Pitch Wrap: Virgin, Tourism NZ, Cricket Australia

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 18 April 2019

It’s hard to keep track of the account wins and losses across the industry. To help you keep on top of who has what, here’s a wrap of the pitches from the week.

Virgin Australia
PHD Australia has been appointed to the media account for Virgin Australia following a competitive pitch. Virgin Australia will work with agencies Carat and Columbus Agency over the next three months as it transitions into PHD. The agency will now handle offline, digital and performance media planning and buying for the airline. Initially thought to be worth $9m, sources close to AdNews have put the total spend closer to $15m (once digital and social are factored in). Virgin Australia marketing director Michael Nearhos says it was "impressed" with PHD's capabilities, tools and culture. 

Tourism New Zealand
Tourism NZ has appointed Mindshare Australia to lead its media planning and buying, with the account set to be worth close to $35 million. It will begin working with Mindshare, out of its Sydney office, from 1 July. The competitive pitch process was run over a two-stage process, with a maximum of four agencies entering the final round. Mindshare will be responsible for activating Tourism New Zealand’s campaign material in target visitor markets across the world. 

Innovative Brands Group
ModelCo and MCoBeauty brand leader, Innovative Groups has appointed both Clemenger BBDO Sydney and Speed to its agency roster. Clemenger BBDO will take the MCoBeauty account on as creative lead, while Speed has been selected to take on media strategy and buying. Both agencies will support MCoBeauty through its next stage of growth. Innovative Brands Group founder and CEO Shelley Sullivan says that both agencies will help lift the beauty brand. The appointments are effective immediately.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia has appointed Kojo Sport as its national creative stadium content partner for another two years after a previous one-year contract. Kojo Sport will provide national stadium content for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 KFC Big Bash (BBL) and Rebel Women's Big Bash Leagues (WBBL). The creative agency has already delivered over 250 creative assets this season which were displayed on vision screens and LED perimeter displays across all Australian BBL and WBBL venues. A mix of choreographed content across lighting, live performance, vision, LED screens and audio will be created for Cricket Australia.

Maurice Blackburn
Independent digital agency Half Dome has been appointed by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to manage its SEM account following a competitive four-way pitch. The win allows the agency to consolidate all planning and buying of Maurice Blackburn's paid media after partnering with Consumedia to win the wider account in April last year. Maurice Blackburn general manager of marketing and communications Toni Wilson says the law firm was "seeking an agency which could bring a fresh approach to our SEM strategy and offer a high level of analysis to continue to build our digital presence.” The account will be led by Half Dome head of search and digital Rhett Mitchelhill.

Workplace relations service provider Employsure has appointed digital product agency Frank Digital to redesign and rebuild its digital platform, following a competitive pitch. The agency will support Employsure's website design and rebuild, ensuring complete integration of the business across all customer touchpoints. Employsure senior marketing manager Nicole Chehine says they chose to work with the digital agency as it understood the B2B environment. “We wanted to challenge the way we connect with SMEs in the digital space by creating a platform that simplifies the service offering and provides the information we know SMEs are looking for," Chehine says. 

GSK Consumer Healthcare
Global communications and marketing solutions firm Weber Shandwick has been appointed as the official social media agency of record for GSK Consumer Healthcare, following a competitive pitch. Weber Shandwick will work on social media strategy and management for the healthcare company's portfolio of brands which includes Voltaren, Panadol, Children's Panadol, Sensodyne, Polident and Nicabate. GSK area head of digital Richard Bennett says the company is now placing more focus on advancing the digital experience for its customers and says Weber Shandwick's creativity, combined with its team's healthcare and social marketing expertise, makes them the "natural fit".

Life-Space Probiotics
Dig&Fish has been appointed as lead creative agency for Life-Space Probiotics following a competitive pitch across Australia and China. Life-Space head of marketing ANZ, Nick Campion says the brand needed the right strategic and creative partner who could work across Australia, China and beyond. Dig&Fish is part of independent creative network Project Worldwide. Life-Space had already partnered with one of its sister agencies, JUXT China for the past two years in the Chinese market. “We were excited to include a smaller network in the pitch and were blown away by the team’s creative and strategic capabilities," Campion says.

Plus500 Brumbies
Canberra super rugby team Plus500 Brumbies has appointed Nerio Communications as its strategic marketing partner for the remainder of the 2019 season. Nerio Communications director Amy Nerios says it looks forward to contributing to the “rich legacy” of the Brumbies. "We are thrilled to be working with one of Australia’s most iconic sporting brands and the team at the Plus500 Brumbies," Nerios says.

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