Pitch Watch: Westpac leaving Mediacom; Seafolly’s new creative; Braintree gets media

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

In this week’s wrap up: Westpac to move from Mediacom (account move); Seafolly appoints creative agency (account move); Braintree (media account appointment).

Westpac set to move from MediaCom to ‘GroupM solution’ 

For the past 12 months all eyes have been on big four bank Westpac amid intense market speculation that the client was unhappy and that the account, which is MediaCom’s biggest, might pitch.

Mediacom-Signage-700x438Mumbrella understands that GroupM is now preparing to move the account from Mediacom to a new “multiagency solution” under the auspices of sister agency Maxus, in what is thought to be a bespoke offering for the client, which has a $80m spend when all its various subsidiaries St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne, etc, are folded in.

Sources have suggested the move for Westpac will be along the lines of what Mindshare providers car giant Ford with Blue Hive, with some suggesting the name ‘Agency Red’ had been floated as a possible name for the new Westpac agency offering.

It is understood that the move will see profit and loss responsibilities for the Westpac account move from Mediacom but that the bank has been told it can request services and people from various agencies within the holding group. For example it may opt to retain the services of Mediacom Beyond Advertising, which makes the popular Air Rescue branded show for the bank.

GroupM is also looking for someone to lead the initiative, amid suggestions that it will be housed within Maxus.

Both GroupM agencies Mediacom and Maxus today declined to comment on the move directing inquiries to the client.

Comment on the account move is being sought from Westpac.

The loss of the account is a significant for Mediacom, which is attempting to rebuild following last year’s misreporting and value-bank scandal which engulfed the agency.

Mediacom is also currently understood to be pitching to retain a number of other media accounts, including Energy Australia, the AFL and Carnival Cruises.

Update 12.30pm: A spokesman for the bank this afternoon confirmed the move saying: “Westpac confirms that it will utilise the services of a range of agencies under the GroupM umbrella. This will ensure that we can tap the widest expertise, and achieve the best outcomes for our media buying.”

Seafolly dives in with Ogilvy

SeafollySwimwear fashion brand Seafolly has named Ogilvy Australia its first-ever creative agency after a competitive pitch.

The brand will work with the agency to create both a local presence and a global campaign celebrating the Australian beach lifestyle.

Ogilvy will work on digital, social and out-of-home executions for the brand.

Seafolly chief marketing officer Matthew Hayward said the appointment of the agency was a first for the brand, which has traditionally handled all its creative in-house.

“Ogilvy were challenged with a very unorthodox call for an agency ‘approach’ and how they would work with a team that has internally created some of the swim industry’s most defining images globally,” said Hayward.

“Ogilvy’s team illustrated not only their ability to interpret a challenge across structures and working styles, but to deliver a response that looked to embrace all parts of our journey past to the signing our first ‘agency of record’ as a brand.

BraintreeOnline platform Braintree appoints 303 MullenLowe

PayPal subsidiary Braintree has appointed 303 MullenLowe as its media agency for the Asia Pacific region.

Braintree launched its online payment platform in 2010 and now manages and payment processing for companies including Uber, Airbnb, 99Designs as well as Pinterest’s Buyable Pins. In 2013, PayPal acquired Braintree for $800m.

“Braintree is a leading payments company that works with some of the best developers and start-up brains in the world,” says Gavin Gibson, managing partner, media, at 303 MullenLowe.

“Culturally, it’s a perfect alignment as both Braintree and 303 MullenLowe view ourselves as innovative brands who make technology meaningful through ideas and innovation,”

Braintree opened its Australian office four years ago and expanded into Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and New Zealand last year.

Nic Christensen and Simon Canning


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