Publicis grabs Affinity ID in another move in NZ

By Chris Pash | 21 August 2019
Affinity ID Adrian Farouk, Geoff Cooper, Angela Day, Michael Rebelo (L-R).

Publicis Groupe has acquired Affinity ID, New Zealand’s leading independent customer experience agency.

Affinity ID, founded in 1999, will relaunch this month under the Digitas brand.

This is the second investment this month by Publicis in New Zealand. Earlier it bought MBM, the largest independent, full-service media agency.

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

Affinity ID, the latest acqusition, has been at the helm of developing engagement programmes for some of Australasia’s most successful, sophisticated and data-hungry brands including Countdown, Kiwibank and Southern Cross. 

Under the new mantle of Digitas Affinity ID, the New Zealand team will be joining a network of 34 offices across 22 countries, allowing their New Zealand and Australian clients access to the largest number of data scientists in the industry and the biggest buying power of digital media globally.

Michael Rebelo, Publicis Groupe ANZ CEO, says the local market intelligence, breadth of expertise and trailblazing attitude of the Affinity ID team will be a huge asset to the Digitas brand’s launch into New Zealand and indeed, all of the Groupe agencies.

“New Zealand is a key market for APAC, and the launch of Digitas through Affinity ID completes an important part of the picture for us here," he says.

"Now, in addition to our creative, strategic, digital and media expertise; under the ‘Power of One’ platform, we can provide clients seamless access to best in class, data-driven customer experience capabilities.

“Our industry is transforming rapidly. We’re committed to adapting and evolving our offering at equal pace, so we can continue to be the collaborative, connected partner our clients need us to be.”

Angela Day, co-founder and director of Affinity ID, says the decision to choose Publicis Groupe and Digitas was grounded in shared expertise and ambitions and the ability to link into the resources and capabilities of the global network.

“We had a number of unsolicited approaches from leading communications and management consultancy groups, however, we felt the strategic direction and vision of Publicis Groupe and Digitas, were congruent to what we truly believe in – the ability to fuse technology and creativity to ignite change," she says.

"Throughout the process, we found Publicis Groupe to be the leading player, more knowledgeable than the others, with proven expertise and already delivering in this space.

"Their ‘Power of One’ ethos really resonated with us and we are looking forward to working closely with Saatchi & Saatchi and our other sister agencies to deliver end to end marketing transformation for clients.”

Adrian Farouk, Digitas Australia & New Zealand CEO, says: “Increasingly, clients want their agencies to help navigate the ever more complex digital ecosystem and to do this well in New Zealand requires us to be on the ground and amidst the action. We are excited to bring into the fold a smart group of people in Affinity ID, who will help build on Digitas’ strength as The Connected Marketing Agency by using data to fuel creativity.”

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