Pitch Watch: Devondale calls creative review, Volvo moves truck account, Census & Vegemite

devondale spread tableMumbrella casts an eye over the major media, creative and public relations pitches at play in market. 

In this wrap-up: Devondale (new creative pitch); Volvo Group (new media agency); Vegemite (PR and experiential agencies appointed); Reserve Bank of Australia (creative appointment); Census (PR apointments); Vivid Sydney (PR appointment) and Choice Hotels (PR appointment).


Dairy giant Murray Goulbourn Devondale is understood to have put its creative account out to pitch, with DDB Melbourne defending the business.

The agency has had creative success with the brand creating a number of award-winning and entertaining ads including the ‘Soy Aftertaste Face’ campaign.

Last year the brand also began a hunt for an Australian-based creative agency to give it on the ground expertise in China.

The review of the creative business could be complicated by the fact that the master brands does not have a marketing director in place, with recruitment for the role currently underway

Vegemite appoints PR agencies

Vegemite LogoVegemite has appointed three Melbourne agencies to handle its PR account for the brand.

One Day Dream, ID Collective and Romano Beck have all been appointed to the PR account, while Shirin Pulitano and Diba Beylie of Dot Dot Dash have been selected to handle the brand’s events and experiential account.

Head of media & PR for Vegemite Julia Marget said in a statement: “Like Vegemite is to breakfast – we wanted to find our perfect match. Driving successful PR for Australia’s most loved brand is no mean feat and we felt a smaller panel of creative minds and a boutique approach was key.

“We have an exciting year ahead including a major sponsorship of the Olympics and we’re thrilled to partner with who we believe are the best in the business.”

volvo truckVolvo appoints OMD Brisbane to truck business 

Media agency OMD has been appointed to the truck side of the Volvo business.

The account which covers Mack, UD, and Volvo Truck brands will now be handled by OMD’s Brisbane office.

OMD Brisbane’s general manager, Greg Radford commented: “We are excited by the opportunity to work with the iconic global brands; Volvo, Mack and UD Trucks within the Volvo Group Australia (VGA) business. Working together with VGA, their creative agencies and wider media landscape, we have an opportunity to leverage content to target the relevant audience at the key stage in their consumer journey”.

GroupM agency Mindshare has the car side of the business and was not involved in the pitch for the truck business which is a separate entity.

The account was previously held by Zenith Optimedia Brisbane.

Government gears up for a Census PR offensive 

census_logoThe Federal Government has handed out a million dollars worth of contracts for public relations services as it gears up to get participation in the 2016 census.

Melbourne-based Fenton Strategic Communications has been handed a contract worth just under $225,000 for the main PR services “to develop, implement, and manage a media and public relations strategy in Australian States and Territories as part of the 2016 Census communication campaign”.

However the big winner is Sydney agency Ethnic Communications which has been awarded a $798,000 contract “to develop a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communications strategy for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing (Census) communication campaign”.

Reserve Bank of Australia 

RBASTW’s Melbourne creative agency Spinach has been given a licence to print money, literally, after winning the account to promote the issue of Australia’s new banknotes this year.

Government tender documents reveal that the agency has won the business, valued at more than $500,000 for the creative alone.

The Reserve Bank is launching a new series of notes following a spate of counterfeits being discovered and will include more security devices.

The RBA is using the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Australia going decimal to release the newly designed notes.

Craig Flanders, head of Spinach, declined to confirm or deny the win, despite Spinach being named in the tender documents.

It is believed the agency is preparing a campaign to roll out ahead of September when the first new note, a $5 note, will be released to commemorate Wattle Day.

next thursday agencyThe Really Quite Good Ideas Company rebrands and names slew of new clients

Brisbane full service agency The Really Quite Good Ideas Company has changed its name to Next Thursday, conceding its 4-year-old brand may have been a tad long.

The agency has also named several new clients including Hasting Deering CAT, South West Red tourism, commercial outfitters Formula Interiors and Arkhefield architecture and design.

There are also new appointments with long standing senior art director Andy Iles being appointed as creative director and senior copywriter Andy Bird joining the team.

Managing director, Dan Adler, said the name change marks an exciting new chapter for the agency. “Our old name was probably the longest company name in Queensland, if not Australia. So when we underwent an internal restructure at the end of last year, we thought let’s start completely afresh in the new year, beginning with a new name.”

Of the new name Adler said: “Anything can happen in the next five minutes, next 30 seconds, any time between now and next Thursday. Life’s like that. We love the idea that we don’t know how we’ll crack a brief, solve a problem or create something from nothing.

“But one thing’s for sure, something amazing will happen, and we can’t wait to see what it is. That’s how we think and feel about what we do for our clients. That’s why we’re called Next Thursday.”

Destination NSW logoDestination NSW appoints Red Agency for Vivid Sydney Support

Red Agency has been appointed as Destination NSW’s PR agency partner for Vivid Sydney after a competitive pitch process.

The Havas-owned PR agency will be tasked with assisting strategic communications activity to garner quality, large scale media coverage and commentary for the event.

Red Agency general manager Aaron Crowther said in  a statement: “Vivid Sydney is a stand out on the major events calendar. Each year it gets bigger and better and we are looking forward to working closely with Destination NSW to ensure this year grows even better. There is both a strategic and creative remit with the brief, so we are incredibly proud to have been awarded such a prestigious, culturally-significant piece of work.”

CEO Destination NSW and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase said in a statement: “Red Agency had a compelling case. It is clear they share our vision and ambition for Vivid Sydney. We expect the 2016 Vivid Sydney Festival to be our biggest and brightest yet, and we are excited to be partnering with such an impressive team.”

Choice HotelsChoice Hotels appoints Icon.PR 

Melbourne-based PR agency Icon.PR has been appointed as Choice Hotels Asia-Pac PR agency following a 7-way pitch at the end of last year.

Icon’s group managing director Jo Painter said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be awarded the business and I’m proud of the team who presented a creative and strong programmatic vision for Choice Hotels Asia-Pac.

“Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is one of the leading hotel brands in the region and a terrific fit for Icon’s integrated, creative PR approach. We look forward to helping them enhance their share of voice and take their brand into exciting new territory, including China.”

Icon will be tasked with leading the brand through a creative and strategic shift based on a global brand refresh undertaken by its US based global office.

Simon Canning, Miranda Ward, Alex Hayes


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