July 31, 2021


In a world where nearly everyone is always online, there is no offline.

TVNZ, 2degrees accounts up for grabs, the battle for ASB & who’s paying agencies 50k to pitch?

Move over Lady Whistledown, when it comes to the hottest happenings in Adlandia, Shady Lowdown is here to spill the T. HotPress is the latest opinion column exclusive to StopPress and filled with juicy titbits sure to spark hot debate.

Some say that the media’s coverage of goings on within New Zealand’s advertising industry has become a little bland.

I tend to agree, and plan to shake things up a bit! What better platform than StopPress to do it on.

With my ear to the ground and an instinct for the inside scoop, I’m no MAD pretender and not one for Brief salacious comment, but will not hesitate to have my say.

Here’s this week’s T…

Up for pitch

With the international media might that Discovery brings to MediaWorks and the pressures of content partnerships on the digital front – think Google, Outbrain, Verizon, Stuff, The Herald etc. – it’s no surprise then that TVNZ apparently has its media account up for pitch.

When approached, TVNZ had no further comment to make. Read into that what you will.

This is a big fish, and I’m sure agencies will be lining up on Hobson Street to land it.

It’s also rumoured that 2degrees is looking to shake things up, with a pitch for its media account on the horizon. And, I’ve got it on good authority that the telco is getting (marketing?) assistance from over the ditch to rival the 5G offering by Vodafone and Spark. Don’t run out of data, as this is a story you’ll want to keep current on. 

Is there also a new creative pitch going out for Stats NZ – the country’s official data agency? My sources say that DDB is having a go. This would make sense given the success TRACK has seen with the likes of Maccas. Data is big business, so it will be interesting to see which agency comes out on top.

Paying to pitch?

A source in the know has also shared with me that Air New Zealand is paying agencies $ 50k each to pitch for their business. That’s big bucks and possibly a step in the right direction when it comes to levelling out the pitching playing field. I’m sure smaller indies will give the nod of approval.

Battle for the banks

On Tuesday Special Group announced that John Marshall would join the New Zealand team as Joint GM. Interestingly, and by complete coincidence according to a Special source, the same day ASB announced that elements of its creative would be up for pitch.

Why is this coincidence? Well, John Marshall worked closely on the ASB account while at WiTH Collective.


It’s also particularly gossip-worthy because in recent times Special has pursued the Kiwibank account (and is tipped to win). Also, it’s said that the agency’s Sydney office has its eyes set on the ANZ account in that county. The latter is believed to be a two-fer with New Zealand’s creative offering on the line. Watch out TBWA!

Last year Claire Beatson (General Manager Group Strategy at dentsu and strategist on the ASB account) and Tony Bradbourne (CEO, Special Group) tied the knot. Now it’s believed Claire is on her way to her new husband’s agency. Talk about keeping it in the family! 

Dan Bye is the new General Manager Group Strategy at dentsu. 

The likelihood of Special New Zealand looking after two banks is slim, but the strategy behind the indie’s latest appointments is certainly telling.

Starcom shake-up

I also believe that there’s a bit of a restructure going on at the top levels of Starcom. This may not come as a surprise given the recent shake-ups at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Maybe they are readying themselves for the TVNZ pitch, right?

Back again

Not new news, but Ogilvy NZ – with its full-service offering for WPP AUNZ – is back in the creative mix.

New PR Director at WPP Laura Platts is set to make more of an announcement around this in the coming week. I know that I’m keen to see who’s heading things up and what business the agency will bring. The strong female contingent at the group remaining very tight-lipped.

Keep connected as I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this soon.

And that’s my lot – for now.

Our industry is certainly not bland, in fact the opposite. It’s strategic, open and at times egotistical and incestuous – and that’s going to make for an interesting read in the weeks and months to come.


*To get in touch and share your thoughts, opinions (and hot goss) with Shady Lowdown, email HotPress@StopPress.co.nz

*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 community collegiality, constructive opinion/ debate and of course entertainment.

The post TVNZ, 2degrees accounts up for grabs, the battle for ASB & who’s paying agencies 50k to pitch? appeared first on stoppress.co.nz.