A blog for the New Zealand creative advertising industry, now at www.campaignbrief.com/nz. Email news to: michael@campaignbrief.com

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


AWARD is calling for ideas for this year's Call for Entry Brief, which is open to all agencies and students throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The winner will receive two free AWARD night tickets and a free membership, including the AWARD Annual 2006.

Requirements: Viral mpeg, FPC mag & A3 Poster, (the poster will have all category information on the back, with a call to action to the website where the majority of CFE information will be accessed.) Web banner for CFE website.
Budget: Tiny - but sponsorships offered in return for production work. Not to mention fame and fortune of your idea circulating Australian, NZ and Asian agencies!
Ideas Deadline: Tuesday 20th February @ 5pm.
Email your ideas to: angelika@awardonline.com, Fax to AWARD on 02 8287 3801 or post to Angelika Wachs, AWARD, QVB 1055, NSW 1230.

Announce the Call for Entry to the 2007 AWARD Awards.

Everyone in advertising, design, interactive, production, post-production, direct marketing.

AWARD is the most reputable regional award show judged by the region’s most respected people. To get accepted into the book, and/or win a pencil would be an incredible honour that could jump me places.

AWARD recognition = success

If any award is in direct recognition of those people who sit in judgment, then AWARD is the best regional honor as the people choosing the work are the region’s best. To have convinced the most hardened and talented people that your work should be selected to represent the year that was, is quite an achievement.


Print Ad:
AWARD Logo & website address
Text; AWARD 2007 Call for Entries
Front of Poster:
AWARD Logo & website address
Text; AWARD 2007 Call for Entries
Back of Poster:
Sponsor Logos
Letter from the Chairman


Preferably an award winning campaign


The man from Pulp wanted to relaunch his magazine as everything to do with popular culture. So FCB made an ad about everything to do with popular culture.
Creative Director: James Mok
Copywriter: Hayley Brunt
Art Director: Dave Brady
Prod Company: The Cartel
Director: Tom Riley
Sound: John Cooper at Liquid


AIM Proximity has been awarded Westpac’s direct marketing account, supported by its strategic partner Proximity iD, which specialises in data analytics and database management.
The account, to be handled by the Auckland office from 1 March 2007, is believed to be one of the biggest direct marketing contracts in the country.
Suzie Marsden, Head of Brand and Marketing at Westpac, comments on the new strategic partnership with AIM Proximity: “At Westpac we are passionate about helping our customers make the most of their lives. To do that, we need to understand them better and anticipate their needs. I am certain we have chosen well in selecting AIM Proximity as our strategic partner to help us achieve this. It is the impressive combination of their data analytics and innovative creative solutions which we believe will really help us engage our customers.”
Darryn Melrose, CEO of AIM Proximity, comments on the success: “This is a fantastic start to 2007 for us and a real coup for our new management team. We’re excited to be working with Westpac who share our passion for strategic insight, creativity and most importantly innovation.
“The fact that we’ve won one of the biggest direct marketing contracts in the country really shows our credibility and capacity to deliver in the financial services sector. The decision by Westpac demonstrates our ability to adapt in a dynamic market place and reinforces our status as the leading direct and interactive marketing agency in New Zealand.”
Jane Eagles, General Manager, AIM Proximity Auckland, adds: “We believe the depth and strength of our expertise in the financial services sector is second to none in Australasia. The timing of this win is great for us and will allow us to use that expertise and build on previous successes.”


Saatchi & Saatchi's top creative directors from around the world, including New Zealand executive creative director Mike O'Sullivan (left), will meet in Sydney this week for their bi-annual worldwide creative board meeting. Headed by Saatchi's worldwide creative director, Australia's Bob Isherwood, they will meet the press on Wednesday evening.

