One year after earthquake, Christchurch begins agency search to bring Australians back

Just over a year after a massive earthquake destroyed large parts of Christchurch, the region’s authorities have begun a search for an ad agency to crack the “most challenging brief of 2012” – to bring Australians back to the city.

Since the quake hit in February 2011, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism has only used PR to market the destination, but now wants to advertise to Australians again to kick-start the sector.

“Australia is by far our largest visitor market and we need travellers to understand that our city is re-energising and has some wonderful activities to offer” said Tim Hunter, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism’s CEO.

“We believe that an Australian agency can help us deliver our messages in the right way – of course this might just be the most challenging brief of 2012 but we think the right mixture of energy, creativity, humour and passion will get travellers back across the ditch.”

Agencies should submit their credentials, examples of relevant work and a statement on why they want to help put Christchurch back on the map, to marketing director Rowan Townsend at

The cut-off is 5pm Friday 20 April. Agencies will then be shortlisted for briefing meetings in Australia.

Hunter added: “We are a small but passionate organisation with a budget obviously facing financial pressures right now. But we recognise the importance of the Australian market in revitalising our city.”

Recent promotional activity for the region has included a city-wide information campaign in which tourism ambassadors took to the streets, and a website has been launched called Pop Up City Christchurch to keep visitors updated on what’s new in the city.

The quake prompted some imaginative work from agencies in New Zealand in the days after the disaster hit. M&C Saatchi Auckland produced one of the stand out recruitment campaigns of 2011 for NZ Police.


  1. wow
    12 Apr 12
    10:45 am

  2. The industry should set up a pop up agency. With each persons head hours covered by their home agency. And do this pro-bono as a good will gesture for our kiwi mates.

    Imagine pushing the boundaries with a pop up agency. To my knowledge it has not been done before and I think it would be very cool.

    We just need an AD, AM, CD, ArtD, CW and a Finance Geel to manage the cost. There must be 6 agencies happy to each give 150 hours of time away.

    We could call it Intergallactic and will be made up of folks from Publicis, Interpublic and WPP for example.

  3. OtherAndrew
    12 Apr 12
    2:29 pm

  4. That brief just got a little more difficult…

    I do like the idealism of the above though – a stretch but it could work!