GroupM to launch in New Zealand with STW’s Ikon NZ to become part of the group

Sean Seamer

Sean Seamer

Media buying group GroupM is preparing to launch in New Zealand in early 2015, Mumbrella can reveal.

The new New Zealand operation will be headed by Sean Seamer, who was previous MediaCom Asia Pacific chief business development officer, and will see MediaCom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus come under the operational and financial structure of GroupM.

While most of the GroupM agencies already have some presence across the Tasman the move formalises that position and also sees STW Group’s Ikon New Zealand, which already partners with GroupM agencies Maxus and Mindshare, taken under the GroupM umbrella there.

John Steedman, chairman of GroupM for Australasia told Mumbrella the move would be significant in driving results for clients with presences in both countries.

“We have been evaluating the New Zealand marketplace for some time and we believe market dynamics and conditions are now right for the establishment of GroupM,” said Steedman.

“Our primary goal is to keep our clients at the forefront of an ever changing industry. While scale has always been important in the media business, the impact that technology, data and fragmentation have had on our business has made the application of scale more important than ever,” he said.

Ikon will retain its brand, but become part of the GroupM New Zealand management structure. Ikon Australia is unaffected by the partnership in New Zealand while clients of the GroupM creative agencies will also continue under their current agreements with their current agencies.

“The clients of our media networks expect to get the same capability from us regardless of which market we work with them in and New Zealand is no exception,” Seamer told Mumbrella.

“When you couple the day to day requirement with an increasing trans-Tasman focus in everything from data to new business, we see New Zealand as critical for building and maintaining successful relationships.”

Seamer is a MediaCom veteran, who was most recently based in Singapore, and will take the tile of CEO GroupM New Zealand and will report directly to Steedman.

“Sean is a Kiwi with strong global experience in digital and business development and that experience, coupled with an intimate knowledge of GroupM from his tenure at MediaCom, puts him in a unique position for ensuring the success of the direction we would like to take in New Zealand,”said Steedman.

Seamer added: “I’m grateful to be returning to New Zealand to take on this role. There are very few markets left in the world where you can establish GroupM in this way and I consider myself lucky to be able to do this while returning to my home nation.”

Asked about whether New Zealand was a big enough market for a larger GroupM presence the company said its offering was diverse enough to cater to a variety of clients.

“All of the agencies are very different,” said Seamer. “They have different cultures and approaches that have attracted different clients across the networks.

“Given our commitment to offering our clients the same services in New Zealand as anywhere else in the world, its not really a question of room, its a requirement.”

Nic Christensen 


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