Friday, January 26, 2007


DDB has announced the acquisition of one of New Zealand’s leading relationship marketing specialist consultancies in a move which looks set to re-shape the country’s direct marketing landscape, while growing DDB’s presence in Wellington.
The purchase of Limb Walker Partners, founded by Robert Limb and Lance Walker -- two of New Zealand’s most highly regarded direct and relationship marketing strategists -– will be fully backed by the resources of DDB.
To be re-branded Rapp Collins Limb Walker, the consultancy will be part of the DDB Group locally and Rapp Collins globally.
DDB New Zealand Group Managing Director Sharon Henderson described the acquisition as symbolic of the pace of DDB’s business drive for 2007 and a deliberate move by the Group to take it’s already award-winning direct marketing resource to a level that should lead the market.
At the DDB Group level, the move is an important strategic development which will see the DDB brand become a growing presence in Wellington and a national brand for New Zealand.
Marty O’Halloran, CEO and Chairman of DDB Australia and New Zealand explained the strategy behind the acquisition: “The establishment of Rapp Collins Limb Walker is part of a wider strategy of the DDB Group to offer the number one direct marketing agency network across both markets. Rapp Collins is already the top-rated agency in Australia and we consider it only a matter of time before Rapp Collins Limb Walker achieves the same success in New Zealand.”
Limb and Walker were Managing Directors of AIM Proximity, in the Auckland and Wellington offices respectively, before setting up their own consultancy in 2003. They will jointly head Rapp Collins Limb Walker, with Robert leading the Auckland team, and Lance leading the Wellington operation.


While many ad creatives have a manuscript in their bottom draw and wistful ambitions of following in Bryce Courteney’s footsteps, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated novelists is planning a reverse take-over.
Alan Duff, the man who made famous the saying “Do-ies not huis”, is now looking to advertising and design to continue bringing his love of words to life.
Described in the Oxford Literary Dictionary as a "cultural phenomenon”, Alan is perhaps best known for his novels ‘Once Were Warriors’ and ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?’, published worldwide with two movies.
Nevertheless Duff has been prolific in many other ways. He founded the literacy programme ‘Books in Homes’, which put over 5,000,000 books into the homes of disadvantaged children. He was also NZ's most widely syndicated weekly columnist for 10 years. More recently, he’s written radio scripts, screenplays and was one of 12 top writers invited to tour France. “I've even sung in front of 600 people, my version of Maori-oke,” he quips.
Duff will be represented by The Pond, a freelance creative department partnering advertising and design agencies. “With a lack of good writing skills coming through the ad schools, we are seeing a resurgence in the need for quality writers who are not only good at their craft, but also able to capture the way New Zealanders actually talk and relate to each other, ” says Leighton Howl at The Pond.
The Pond sees Duff as a way to inspire and bring a different perspective to the ad market, which is often criticised for it’s ‘white urban upper income’ image. And for Duff, he’s looking forward to the creative challenge of mastering advertising “the only writing medium I haven’t done.”
Certainly there is no doubt his cheeky down-to-earth style resonates with Kiwis.
As someone who grew up with a rebellious streak, Alan Duff has always seen himself as "a man of the people” who tries to reflect his fellow Kiwis in his written works. He’s looking forward to using his knowledge of Maori people to target this area of expertise as well as his general wit and penmanship for other interesting advertising projects.
Duff can be contacted through The Pond by calling Sue Worthington on 021 668 835 or Clinton Ulyatt 021 442 295 or by visiting thepond.co.nz.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Australian and New Zealand Agencies are leading the way at the finalist
stage of this year's John Caples Awards in New York. Down under agencies own the top three spots: M&C Saatchi Sydney has more finalists than any other individual agency in the world with 10, followed by Aim Proximity Auckland with nine and Aim Proximity
Wellington with seven.
Other Australasian agencies to do well include BMF Sydney with four, Tequila Auckland with three and Lavender Sydney, Clemenger BBDO Sydney and Lowe Hunt, Sydney with two. One finalist apiece to Draft NZ, Colenso BBDO Auckland, Clemenger BBDO Direct, Wellington and Cummins & Partners, Melbourne

M&C Saatchi Sydney (10)
Aim Proximity Auckland (9)
Aim Proximity Wellington (7)

