Rotation policy still in place as…

…Federation adds a big name and a few newbies to the full-time roster; Christchurch’s Carter Price Rennie says hello to two new senior consultants; Pead PR sends one of its own to set up a Sydney office; another change in the TVNZ marketing department; and the resignation of Fairfax chief executive Brian McCarthy is linked to a mysterious Kiwi newspaper executive. 

The Fed Express

Auckland indie agency Federation has appointed Ben Chandler as its new digital creative director.

Chandler was previously creative group head at AIM Proximity, where he worked with Federation co-founder Sharon Henderson and won a Gold Cannes Lion and a few other awards for BNZ Body Parts in 2007 and he took up a role as creative director at Proximity Canada three years ago.

“We’ve been talking to Ben for some months to get him back to New Zealand,” says Henderson. “Ben is easily one of the most respected and loved creative directors in our business. He’s an exceptional digital and direct talent with an incredible list of international awards to his name, and extensive mobile marketing and social media experience from his time in Canada. And just quietly, he has an equally formidable reputation as a guitarist and coffee barista.”

Karla Burke, award-winning craft department senior and Interbrand designer from DDB, has also been appointed as art director to work with Chandler. Steve Leong from DDB and Nancy Chen from .99 have also joined the creative team recently.

In the last 12 months, Henderson says the agency has quietly added some big names to its client list, including Tourism Auckland, The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind and major travel retailers Harvey World Travel and United Travel.

Canterbury Tales

Christchurch communications and public relations consultancy Carter Price Rennie has appointed two new senior consultants, Lee Harris and Daniel Herd.

Harris has wide experience in communications and public relations and has advised on communication, promotion, media and issues management both in-house and externally for local authorities, tourism operators, an international education organisation and an arts festival. Harris comes to Carter Price Rennie from handling communications at Canterbury Development Corporation.

Herd has come to Christchurch from Acumen Republic in Auckland, where he was an account director specialising in media relations and corporate communication. He has also handled media relations for IBM, held internal communications and PR roles at Telecom and worked in policy and communications in the public sector.

Sydney-side up

Pead PR announced a host of new changes—and a new office—last week, and, to service its Kiwi clients doing business in Australia, it’s also just opened a branch in Sydney, with Auckland-based Mihika Gujral heading across the Tassie to run it.

Off the telly

More changes at TVNZ’s marketing department, with Vanessa Winley, the current business marketing manager, finishing up her contract next week and heading back to the Australian homeland.

Winley replaced Bridget Snelling, who moved across to marketing manager of the digital channels. No word on a replacement yet.


It was revealed yesterday that Brian McCarthy, the chief executive of Fairfax Media, had resigned, with chairman Roger Corbett saying in a statement that “he could not make the three- to five-year commitment that the company had asked for while it implements a new strategic plan”, which was announced a few weeks ago.

But while Corbett said that both parties agreed it was the appropriate time for the leadership change, an NZPA story frames it rather differently, saying a ruction was triggered after a “power struggle” over who would get the new role as head of the Australian metropolitan mastheads.

The Australian newspaper reported that McCarthy had a favoured candidate in mind – a New Zealand-based print executive – but company chairman Roger Corbett resisted that appointment and a stand-off followed.

Mr Corbett and Mr McCarthy were unable to agree about future directions for the company, which is grappling with reports of plummeting revenues and profits at The Age and the planned launch of a planned public campaign to save the 156-year-old Melbourne institution.

Fairfax Media told the ASX the company had wanted Mr McCarthy to stay on for a further three to five years, but he was unwilling to do so and was forced to hand in his resignation.

Today’s immediate departure of Mr McCarthy opens the door for Greg Hywood, a former editor in chief of the SMH and The Age. He left the company in 2003 after an arm-wrestle with then chief executive, Fred Hilmer, but rejoined as a board member last month.

He will now be acting chief executive while an international search is undertaken to find a permanent replacement.

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