Movings|Shakings: 4 March

DDB brings Kerr back to Kiwi shores

DDB has appointed Haydn Kerr, who has worked abroad since 2006, as its new digital creative director in an effort to continue strengthening its digital offering. 

Joining the team of over 20 digital specialists at DDB Group, Kerr established his reputation as a digital expert after more than 11 years at some of the world’s leading agencies – most recently at the well-awarded digital agency AKQA in Europe, and previously RKCR Y&R, The Mill and DraftFCB London.

During his time as associate creative director at AKQA, Kerr was the creative lead for Nike Central and Eastern Europe and worked across Nike Global, Nike football, Western Europe and Japan.

“It’s a very interesting time to come back to New Zealand,” says Kerr. “Television audiences are starting to fall and clients are wanting to invest in big digital ideas. Creatives are hungry to produce world-class digital work. But, as far as I can see, no agency has truly claimed the digital mantle. I’d like to see more work that goes beyond digital stunts and begins to transform the way the brands relate to their audience, adding real value to people’s lives.”

Chief executive of DDB Justin Mowday believes that Kerr’s track record and digital expertise make him an important win for the agency, especially given the growing importance of digital elements to campaigns. 

“Haydn is an exciting hire and an absolute asset to the DDB team. His ideas are big and strategic, his experience invaluable and he gets brands … [and]with the entire agency already managing websites, mobile platforms, app developments and managing over a dozen social media communities, it’s a perfect time to add a world-class digital expert to our team,” he says.  

In his capacity as digital creative director, Kerr will work across the entire DDB client portfolio, including Lion, The Warehouse, Westpac, SKY, Lotto NZ, BMW and Mini. 

Final hurrah for Carat

After serving as business director at Carat for just under two years, Jonathan Sorensen has confirmed that he will be leaving his current position to join Diverse Media as a sales director.  

“The opportunity to partner with Diverse Media and introduce the New Zealand market to what is our first true cross-channel, digital solution is very exciting to me, especially off the back of my work in Australia and the UK within this field,” he told StopPress in an email.

He says that the recent partnership between Diverse Media and Adconion cemented this decision, because he believes that this collaboration will give New Zealand advertisers and agencies access to “leading global technologies, with a continuous pipeline of real innovation within cross channel, programmatic buying and data management disciplines.”

A release from Adconion said that Diverse Media “will act as an exclusive reseller allowing New Zealand agencies to benefit from Adconion’s true cross-channel advertising solutions,” and that “the deal means that Adconion’s world-class display, video, mobile, social, and email products will now be available across both Australia and New Zealand for the very first time.”  

In addition to his new role at Diverse Media, Sorensen also claims to be working on a different, but complementary, business venture, which will be launched in the market in the near future.

At this stage, Sorensen has not divulged any additional details on the new project. 

ASB’s Chapman becomes a global influencer

ASB’s chief executive Barbara Chapman has accepted an invitation to join LinkedIn’s global influencer programme and becomes the first New Zealand chief executive to be part of the exclusive group.

The global influencer programme, which was first launched in October 2012 to serve as a platform for sharing ideas, features an exclusive membership, which consists of a range of notable leaders in various industries. 

“It’s an honour to join the company of other influencers such as, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington, chief executive at Hewlett-Packard Meg Whitman and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson,” says Chapman.

Chapman was first appointed to the role of ASB’s chief executive in April 2011, and says she is passionate about increasing the representation of women in executive teams and boards. In furtherance of this goal, Chapman helped to found ‘The 25 Percent Group,’ which is dedicated to supporting women in senior leadership positions. 

“I’m looking forward to being able to communicate directly with a range of people from across the global business community,” says Chapman. “It’s an invaluable opportunity to publish posts discussing relevant topics, share opinion and advice from a New Zealand perspective.”

LinkedIn has more than 259 million members worldwide, while in New Zealand there are now more than one million LinkedIn members.

Titled ‘It’s time to step up’, Chapman’s first post discusses solving the diversity challenge in the workplace.

Williams tries Snakk

Mobile advertising specialist Snakk has announced the appointment of Luke Williams as the group commercial manager, a newly created role that involves management of the company’s sales operations.  

Prior to joining Snakk, Williams was a digital manager for News Corp’s The Australian, and before that led agency sales at Komli Media, which has a strong presence across Asia Pacific. 

“Luke is a great talent and a win,” says Snakk Group chief executive Mark Ryan. “He’s worked in major agencies and top-tier publishers, and knows our business well. He’ll be a strong driver of our ANZ growth, and will take us to the next level of performance with our agency and brand partners.”

“It’s vital that we get the best people, partnerships and technologies in place locally before we enter new regions where there are hundreds of millions of smartphone users.”

In the past year Snakk has enjoyed significant expansion, which culminated at the end of last year when the company enjoyed 58 percent year-on-year revenue growth for the quarter running from the beginning of October to the end of December. According to a release from Snakk, this was also the first quarterly operating profit that the company had enjoyed to date. 