Draft FCB (7)
Ogilvy worldwide GmbH &Co. KG (5)
Proximity (5)
Tribal DDB Germany (5)
Arc Worldwide/Leo Bernett Advertising Sdn. Bhd. (5)
20:20 London (4)
CP Proximity (4)
BMF Sydney (4)
Arc Worldwide (4)
I DO (4)
Publicis Dialogue (3)
Proximity #ttp (3)
OgilvyOne worldwide (3)
Proximity #ttp & Net#work BBDO (3)
Rodgers Townsend (3)
Tequila\Auckland (3)
Wunderman NY (3)
The Martine Agency (2)
Draft (2)
Clemenger Proximity, Sydney (2)
EHS Brann (2)
Wunderman Germany (2)
Lavender (2)
Rapp Collins (2)
DDB (2)
Di Paola & asociados (2)
Shackelton (2)
Ogilvy worldwide Malaysia (2)
Chemistry (2)
FCB (2)
Salem (2)
Lowe Hunt Sydney (2)
OgilvyOne (2)
Craik Jones (2)
Proximity London (2)
Shackleton (2)


The Sweet Shop has been named in the ‘Top Twenty Production Companies in the World 2006’ by North American publication Boards magazine.
It’s the second year the company has been featured on this impressive list – and the only company with headquarters in Australasia.
Judged on a production company's body of work over the last year the magazine stated, The Sweet Shop’s reel displayed ‘equal parts good-naturedness and class’ with work in 2006 being some of its finest in its five year tenure.
This year the magazine paid homage to standout commercials including Steve Ayson’s Folgers commercial ‘Happy Mornings’, Michael Wong’s work for Vodafone Live, James Pilkington’s tongue and cheek ‘Undies’ commercial for Trumpet and Melanie Bridge’s fanciful tale for Toblerone.
2006 was a big year for the company – not simply for producing commercials but for company expansion. The company opened up its own office in New York adding two New York based directors ex Creative Director Julian Pugsley and ex Chelsea Pictures Director Kathi Prosser. The Sweet Shop also established its new division, The Rumpus Room, launching its first project, the ambitious ‘Make a Big Noise for Make Trade Fair’ competition in support of Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair cause.


Nike ‘Maureen’ - Bronze Film Lion Clothing, Footwear and Accessories
MTV ‘Just like Daddy’ - Finalist Best Use of Music

Nike ‘Maureen’ - In annual for Best TV commercial

Nike ‘Maureen’ - Finalist for Best TV Campaign

Tip Top ‘Undies’ - Finalist Consumer Products
Nike ‘Maureen’ - Finalist Best TV – Fashion/Apparel

Vodafone ‘Live’ - Gold for Direction
MTV ‘Budgie Smuggler’ - Silver for Direction
MTV ‘Budgie Smuggler’ - Silver for Cinematography
Nike ‘Maureen’ - Bronze for Copywriting
Vodafone ‘Live’ - Bronze for Cinematography
MTV ‘Just like Daddy’ - Bronze for Direction
MTV ‘Budgie Smuggler’ - Bronze for Editing

‘Best International Director’ - Michael Wong
MTV ‘Budgie Smuggler’ - Best Foreign Film
Tip Top ‘Undies’ - Silver, Food
MTV ‘Just like Daddy’ - Bronze, Publication and Media
Nike ‘Maureen’ - Bronze, Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

MTV ‘Budgie Smuggler’ - Silver, Media
MTV ‘Just like Daddy’ - Silver, Casting

MTV ‘Budgie Smuggler’ - Bronze, Media and Entertainment

Title: Production Company of the Year
Tip Top ‘Undies’ campaign - Grand Axis Electronic
‘Undies’ - Gold TV/Cinema Consumer Products
‘Undies’ - Gold TV/Cinema Direction
‘Simplifying Summer’ - Silver TV Campaign
‘Hair Whip’ - Silver TV Consumer Products
‘Undies’ – Silver TV Craft, Editing
‘Go In The Ocean’ – Bronze TV, Consumer Products
‘Undies’ – Bronze TV Craft, Copywriting

