Pitch Watch: Jetstar drops Big Red; UM hires Tony Phillips for Coles; Devondale and DDB split; Aussie Home Loans; Momentum Energy

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

In this week’s wrap up: Jetstar (creative appointment); Coles (update on media pitch); Aussie Home Loans (new creative pitch); Devondale (update on creative pitch); Village Roadshow (shortlist); Cancer Council NSW (media appointment); Momentum Energy (new media pitch); WA Tourism (new pitch).

Jetstar dumps Ted Horton and Big Red after 11 years

After helping get Qantas’ budget airline Jetstar off the ground 11 years ago, Ted Horton and his agency Big Red has lost the business to  J. Walter Thompson after a creative review featuring a number of agencies.

Jetstar confirmed the appointment of the WPP-owned agency to Mumbrella this morning after completing the pitch which began in October.

Chief commercial officer Catriona Larritt said that Horton and Big Red had played a crucial role in the success of the airline, but it was time to take a fresh approach.

“We would also like to thank Ted, Hugh and the team at Big Red who have supported us through this process and for the past 11 years,” said Larritt.

“We met with a number of agencies who all demonstrated different strengths and capabilities, but in JWT we saw an opportunity to simultaneously stretch the brand, whilst building on our very strong foundations. It was a rigorous process and JWT challenged us, and themselves, every step of the way.”

JWT Melbourne MD Michael Godwin said the win was an important one for the agency.

“We’re thrilled to be Jetstar’s new lead creative agency and enjoyed what was an extremely well managed pitch process,” said Godwin.

“Jetstar is a brand that exists to help make the world more accessible to more people, every day. What a wonderful platform to build inspiring, motivating communications upon. We can’t wait to start doing so.”

The win for the agency also comes after the appointment of new executive creative director Kieran Anthill, the former ECD of Leo Burnett in New York.

Horton helped to launch Jetstar with Madga Szubanski as Julie the Jetstar Girl and also developed the “Jetstar Jump” which came to embody the brand in its early years.

UM brings in Tony Phillips as consultant ahead of a Coles media pitch 

ColesIts been about six weeks since Mumbrella revealed Coles/Wesfarmers were in discussions with a number of the big agency groups ahead of an expected media pitch. 

In that time it is understood Coles has spent much of its time talking to the various groups sorting out which agencies have a conflict. The reality is that with a client as big as Coles its not just supermarkets that raise conflicts but also banks/insurance where Coles has a growing business.

Ex-Woolies CMO Tony Phillips now consulting for UM.

Ex-Woolies CMO Tony Phillips now consulting for UM.

There are understood to be mixed feelings inside the business about going to pitch, with some parts eager to test the market and others more reluctant.

While the has yet to be formally called, incumbent UM and its parent IPG Mediabrands has made an interesting appointment, bringing in former Woolworths CMO Tony Phillips to be a “consultant” on the business.

Phillips spent a year or so as chief marketing officer at Woolies, before departing suddenly in the middle of last year. But before that he had spent the previous seven years in various roles at Coles including general manager, marketing communications and general manager sponsorships and events.

If and when Coles does call a formal media pitch incumbent UM can expect to be facing off against the likes of OMD, ZenithOptimedia and one of the GroupM agencies – most likely Mindshare or MEC – all of whom have the least potential conflicts.

All agencies contacted declined to comment.

Devondale logoDevondale will have a new creative agency:

Further to the report last week that Devondale had kicked off a creative pitch DDB Melbourne has confirmed it is not taking part, meaning the brand will be getting a new creative agency.

It brings to an end a partnership which won up Mumbrella’s Ad Campaign of the Year in 2014, courtesy of some witty and original TV ads, which at times pushed the boundaries and tested the patience of the Ad Standards Board.

It is thought the massive changes in the marketing team – which have led to the brand having had no full-time head of marketing for a year, put a strain on the relationship.

Darren Spiller, chief creative officer of DDB Melbourne, said in a statement: “DDB Melbourne has enjoyed a strong and highly innovative partnership with Devondale for over three and half years, producing highly effective and engaging work in that time.

“We are incredibly proud of the creative output and our role in helping to turn Devondale into a high profile and much-loved Australian brand. Most importantly we regard our work on Devondale as being the encapsulation of our mantra – to make something that people love.

“In this event, DDB Melbourne has chosen not to re-pitch for the business and we wish them every success for the future.”

Aussie Home Loans

Aussie Home LoansFour years after appointing 303MullenLowe to its creative account, Aussie Home Loans has put the business out to pitch.

Sources close to the review say that the brand is taking the time to test the market and that 303 will be part of the review.

303 picked up the account in 2012 and brought Aussie founder John Symond back as the face of the brand after Aussie had used other creative executions for five years.

The return of Symond in the brand’s advertising  resulted in a 41% uplift in sales leads and walk in traffic.

Prior to appointing 303 the brand had been with Saatchi & Saatchi.

Village-RoadshowVillage Roadshow shortlist 

Earlier this month, we revealed that Village Roadshow was about to pitch media and that pitch has now been formalised.

The pitch, covering both moving pictures and its theme park business, puts incumbent OMD on alert on what is thought to be a $20m media account and sees a number of contenders lining up.

Amongst those thought to be involved are Maxus, Dentsu Mitchell, Initiative and Starcom.

All agencies contacted declined to comment.

Cancer CouncilCancer Council NSW appoints Initiative 

The Cancer Council media pitch has been resolved with the NSW division of the charity understood to have appointed Initiative.

The move comes after the charity moved to consolidate its media buying for its major national fundraisers including Daffodil Day, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and Pink Ribbon breakfast.

PHD, Dentsu Mitchell, Initiative and Slingshot were all involved in the media pitch and it understood a number of them will continue to work on respective state based branches however, NSW will do more of the national media buying.

All agencies contacted declined to comment.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.23.14 amMomentum Energy pitches media

As Mumbrella has previously reported there a number of energy companies pitching media at the moment, with both Energy Australia and Origin Energy out in market.

Now Momentum Energy has thrown its account, currently held by M2m, into play. Given all the utilities business in play at present it will be interesting to see who lines up for the account.

Momentum Energy declined to comment.

Tourism WAWestern Australian Tourism Commission looks for help in NZ 

The WA Tourism body is currently tendering for marketing representation in New Zealand.

According to the tender website: “The successful respondent will share in Tourism WA’s vision and add value to the Western Australia’s Tourism industry, by promoting the State as an extraordinary destination to visit.”

The full details can be found here. 

Alex Hayes, Nic Christensen, Simon Canning and Miranda Ward 


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