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What The Monkeys winning ASB means for dentsu and DDB

Move over Cindy, you’ve dominated the news cycle long enough. Shady has some lockdown-worthy lowdown for you.

If level 4 has you feeling low, you’re not alone – well unless you are The Monkeys who’d be celebrating their first client in New Zealand – ASB. Now, while that’s not gossip-worthy (I get the feeling much of the ad industry had their money firmly behind the Justin Mowday, Damon Stapleton duo), what has transgressed in the past four months since the bank announced a possible change in guard is more so…

It’s been a topic hot on the lips of many, and while The Monkeys’ fortunes may be looking bright, I can’t say the same for dentsu.

While StopPress can reveal that dentsu has secured the TVNZ media account, the loss of ASB has seen a major shift in senior personnel from the agency. First the loss of Claire Bradbourne and then Jolene D’Souza who both worked on the ASB account and both since joined Special, and now long-time Managing Partner Luke Farmer has announced his departure.

I wonder if Farmer saw the writing on the wall when the agency held a ‘we’ve lost the ASB account’ party?

Lotto New Zealand have also confirmed that they have gone with PHD to manage their media needs – another pitch the agency I’m sure was hoping would come off.

Another agency that has seen resultant staff shifts is DDB. Several of these have been reported, but I have heard chatter that a top creative duo from the agency has been poached by former CEO Mowday.

I understand that DDB has also moved to flexible working hours. I wonder how this is going to play out now that we are further isolated in lockdown.

Anyway, back to those winners – Mowday and Stapleton are tipped to have also won Meridian and MediaWorks accounts. Although this I can’t confirm.

Both DDB and dentsu have produced incredible work for some fantastic brands over the years (and I am sure they will continue to), but at what rate and capacity given that both have seen significant departures in the past year on the creative front? The Monkeys will be one to watch as it looks to disrupt the market. Or isn’t that what TBWA does?

Other than that it’s pretty quiet in Auckland Adland – let’s hope we start seeing some innovative lockdown work soon before boredom really sets in.

Stay safe,

Stay tuned for more soon,

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

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