In August last year, Middle East Campaign reported that Havas Media had won the global media account for Emirates from Starcom MediaVest Group. And this change now seems to have rippled into the Kiwi market, as Emirates has confirmed the move of its New Zealand media business from Starcom to Lassoo.
It was initially thought the shift was made due to a conflict of interests caused by the fact that fellow Publicis Groupe agency ZenithOptimedia, which holds the Qantas account, moved into the same building as Starcom last year.
However, Alistair Jamison, chief executive at Starcom, does not believe this was the case.
“I don’t think that Emirates moved their entire global media business with a spend of close to a billion dollars, because ZenithOptimedia moved into the same building as Starcom … This process started in about April last year, months before ZenithOptimedia moved,” he says.
“From my point of view, this was driven globally and not about New Zealand at all.”
He also accentuated this point by saying that “Emirates and Qantas are now global partners,” so collaboration would’ve made sense.
StopPress contacted Lassoo director Anna St George to ask why Emirates had decided to move the account from Starcom after almost six years, and whether the independent agency has an affiliation with Havas, but she is yet to respond to those questions.
She was willing to say that Lassoo Media and PR would be responsible for “all the media strategy, planning and buying for [Emirates] New Zealand,” and that she was looking forward to “working with such a prestigious brand.”
These changes are restricted to media and do not impact Federation’s hold on the creative account, which the agency won from Saatchi & Saatchi in 2012.