Independent digital agency Flight Digital has beefed up its leadership with the addition of former Isobar New Zealand CEO Ian Howard and tech entrepreneur Taylor Abernethy-Newman to its team.
Howard left his role at Isobar New Zealand in March 2020. His previous roles include Managing Director of award-winning independent creative and technology agency Little Giant, Head of Marketing and Brand at Maori Television and Head of Strategy at Interbrand New Zealand. Howard will split his time between an advisory role at Flight Digital and managing his own independent ethical brand consultancy, Bright Street Studio.
“Ian’s reputation speaks for itself. He’s considered one of New Zealand’s leading thinkers in the brand and technology space, is a great operator and brings a wealth of experience to our team. His value-based approach also really resonates with us so he’s a perfect fit to help us move forward,” says Flight Digital Founder and MD Victor Green.
Howard says that he didn’t expect to be back in the digital agency world this quickly, but is ready for the challenge. “The passion, energy and ambition of Vic and the team at Flight was really infectious. I’m really looking forward to seeing where we can take this place,” he says.
Taylor Abernethy-Newman also joins the Flight Digital team in the role of Head of Technology, fresh from his own venture at Joblist.co.nz in which he retains an interest. He had a three year hiatus from technology agencies but couldn’t resist the allure of a new challenge.
“Flight Digital were actually my marketing agency at Joblist.co.nz,” explains Abernethy-Newman. “So I’d experienced what it was like to be a client of theirs first hand before taking the leap. I really liked what I saw. The team is immensely talented, Vic’s nurtured a great empathetic culture and everyone brings a real focus on doing work that’s best in class and delivers true value to clients. I couldn’t be more excited about the challenge of driving this technology team and product forward,” he adds.
Green says that Taylor is one of a kind. “A top engineer, a great leader, a supremely nice guy and someone who I’m sure can make a huge impact both to our agency and to our clients’ businesses”
While New Zealand’s agency landscape has struggled in the face of Covid-19, Flight Digital has seen solid growth throughout 2020. Green puts that down to its focus on delivering a product that’s knowingly different from the big agencies.
“From day one we’ve wanted to rewrite the rules of agency world. We put a real focus on doing things efficiently and spending every dollar of our client’s money as if it’s our own. That’s been a big contributing factor in our success so far, but we know we’re far from the finished article and just focused on getting better and better at what we do.”
Some exciting new local client wins for the agency include Lewis Road Creamery, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Edmund Hillary Trust, Crane Brothers, Action Step and Celo.