SMART travels north

By AdNews | 21 September 2007

BRISBANE: Ad agency Smart will expand into the Queensland market with the merger of Queensland-based Turner Sands advertising into the Smart group, operating under the banner Smart Sands.

Smart currently has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and is expanding into the Queensland market to match its increasing workload in the northern state.

Heading up its Queensland operation, Smart Sands, will be Turner Sands managing director Joe Sands and newly appointed ex-Publicis London general manager Rachael Lee.

Turner Sands, a full-service Queensland agency that offers advertising, design, web and brand strategy services across Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was founded in 2000 by Joel Turner and Joe Sands.

Its client list includes listed investment group MFS, Retail Food Group (Donut King), Gold Coast City Council and Royal Brunei Airways.

Ben Lilley, CEO of Smart, said any new Queensland-based Smart clients will now be handled out of the Smart Sands office, freeing up its Sydney operation to focus on its combined Sydney and Melbourne clients.

“While it’s fair to say the last thing Queensland needs is another Sydney or Melbourne agency looking to make it big up north, our experience over the past 12 months has identified a significant gap in the Queensland market, for a more strategically integrated through-the-line creative offering,” Lilley said.

Smart Sands will run independently from Smart’s Sydney and Melbourne agency businesses, with strategic and creative input from the national team used on a client-by-client basis as required.

The Queensland agency will be available to non-conflicting Smart Melbourne and Sydney clients who require activation services out of Queensland.

Smart Sydney last month absorbed boutique Sydney agency Kindred, taking on its key clients Coca-Cola (Coke Zero and Mount Franklin), Sunbeam and Unilever, with the merged entity now operating under the Smart banner.

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