Herringbone ‘Love Story’ - Best Commercial Spot

Herringbone ‘Love Story’ - Best use of Music Track
Herringbone ‘Love Story’ - Best of Production Design

Sarah Brown ‘Hands’ - ‘Music Video of the Year’

Top Twenty Production Companies in the World 2006

Production Company ‘Top Shop’ 2006


NZCC hears that long serving creative team Daniel Crayford and Paul McGreevy (pictured) have left Lowe, just as the agency is defending its two biggest accounts: Vodafone and NZ Lotteries. Says one CD contacted: "They told him they’d had enough (I don’t know of what). They are now out ringing round looking for a job."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


NZCC hears that New Zealand will have a record representation on various juries at Cannes this year. Although not yet official sources say that Saatchi's Mike O'Sullivan will judge Film, Clemenger BBDO's Duster will judge Outdoor, TBWA\Whybin's Andy Blood will judge Promo, AIM Proximity's Matt Shirtcliffe will judge Direct, and Kevin Blight from Mitchell's will judge the Media Lions.
In addition, NZCC hears that Saatchi's Tom Eslinger will chair the Cyber Lions jury, the first kiwi to chair a Cannes jury.


Following the influx of big new business wins Fonterra and NAB, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne have hired three highly awarded creative teams in the lead up to the arrival of new executive creative director James McGrath on February 5. The first to join are Kiwis Cameron Harris (ex Saatchi's) and Seymour Pope (ex Publicis Mojo), who have teamed up for the first time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


(sent to NZCC via email):

Hello to All,

Firstly – a personal and deep apology to the industry, creditors, and everyone who has been affected by this terrible situation in which we have found ourselves in.

While times have been tough - not only in our company, but throughout the industry, - the consequence of recent events, came as a devastating blow to us all at Silverscreen in New Zealand.

I also apologise for my apparent lack of communication with the many media outlets and creditors that have wanted some time to talk and discuss as to why this came about. The time and energy this situation has since demanded from me has been overwhelming – (and not fit for human consumption!).

I would like to thank the friends and colleagues, both here and in Australia, who have given their time to write or call with expressions of sadness and regret –- and the support from others I don’t know, - who have defended me and challenged the cynical and the opportunists who have stood on their soapbox’s pretending wisdom.

I salute the loyal staff that worked so hard to make it a success – even after 33 years of hard slog, - and I salute the staff and Directors at Silverscreen in Sydney, not forgetting my dear mates Haydn and Tracey, - who have endured the painful consequences. My only real wish is that the industry will continue to support both Oktobor in Auckland and the Directors at Silverscreen in Australia, both in the near and distant future. To those who have already shown or pledged their support, - I thank you.

There are many months of work ahead in trying to attend to the detail and consequence of this event, and I would ask for some patience and understanding for now what must be attended to. I would not wish this situation on anybody! I realise this may not be enough for some, who will demand blood where there is none, - but my heart is truly heavy.

If there is anything for our Industry to learn from this, I hope the wise among us will take heed and help instigate change for the better.

Yours Sincerely

Geoff Dixon


NZCC hears that Saatchi & Saatchi NZ creative Cameron Harris left the agency on Friday. Where he's off to is not clear at this stage.


