Whybin TBWA has worked its way onto the Lion roster, taking the Hahn SuperDry business from Publicis Mojo.
The win marks a hat trick of new business over the line in six weeks for Whybin TBWA Sydney, led by chief executive Paul Bradbury. The firm picked up Tabcorp from BWM in June and followed up by taking the David Jones account from M&C Saatchi last week.
"We are pinching ourselves," said Bradbury. "We have wanted to have a crack in the beer category for some time and to now be an agency partner in the Lion village is about as good as it gets."
The loss will smart for Publicis Mojo, though the agency remains on Lion's books. Grant Rutherford, a creative with strong pedigree not least in beer advertising, starts as executive creative director next month.
Matt Tapper, national marketing director at Lion, said that it was a case of looking at the brand through a "fresh pair of eyes" and that Whybin's creative work had earned its place at the table. He said the 'Pioneering Beering' campaign by Publicis Mojo had "delivered success" in some areas but that for the next Hahn campaign it would be Whybin's turn to move it forward.
"We'll see how the relationship develops and the results it generates. It gives them a foot in the door to the agency village and we're excited about the ideas they have tabled."
Tapper said that partnerships remain strong with all partners on the roster and that creative units not on the list may also be brought in for specific projects.
Of the other main creative agencies on the roster, BMF, he said, would remain working on brands including XXXX and Tooheys, with Publicis Mojo across brands including James Squire and James Boags. Other Lion partners include Octagon for sponsorship and experiential and The White Agency on digital.
"We see ourselves as media neutral," said Tapper. "Who knows where the best ideas might come from."
Should the Publicis Omnicom merger receive the green light from regulators, both Publicis Mojo and Whybin TBWA will be at least part-owned by the same holding group.
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