New(ish) kids on the block cut ribbons, break champagne on wall, smile for photos with babies

TrinityP3, the Australasian marketing management consultancy, has set up shop in New Zealand. And the long-awaited merger of Blackwood Communications Group and Grey Global Group has also been announced.

The Kiwi arm of TrinityP3 will be run out of the Wellington office by business director St John Craner, who has experience on both sides of the fence, having worked in senior client and agency positions including Contact Energy, Westpac, New Zealand Post, Young and Rubicam and McCann Erickson.

Darren Woolley, managing director of TrinityP3, which “helps clients maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of their agency relationships” and has been in operation for ten years, says he had been looking at New Zealand opportunities for a while.

“We felt it was important to have a dedicated resource on the ground in New Zealand who knew the market and could spread the knowledge and results we’re achieving for clients this side of ditch as well as from our consultants based in Europe and Asia. St John has that duality of client and agency experience which makes him a great and balanced TrinityP3 representative to drive greater efficiencies and effectiveness between clients and their agencies.”

The agency specialises in agency remuneration, agency search and selection and pitch management, and Craner will work on “translating what’s worked successfully for Australasian clients and giving it the Kiwi translation”.

The pair certainly have some strong opinions on the “creative beauty pageant” approach to the pitch process, which Craner says is a flawed, expensive, disruptive and distracting system (check out Woolley’s blog post on the subject here). And Wooley is fairly outspoken on some of the other remuneration methods being employed too.

“Before anyone gets too excited, we’re not here to beat up agencies,” Craner says. “Maximum value comes from promoting fair and sustainable relationships between clients and their agencies based on the currency of appropriate value and industry benchmarks. TrinityP3 are doing some truly innovative and effective work in Australia, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore, so it’s a great opportunity to take these positive learnings and share the knowledge with the New Zealand market.”

The merger of Blackwood Communications Group and Grey Global Group has also been announced in lower case, with the new outfit going by the name of bcg² and using words like seamless, unique offering and totally integrated to announce its arrival.

Ownership involves a mix of local/international shareholding and the company will be locally managed with Paul Gardner, Grey Group Chairman Australia, joining the board. Bert Lamb, bcg² chairman, says the company has been searching for international support to strengthen its New Zealand operations for some time. And James Blackwood, chief executive and executive creative director of bcg², says the two teams bring a global business nous, but have a distinctive local perspective.

As far as the clients are concerned, Gardner says everything is tip top and the merger was “a smooth process with no conflict across portfolios.”

There’s been just two redundancies across both outfits and the new agency employs 30 staff, including managing partners Michael Jarvis and Sarah Norrie, who played a significant role in establishing Grey Healthcare and has been managing G2, Grey Group’s New Zealand operation since its inception in 2006. The Healthcare team will be headed up by Stuart Ogden, one of New Zealand’s leading medical marketers with over 16 years experience.

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