Award-winning copywriter Leon Wilson, who worked at Colenso BBDO Auckland prior to joining Mother, London back in 2002, will take up the position of associate creative director at Publicis Mojo Melbourne next week.
Wilson has been a senior copywriter at Mother, one of the hottest agencies in the world, for the last five years. During his career he has won awards at The One Show, D&AD, BTAA, Campaign Press, EPICA, Young Guns, and Axis for his campaigns on Britart.com, The Observer, Nintendo, TV3, and Casio.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Clauses within Auckland City’s contentious billboard bylaw proposals have the potential to shut down the entire Auckland industry valued at up to $210 million annually.
Outdoor Advertising Association of New Zealand Chairman Duncan Harris says as the industry has had time to analyse the proposals the depth of the potential impact of the new bylaws is becoming clearer.
“We were astounded at the Councillors adding clauses and changing the boundaries on various maps as we sat in a room supposedly commenting on final bylaw proposals,” says Mr Harris.
“But it’s only now as we’ve finally had the chance to absorb the full impact of the proposals that we are seeing the extent of the damage they can cause.”
Mr Harris said the initial focus of the bylaws was on around 200 billboards in the downtown CBD area. But further analysis of the proposals and the Council’s economic report shows the new bylaws contain clauses that will effectively give Council the power to get rid of any billboard in the greater Auckland City area within just six months. This casts doubt on previous assurances from Auckland City Council that “Billboards would still be allowed on buildings in other areas of the central city”.
“The bylaw as proposed puts at risk up to 575 billboards throughout Auckland, and our independent review of Council’s economic and social impact report translates that to an entire industry investment of up to $210 million that is now at risk. Add in around 200 jobs and up to $75 million off the capital value of buildings in the downtown area alone, and the impacts are quite devastating.
“Shutting down access to downtown or all of Auckland means the national billboard industry will be reduced to local or regional messages or safety campaigns. Few advertisers, whether commercial, charity, or Government Department operators are going to want to mount any kind of national campaign that doesn’t include Auckland.
“That seems a huge social and economic cost to have to pay just because a few councillors have suddenly decided they don’t like billboards. Those Councillors say they want to protect Auckland’s heritage but we can only find five downtown billboards on listed heritage sites and all those sites were granted consents by the Council.
“Again shutting down an industry to remove five sites seems an incredible overreaction,” said Mr Harris.
Mr Harris said another major concern was an over-ride of existing property rights of building owners and billboard site owners.
“The property rights of owners was quoted by councillors as a major reason for not interfering to prevent the recent demolition of Coolangatta, widely acknowledged as one of Auckland’s most beautiful heritage homes. The same property rights apply to building and site owners but it looks as if Council is prepared to run roughshod over those.
“Some of those larger sites are rented at $30,000 a month or more. For some building owners that income might support their entire maintenance programme or be the difference between profit or loss.
“The value of those properties hosting billboards in the CBD will drop by up to $75 million if the billboards have to be taken down. How do the owners recoup that kind of value?” he said.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Y&R Wellington is celebrating its reappointment to one of the capital’s most prized ad accounts – for SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand).
SPARC and Y&R are now finalising the commercial terms on the hotly contested account after the win was confirmed just before Christmas. The confirmation came a few weeks after Y&R also won the new Biosecurity New Zealand account.
Y&R Wellington, led by new MD Chrissie Lahood (pictured), is growing with a new CD and two new staff members in account service.
"We have totally immersed ourselves in the SPARC vision, everyone on the account loves working on it. This passion showed through in the work we put into the pitch. We're absolutely thrilled to win it," said Ms Lahood.
SPARC General Manager, Marketing & Communications, Paul Sinclair, said Y&R’s appointment was a unanimous call from the pitch panel and reflected the agency’s understanding of the sport and recreation sector, a compelling strategic proposition and creative to match.
“We’re now looking at a huge three years ahead, from a marketing perspective. With a continued focus on driving our Push Play campaign, delivering on the Government’s Mission-On initiatives, and the Beijing Olympics being just around the corner, we’re pleased to have a seriously match-fit agency on board.
“We congratulate Y&R on the win, and thank all the agencies who tendered for our business,” he said.


