Westfield goes agency shopping as DraftFCB subs out—UPDATED

Three years after winning the Westfield New Zealand account in a competitive pitch, DraftFCB has resigned the business, with the agency finishing up on 31 March. 

“This is not a decision we make lightly, but we have decided that it is in our best commercial interests to part company,” says Kamran Kazalbash, general manager of retail at DraftFCB. ”We’ve really enjoyed working with the Westfield New Zealand team over the last three years and we’re very proud of what we have achieved for them since January 2010. We wish them well for the future.”

What those commercial interests are was left fairly—and presumably purposefully—vague, and DraftFCB’s PR manager Angela Spain didn’t want to elaborate on the decision or how much the account was worth to the agency, but it’s thought the major reason for parting company is that the account is now smaller than it was when DraftFCB took over from TBWA\ (Westfield’s media is taken care of by Media R). 

DraftFCB does everything from Westfield’s above-the-line brand work to all of the centre-specific activity (which stretches as far as creating out of order signs for the toilets), and with Westfield selling three of its 12 shopping centres in 2011—Shore City, Downtown and Pakuranga—this consolidation is thought to have had a noticeable impact on the amount of work.

Westfield marketing manager Jo Tait was contacted but didn’t want to chat via phone, instead saying the PR department had prepared a statement (we’ll update the story when we get it), but it’s believed the account will be going to pitch. 

UPDATE: In a statement, Jo Tait, national marketing manager said: “Westfield New Zealand’s three year advertising agency agreement concluded at the end of December 2012. By mutual agreement with DraftFCB, Westfield extended the agency’s engagement to 31st March 2013 and announced its intentions to go to pitch on its communications contract.

It is standard business practice for Westfield to enter into a pitch process once a contract period expires.

DraftFCB were invited to pitch for the business at the conclusion of the contract. However, the agency has informed us that they have elected not to participate in the pitch process in 2013.

Westfield acknowledges DraftFCB’s contribution to our business and we retain their support until 31 March 2013”.

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