Naked NZ shuts up shop, O’Sullivan sets up a new one

Naked Communications New Zealand is closing its Auckland offices, a move Naked says is necessary to better service its business in Sydney and Melbourne. And after four years at the helm, managing partner Matt O’Sullivan is creating a new agency. 

Naked chairman Mike Wilson said in a release that this decision comes after an extensive review of the company’s structure and presence in the country and the closure means it would be servicing New Zealand clients from Australia. 

“The Naked team members in Auckland have already been informed and we are doing everything we can to support them through this transition. We’ve enjoyed the ride in New Zealand and have produced some award-winning work for brilliant clients. However, the market is no longer a strategic priority for our business.”

When contacted Wilson said he would talk later, but said Naked has five staff in New Zealand and they have been let go.

In a release, O’Sullivan said his yet-to-be-named entity will start trading from April 2013. 

“Naked has been an incredibly rewarding journey, as I’ve been very
fortunate to work with a great team and fantastic clients,” says O’Sullivan. “But it’s time for a
new adventure. I have plans that include some existing Naked NZ staff and
clients and a local shareholding initiative.”

In the past four years Naked has won more than ten CAANZ Media Awards for five different campaigns, been awarded at several Agency of the Year shows and made a New Zealand media agency first by winning at creative award shows like Axis and Spikes Asia. But while it has won a few awards and some big clients, it has also lost a few managing partners, starting with Simon Bird and followed by Guy Cousins. None of the managing partners had a shareholding in the local business. 

Contrary to the information in the Naked Australia release, O’Sullivan says all bar one of Naked’s clients (Coca-Cola has a regional agreement) are joining his new entity and New Zealand clients will not be managed out of Australia.  

He says Naked currently has seven staff on the
books, plus four more that work out of Australia.

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