Independent ad agencies Creativebank and Blue Hat have merged their businesses into a single agency. The new entity, based in Auckland’s Viaduct precinct, will retain the name Creativebank.
Creativebank comprises 20 people, servicing a total of 21 clients. There are no client conflicts as a result of the merger and the combined agencies’ client list includes A1GP, Auckland Fish Market, AFT Pharmacueticals, Customs Clearing House (CCH), Energiser, Foster’s, Giltrap Motors, Kitchen Studio, Netball New Zealand, Roche, Sanofi-aventus, Vector, Watercare and Wendys.
Creativebank retains Western Union, for which the two merging agencies jointly pitched and won.
The CEO of the new agency is former Blue Hat managing director Andrew Clark. Creativebank founder Marco Marinkovich remains as executive creative director of the new entity.
The two principals both formerly worked at Grey Advertising – Andrew Clark as Group Account Director based in Sydney, and Marinkovich as Managing Director of the New Zealand operation that he established in 1995. Clark left Grey to return to New Zealand to join start-up agency Meares Taine, and subsequently established Workshop, the forerunner of Blue Hat. Marinkovich established Creativebank in 1999 and is well-known for his social marketing programmes including his chairmanship of the high profile Yellow Ribbon campaign aimed at reducing youth suicide.
Clark described the merger as a success story for the local advertising industry. “As individual entities we have both survived and operated profitably in the local market which is being increasingly dominated by multinationals.
“Blue Hat has built a reputation on being more strategically focused and Creativebank has always had the creative horsepower of Marco and his team. Together, we will provide a strong business offering as an agency that business itself will seek out for serious business solutions.”
Clark said both agencies had turned away a number of approaches from international suitors: “We believe in the strength and quality of New Zealand advertising and we believe we have a great deal to offer in this market.
“Many creative businesses are criticised as lacking process and undisciplined. At Creativebank we offer clients robust strategy, thinking and creative tools from Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats that achieve results.”
Clark, who is one of only two accredited Six Hat trainers and facilitators in New Zealand, says this provides clients with “a unique offering that no other agency can legitimately provide.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Beginning this year, full time advertising students will be able to enhance their education by attending the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the organisers of the event announced today, with Alfred University in New York the first to take up the offer.
The student delegate programme, aimed at those in full time education studying marketing, communication and advertising, will enable business colleges and universities to send their students to Cannes for the week taking advantage of the many opportunities the Festival has to offer. Registered students will be able to attend the most comprehensive seminar and workshop programme available to the industry, experience first hand all the different facets of the business, see and be inspired by the best creative work in the world.
Festival CEO, Phil Thomas, says “Attending the Festival is a fantastic learning experience for everybody, so it is only right to extend this unique opportunity to the next generation. We very much look forward to welcoming the first group of students from Alfred University next year and would like to encourage other advertising educational institutions to also include attending the annual event as part of their curriculum.”
"The opportunity to learn from the best and gain the real world knowledge and skills critical for the rapid changes impacting the future gives students attending the festival a significant competitive advantage in the global marketplace," commented Bill Ward, Assistant Professor of Marketing, International Marketing & Advertising Program Leader of Alfred University.
A special registration fee will allow students to attend most of the Festival activities during the week. Professors accompanying groups of students will attend free of charge. The student delegate package will run separately to the already well established Roger Hatchuel Lions Academy. Student registrations are now open online at www.canneslions.com

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Thenumbersman said...


What you have highlighted in your article is interesting and well put. Your points are also been reflected in agencies. Silverscreen is just the beginning and not alone.
While budgets are being slashed for TV production this is reflected also in agency salaries. They too are going backwards. The creatives and accounts people get paid today nothing like what they use to.
So forget those pumped up recruitment agency surveys. There is no glamour in advertising anymore (along with no benefits). And no big money.
But that is not all. I think your comments are a reflection of the whole wider creative industry. And it's alot bigger problem than the our industry realises. (CAANZ are they doing anything? "Cut the courses back guys") Here are a few areas I think are suffering:

1. Agency Creatives and Accounts staff.
2. Photographers.
3. Illustration.
4. In-house Designers.
5. Studio Staff.
6. People working in film production.

They are all earning less than they did 7-10 years ago - it's just not directors and productions companies. I have highlighted these because I have heard it first hand from pretty much all these groups over the last 3 years on too many occasions.
The simple truth is that "The problem" is one created by agencies. But how can that be? Simple really and it all comes down to selling out their own industry they work in.

