This week’s happenings…

Mergers, cabs ‘n’ advertising, promotions and new awards –just another week in the land of communications news then. Here’s your round-up.

Hail a taxi – and some advertising while you’re at it

Who would have thought work-place safety and advertising revenue could be so symbiotic? Tauranga company Show Off Onboard Entertainment and Security has developed a system that ensures taxi drivers are kept safe, all the while advertisers gain access to the precious eyes of would-be taxi passengers.

Show Off’s general manager Vanessa Malloy says their product involves installing discreet security cameras positioned around the taxi in conjunction with seven-inch LCD screens in the back of the vehicle where local businesses can screen short advertisements to passengers.  And because the advertisements are silent, the drivers won’t get distracted.

“Commission is paid on the advertising and this subsidises the associated security cameras. This is a real win-win situation,” Malloy explains. “The taxi drivers now have a way of affording the extra 24-hour security they need, while local businesses have a unique opportunity to tap into an exciting advertising market.”

And a lucrative market it is. There are over 55 million passengers per year using taxis within the NZ Taxi Federation.

The advertising is transmitted through WiFi and once a supplier is secured, Show Off will also provide passengers with a live news and weather service.

The system is currently employed by close to 70 drivers in Tauranga and Nelson.

The right chemistry

Chemistry Media Ltd has become MediaCom NZ Limited following MediaCom Australia’s acquisition of an option to buy 20 percent of the business – a deal which licenses the MediaCom name to the company.

Chemistry Media chairman Bert Lamb says the agency had been looking for international linkages which are so important in the media planning and buying business. The combination of Chemistry and MediaCom New Zealand was a major step forward for the company, signalling added competition in the New Zealand media market.

MediaCom Australia is a subsidiary of global communications group WPP Holdings. In recent months, Chemistry had absorbed much of the New Zealand operations of MediaCom in the wake of recent changes in the New Zealand media buying and planning market.

Chemistry managing director Nigel Douglas says the deal was good news for Chemistry and MediaCom clients.

“It’s business as usual from a day-to-day perspective, but we’re pleased to have concluded this arrangement so that we can grow our business and further improve our service to clients.”

Nielsen sees double (promotions)

The New Zealand online division of The Nielsen Company has announced the appointment of Amanda Wisniewski as commercial director, effective immediately.

Wisniewski has been promoted to the role of commercial director from her previous position as client service director for Nielsen’s online division, following the recent promotion of Ivan Fuyala from general manager of the New Zealand online business to vice president of Portals in Nielsen’s global client service team based in New York.

“This new role represents an exciting challenge for me and one that I am very much looking forward to,” says Wisniewski.  “2010 is shaping up to be an exciting year in New Zealand for Nielsen and for the digital sector as a whole, and I look forward to continuing to build on the great work that Ivan has done in recent years.”

Wisniewski has previously held senior client service roles in Sydney and Auckland with Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen Media Research (both are now The Nielsen Company).  She has also worked with Fairfax Media as a digital analyst.

For Ivan Fuyala, his new role will be focused on exploring innovative ways for Nielsen to work with large clients such as Google, YouTube, Double Click and AOL.

“It is a big move packing up the house, bundling up the kids and swapping the Hauraki Gulf for the Hudson River but the opportunity was too exciting to pass up,” says Fuyala.

Brand spanking, shiny new award announced

MPA have announced the addition of a new award for this years Magazine Awards, set to take place in June. The ‘Publishing Leadership’ award will recognise an individual or a company for excellent application of a concept, strategy, technique, project, product or tool, or for achieving another significant advance for the magazine industry.

Non-MPA members and non-publishers need apply. That’s right, you don’t even have to be an MPA member  or even a publisher to enter.

Entries for the 2010 Magazine Awards close on Tuesday 13 April at 4pm.

Bella Marketing

The Bella Vista Motel Group has gone to bed with NZ Motel Marketing Ltd, following the signing of a sales, marketing & central reservations alliance between the pair.

Managing Director for Bella Vista Motel Management, Ian Little says “This marketing partnership will provide a greater level of exposure internationally to the ‘one stop shop’ accommodation ethos of Bella Vista.”

The business partnership involves the appointment of a Sales & Marketing Manager, development of corporate and international travel trade business, expansion of online capability and the installation of new reservations software.

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