Nielsen stalwart waves goodbye to New Zealand 

After 15 years of working for Nielsen, managing director of media Claire Harris is leaving the New Zealand business to pursue fresh challenges working for Nielsen abroad. 

According to an official statement released by Nielsen’s marketing and comms manager Kim McFadden, Caroline Atford and Caroline Izzard will be taking over portions of Harris’ current role. Atford will manage the wider commercial media team covering TV, print, online and advertising services, while Izzard will assume Harris’ operational responsibilities for the wider media business. Together, they will share responsibility for all media deliverables, thereby strengthening the level of senior support available.

The statement also added there would be a transitional phase over the coming months to allow for a smooth handover of current projects and responsibilities.

Harris was first appointed as the director of client services for AC Nielsen Australia in 1999, before moving across to the Nielsen’s media research team in New Zealand in 2001 to take up the role of director of television services. After holding this position for five years, she was appointed managing director of Nielsen TAM in 2006 and then to her current role of managing director of media for Nielsen New Zealand in 2012.

Delamore takes hold of the marketing and comms throttle at Auckland Airport

On 13 January, Jason Delamore started his new role as the comms and marketing manager of Auckland airport.

At the time of the appointment, Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport’s chief executive, expressed enthusiasm about the arrival of Delamore and said that the appointment was made after an extensive domestic and international recruitment process.  

“Jason comes to Auckland Airport with broad marketing and commercial experience across both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets in New Zealand, Asia and the United States,” said Littlemore in a media release.

“Most recently he has led the New Zealand operations of Landis+Gyr, a global technology company specialising in the energy sector. Prior to that, Jason held senior roles in marketing, sales, and strategic partnerships and channels for a number of major companies, including Vector, IBM, and Lucent. He also spent several years leading retail operations and marketing functions for Contact Energy.”

“Jason will lead the airport’s marketing team and be responsible for continuing the development of our marketing capability across various lines of the business and lead the development of our online channel capability,” added Littlewood.

Darkhorse celebrates with Dom Pérignon 

On 28 February, Darkhorse announced via a press release that it had been awarded the full PR and event activation contract for Dom Pérignon and Belvedere in addition to re-signing the event activation contract for a number of Moët Hennessey’s other brands, which include Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Ardbeg.

“We really enjoyed working with the team at Moët Hennessy in 2013 and gained great momentum from a number of exciting projects which we ran in 2013 and into the early stages of 2014. This included the likes of Clicquot in the Snow, Belvedere Red, The Veuve Clicquot Polo, Moët Ice and year one of Moët & Chandon at the Festival of Tennis. This has opened up an opportunity for Darkhorse to continue to strengthen the PR arm of the business and what better way to do that than with Dom Pérignon and Belvedere,” says Mike Hewitt, co-founder of Darkhorse.

“We are thrilled to be working on the PR side of these two amazing brands with such strong history and reputation,” added Liam Taylor, the company’s other co-founder.

To assist with the strong growth over the past 12 months, Darkhorse recently added two members to the team, with the addition of Samantha Nicholas (ex Porter Novelli, pictured left) and Georgina Otto (ex Moa Beer – San Francisco, pictured right).

The addition of Dom Pérignon and Belvedere has contributed a pair of prestigious names to Darkhorse’s growing client list, which already includes DOMO Luxury Furniture Concepts, Good Group Hospitality, Advanced Flight, Redwood Cider, Heineken, Mini and Air New Zealand.

Provoke consolidates its North American presence

On 27 February, Kiwi software development firm Provoke announced two new senior appointments to their growing Seattle office. 

After serving a six-year tenure at intergen, Naomi Lind has been appointed as the general manager of the Seattle arm of the business. And in a first for Provoke, Jono Lind will be joining his wife as he takes on the role of principal architect at the company.

By taking up the general manager position, Lind will be replacing Chris Johnson, who has returned to Microsoft to take on a new position in the Office 365 team. This move means that Lind will now be tasked with building on the strong foundations currently in place and overseeing the next phase of growth projected for the Seattle offshoot over the coming 12-24 months.

“Chris Johnson opened the doors of our Seattle office in 2012. Under his stewardship, our Seattle business has delivered faster revenue growth than any other Provoke business. It has also afforded us the opportunity to work on a range of leading-edge projects with Microsoft in Redmond. Chris has done an amazing job establishing Provoke as a credible brand in the US market,” says Provoke chief executive Mason Pratt.

Despite the loss of Johnson, Pratt is optimistic about the impact that the Linds will have on the business and he believes that their technical skills will help to drive the offering forward.

“Naomi’s experience working in a global environment, coupled with her extensive track record in technology services, makes her an ideal candidate for this role … [And] Jono is revered as one of New Zealand’s most talented Microsoft Architects and his experience across the full Microsoft solution stack and most industry verticals represents a strategic investment in technical leadership and cutting-edge innovation,” he said of the pair in a release.   

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