1. First they sell out to clients, they cannot say "NO", if they do, they are worried they will lose their client. Industry standards go down as budgets go down.
2. The new "Don't leave us" trend was created resulting in "we can do it cheaper". And this has huge flow on. How many agencies have held clients on cost cutting?
3. The pressure on the global outposts in NZ is becoming greater from abroad, with over the top margins to make year on year. One of our biggest agency's growth strategy is acquisitions. When they should be encouraging their clients to spend more through showing them the success that great creative can achieve. Building small clients into large ones is a start.

The question is then what will pop next? Or who will pop? Silverscreen is an example of one. There is going to be more mergers and more cut backs, rumour has it they were happening in a few agencies around Christmas.
I know the answers but that I will not be telling.
Any thoughts bloggers?

Monday, January 15, 2007


So after thirty-three years Silverscreen Productions has announced its voluntary liquidation - sad but not surprising.
Silverscreen started as a one-director company with the hugely talented Geoff Dixon working out of his living room. It eventually grew into an amorphus group of companies with fingers in many pies: production, design, post-production, Internet, TV and feature films: all many steps away from its core business…
What is the core business of a tvc production company? I thought it was to offer the services of a talented and experienced director to the advertising industry in order to make iconic commercials that capture the audience’s attention for their clients’ brands.
However, the current trend with production companies is to spruik the fact that they are the biggest, the best, have the greatest flashest offices, are the most awarded, sponsor the best lunches/parties etc ….
Production companies seem to have forgotten that they work in the world’s second oldest profession and that it doesn’t take flash offices and hundreds of staff to run a successful production company - it takes talented, experienced directors supported by producers who can bring good work in, on budget.
The current trend is to offer a huge roster of mostly mediocre directors, one for every mediocre script!
Even if there were that much talent around, the investment in promoting planeloads of directors and the cost of on-the-job training is huge. Problem is, clients have slashed budgets and margins, while expectations have stayed where they’ve always been: high. It is simply not possible for these two trends to continue side by side.
In Silverscreen’s case, it has not only hung on for dear life in this unsustainable environment, it has added more volatile and unpredictable businesses to the mix with its forays into special effects post-production and feature films.
Its demise, as I said at the beginning, is sad but not surprising. But there are many players that owe it a huge debt of gratitude, myself included. The list is long of those that have benefited from their association with Silverscreen, however brief: LeeTamahori, Richard Gibson, Matt Murphy, Mat Palmer and Messer’s Prince, Noonan, Long, Whyman and Douglas to name but a few…
….. and if I were one of the many poor souls owning a production company, big or small and worried that the next call is going to be the bloody bank again I’d be looking very very carefully at the bottom line (I know I did…in the end!!)
Happy New Year.

Roger Tompkins

Saturday, January 13, 2007


After 33 years at the top, NZ's biggest and most famous tvc production company, Silverscreen, co owned by legendary director, Geoff Dixon, has gone into voluntary liquidation. According to a source, this does not affect Silverscreen in Sydney or post production shop Oktobor in Auckland.

This from the Dominion Post...

Silverscreen Productions (NZ), one of the country's largest television advertisement production companies, is in voluntary liquidation.
Liquidator Meltzer Mason Heath say it is not yet clear how much the company owes but up to 13 New Zealand-based staff may be affected by the decision.
Industry sources told The Press there were concerns that hundreds of film contractors could also feel the effects of the liquidation.
Silverscreen Productions (NZ) director Geoff Dixon made a brief announcement about going into liquidation yesterday.
"The reasons for this decision have been because of reduced production budgets apparent throughout the industry, coupled with reduced margins that the company has recently had to endure and the unlikelihood of improvement in the near future," he said.
The company has been producing television advertisements in New Zealand since 1974. It is owned by Dixon and Wellington-based John Fokerd.
The company is responsible for large numbers of the advertisements screened on New Zealand television and has a strong international presence, working for big names such as Telecom, Toyota, L and P, and Jenny Craig.
It has claimed several industry awards including the production company of the year at the 2005 Axis awards.
The New Zealand Film and Video Technicians Guild president, Alun Bollinger, said he was saddened but not surprised by the news.
"The whole commercial scene has been changing over recent years because there are so many different platforms for advertising. The commercial dollars are getting spread out a bit more.
"I suspect there's a lot of smaller production houses around that can contract when there's no work, but Silverscreen can't because it's a big player. I suspect it has a bigger budget."
Those owed money by the company would be most seriously affected, but there would still be work around, Bollinger said. "If the work's not going to Silverscreen but the job's there, it will go somewhere. It probably won't affect the industry as a whole."

