PHD and dentsu eye Lotto win, ASB’s Aussie influence and who’s in the running for FCB’s top job?

After what was a manic May with much disruption in agency land, June has been a little less gossip-worthy as businesses buckle down for the dull Winter months ahead. Yawn.

Nevertheless, Shady is not the type of lady who lets the cold and wet get her down, and where there’s icy winds there’s sure to be rough swells. Or is that smoke and fire – anyway, you get it…

New(ish) on the block in June is Ogilvy under the leadership of Kelly-Ann Maxwell. While interesting, not the new-comer news I was hoping for. I’m more keen to understand what the pending ASB account awarding will mean for the Aussie outfits tipped as front runners. 

With Damon Stapleton still working out his notice at DDB and Justin Mowday flying under the radar, The Monkeys has gone quiet following rumours that they had already signed the ASB account. Something I’ve not been able to verify. Although, a source tells me that a big announcement is coming from the agency in the weeks ahead.

CHE Proximity and M&C Saatchi are the other two agencies from over the ditch who’ve been linked to the ASB pitch and could potentially set up office in New Zealand if given the business. CHE Proximity employees however apparently refused to work on the pitch until a pay rise issue was sorted.

Dentsu is the other name I’ve heard being thrown into the mix. 

ASB’s official word is: “This review is ongoing and we will share the outcome once the process has concluded.”

And that’s all I can say on the ASB, Aussie, DDB affair – I’m sure more will be revealed soon.

In the past few months there’s been much movement in the media space too, with several big brands changing the agency tasked with managing their media mix. 2degrees and TVNZ to name a couple. 

Lotto is now the latest to announce a review of its media account as part of its AOG obligations. The two agencies said to be involved are PHD and dentsu.

Following the departure of FCB’s Paul Shale, I’ve heard that Toby Sellers (current Managing Director) has thrown his name into the hat – makes sense. He however has commented to StopPress, saying: “There’s a global search underway to find the new CEO and this process is being led by Carter Murray, our worldwide CEO. We will let you know when there is any news to share on the appointment.”

With increasing pressure for agencies to be more diverse and inclusive, it will be interesting to see if FCB chooses to go with Sellers or, like he says, cast the net wider.

And finally, to end on a cool note as we head into Winter – who wants to work for Special Group? I know I do – and it’s not just because they are looking to grow their PR team, but because the bosses at the ‘World’s Best Agency’ are taking the entire staff to Queenstown for a bit of fun in the snow! The trip is said to be happening in August sometime. And who says advertising isn’t fun?

Stay tuned for more soon,

HotPress is the latest opinion column exclusive to StopPress and filled with juicy titbits sure to spark hot debate. Read more here.

*To get in touch and share your thoughts, opinions (and hot goss) with Shady Lowdown, email [email protected]

*Happy to respect anonymity.


The views expressed in this piece are speculative and may or may not hold ground when properly fact-checked. This column is written in the spirit of constructive opinion/ debate and of course entertainment.

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