TRN looks inside, set to outsource work to TBWA\ on an ‘as -needed’ basis

WhybinTBWA has been the The Radio Network's (TRN) agency partner for a number of years, but Saatchi & Saatchi was chosen ahead of it to rebrand Radio Hauraki last year. And while WhybinTBWA worked on a campaign for its flagship brand Newstalk ZB recently and is still thought to be the agency of record, some big changes in TRN's management team and a commitment to increase its in-house capability through agency Carbon and reduce agency fees means there might not be quite as much work ahead. 

In terms of staff changes, TRN's long-serving chief executive John McElhinney was replaced by Jane Hastings last year and Tracey Fox has taken over as group general manager of marketing. Fox, who has spent 14 years with Tequila, first as a senior art director in London and then as creative director in Singapore and New Zealand, didn't return our calls. 

One of radio's strengths is that it does a lot of its business direct with small to medium enterprises, which has partially insulated it from the ravages of the GFC in comparison to some other media (radio charted a $1 million increase in ad revenue in 2012, up to $248 million). So Carbon was created to offer such clients "low-cost branding, marketing, design and web solutions". 

"Businesses today need multimedia solutions, with branding that is consistent," says the website. "From the first analysis to the final execution, Carbon is the marketing and design agency that can provide." And now it is thought to be providing it for its own radio brands. 

Bauer Media also offers inhouse creative services and that also appears to be a growth area for the company, with expensive creative agency fees able to be bypassed by clients and creative able to be tailored to the audience—and to the specific titles. 

As for the recent 'two-faced campaign' for Newstalk ZB, the creative concept and initial artwork was done by WhybinTBWA with the daily executions carried out by Newstalk ZB’s internal design team.

“To keep the adverts current, headlines were not finalised until the very last moment before the presses ran, which made for headlines that were totally topical and fresh," said Fox in a release. 

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