Friday, January 12, 2007


Stand by for a major announcement concerning a top NZ production company, which is expected later this afternoon....

Thursday, January 11, 2007


LONDON –- The organisers of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival have announced that Bob Scarpelli, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, DDB Worldwide will chair both the Film and Press 2007 Cannes Lions juries.
In his 30-year career at DDB, Scapelli and his teams have created some of the most iconic, talked-about and awarded creative work in the world. He is such a passionate believer in “Talk Valueâ” that he trademarked the term and made it part of the fabric of the agency. Inspiring ideas and creative business solutions that transcend advertising to become part of popular culture are at the heart of Bob’s vision for his clients and for the agency.
“Bob is passionate about creativity. He’s a natural born leader and an enthusiastic teacher who will bring inspiration, excitement, talent and experience to these two juries,” said Australia's Terry Savage, Executive Chairman of the Festival.
“It is an honor for DDB and for me to lead one of the most prestigious juries in our industry. I hope and expect that the work we select will be as inspiring as the Festival and the winners have been in the past to me and to our Agency,” says Scarpelli.
Scarpelli started his DDB career in 1977 as a copywriter and moved up the creative ranks of the Chicago office to serve as Chairman and Chief Creative Officer. In 2000 he became DDB U.S. Chief Creative Officer and in 2005, he took on the role of Worldwide Chief Creative Officer. A year later he was elevated to the additional role of Chairman of DDB Worldwide and relocated to the Agency’s global headquarters in New York.
Under his leadership, DDB has won every advertising award available, including more Lions and Cannes Grand Prix (8) at the International Advertising Festival than any other agency network. Recent Cannes wins include the Film Grand Prix in 2000 for the Budweiser “Whassup” campaign and the 2005, 2006 Radio Grand Prix for “Real Men of Genius”. In addition, DDB has been named the most awarded network in the world by Creativity and The Gunn Report.
He was a member of the Cannes Lions Film jury in 1997 and has served as jury president and juror at many other international creative award shows.
In 2004, he received the Silver Medal Award, the Chicago Advertising Federation’s highest honor, for his contributions to the industry and the community.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The 2007 delegate registration systems open tomorrow (Thursday 11 January) at www.canneslions.com.
A full week registration gives you access to 40 exceptional seminars, 20 educative workshops, the brand new Content Showcase, all film screenings, the shortlist exhibitions, 4 awards ceremonies, 2 galas, and presents the finest networking opportunities the advertising industry has to offer.
Packages available:
full registration
full registration plus companion
3-and 4-day registration
4-day and full week packages for young creatives
a new full week package for students

Register on Thursday, 11 January
The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is the only annual advertising festival for the world's greatest talent in the creative, production, media and marketing communities.
All entry systems open on Thursday 1 February.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Top tran-tasman production house Film Construction has lured tvc director Nic Finlayson to the team.
Says Film Construction GM Stephen Douglas: “His early background as a DoP has given him a deep technical understanding and a strong visual sense – but his driving force is storytelling. Nic is an outstanding talent, his preferred photographic approach is a combination of naturalism and beauty, enhancing scripts with a strong, clear aesthetic”.
Some of his recent work includes ‘Speights’ for Publicis Mojo (Auckland), ‘Castrol’ for O&M (Singapore) and ‘Prime’ for FCB (Auckland). To see more of Nic’s work contact his Producer Phil Liefting on phil@filmconstruction.com