position she held while she completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies.



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