Nine closes Map and Page, but senior execs set up new PR agency, Finchco, in its place

Nine has closed Map and Page, a PR agency it inherited when it took ownership of Macquarie Media’s radio assets last year, Mumbrella can reveal.

In its place, managing director Julia Everingham and director Alana Mroz have founded Finchco, a new independent agency with many of Map and Page’s accounts as foundation clients, including Westpac.

The parties would not comment on the number of redundancies involved, although Mumbrella understands most staff are moving across to Finchco, which launches as a team of 14. Nine also declined to comment on the details of the transaction, including any sale price.

Map and Page is no more

Map and Page – which had its last day of operation on Friday – didn’t align with Nine’s suite of TV, radio, and newspaper assets, leading to its closure and the creation of Finchco. Nine Radio’s managing director, Tom Malone, said “it’s the best outcome for all concerned”.

“We made the decision to close Map and Page to focus on our core radio business, but I’m pleased to see Julia and Alana are setting up Finchco Agency and will be taking on many of Map and Page’s existing clients,” Malone said.

In addition to Westpac, Finchco launches with Menulog, Fujifilm Instax, and Repurpose It on its roster. Everingham and Mroz – who have both been with Map and Page for over a decade – said they “will start with these clients” and build “on this strong foundation”.

Everingham (left) and Mroz are launching with a team of 14. Source: LinkedIn

“With the closure of Map and Page, we knew there had to be an opportunity and a silver lining,” Everingham and Mroz told Mumbrella.

“As we started talking to clients, we realised how much support we had and launching our own entity became an obvious and exciting step to take. We are really grateful to Nine for their support to launch a new entity.”

The duo said they have “been incredibly humbled by the support of clients”, noting that the transition from Map and Page on Friday to Finchco Agency today “ensures consistency and minimal change” to their accounts.

“We always aim to become an extension of our clients’ team,” Mroz added.

Finchco will not take over Map and Page’s office space in Sydney’s Surry Hills, and the founders noted the search for a new space is a cautious one, given most of the agency’s clients continue to work remotely throughout the continued unfurling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While launching a new business during a health crisis that has also wreaked economic havoc is a challenge, Everingham and Mroz pointed out that they’re continuing existing relationships, which is an easier job than building something from nothing.

“We don’t underestimate the environment we are in but we are also fortunate to have the opportunity to launch with clients with whom we have existing relationships and a track record, so it doesn’t feel like we are starting from scratch,” they said.

“Of course, there have been some logistical challenges, such as being able to get together for team photos.”

The new agency’s logo

“Many roads” led to the name, they explained. “We wanted our own word and one that had meaning for us. A finch’s song symbolises finding one’s voice, which is a great analogy for what we do with brands, but also finding our own voice as an independent entity.

“The meaning of ‘co’ in relation to what we do is endless: communicate, connect, content, collaborate, compose, conceptualise, consult.”

The launch team includes Map and Page’s Alex Bryant, and will be supported by specialists brought in to work on projects as required. Bryant spent three years as a director at Map and Page, joining from Westpac, and will be managing partner and creative principal at the new entity.

Bryant is joining the new business in a new role. Source: LinkedIn

“Clients don’t always come to us with a PR or social brief anymore, but with a broader brief to understand how to reach their audience agnostic of the channel,” Bryant said.

“Our role is to uncover those unique and real insights that spark conversation and connect with their audience in a meaningful way.”

Recently, Map and Page alumni Lori Susko and Annabelle Jones also launched a PR and communications agency, We Scout.


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