Publicis goes big on NZ, grabbing independent MBM

By Chris Pash | 14 August 2019
MBM’s managing partners Alysha Delany, Sean McCready and Matt Bale (L-R).

Publicis Groupe ANZ has made a raid on New Zealand, buying MBM, the largest independent, full-service media agency.

MBM’s key clients include Trade Me, Z Energy, TSB, Whittaker’s, VTNZ, Fisher & Paykel and Goodman Fielder. Its recent new business wins have included Burger King and Tower.

Publicis foreshadowed further investment in New Zealand, "an important growth market".  The dollar value of the current deal hasn't been revealed. 

MBM will continue to operate business as usual across its existing offices, led by its three managing partners Matt Bale, based in Wellington; and Sean McCready and Alysha Delany in Auckland.

The agency will retain its branding and all services.

Michael Rebelo, CEO of Publicis Groupe ANZ, says: “Our future success depends on our ability to adapt at pace – structurally as an organisation – and through the behaviours of our people. We were drawn to MBM because they clearly share this vision, having continuously evolved their offering to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry."

He says the acquisition of MBM is the first in a series of investments in New Zealand.

The managing partners say: “We are excited to join the Publicis Media group as MBM continues building momentum and enters its next phase of business growth. We have invested significantly in our digital and analytics capabilities over the last few years, and we have a solid foundation of fantastic local clients.”

“This puts us in a great position to continue to grow into the future, with a commitment to bring success to our clients through the power of data-led communications. MBM will be led by our existing management team who remain committed to running the business for years to come.

“This new partnership combines MBM’s entrepreneurial spirit and highly talented team with the scale, resources and tools of a significant international agency group, to increase our focus around data-led communications.”

Toby Barbour, CEO, Publicis Media ANZ, says MBM has a data-centric and digitally-progressive approach that has proven to be its key differentiator and strength.

"I am delighted to welcome them to the Publicis Media family, further bolstering our presence in the New Zealand market," he says. "With offices in both Wellington and Auckland, the agency is well positioned to continue to grow relationships with a broad range of clients.”

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