Publicis Groupe continues New Zealand expansion with Affinity ID acquisition

After last week’s acquisition of MBM, New Zealand’s largest independent media agency, Publicis Groupe has continued its expansion in New Zealand by acquiring independent customer experience agency Affinity ID.

The acquisition will see the agency relaunch under the Digitas brand this month, operating as Digitas Affinity ID.

(L-R): Adrian Farouk, Geoff Cooper, Angela Day, and Michael Rebelo

Publicis said the acquisition will allow the group’s Australian and New Zealand clients to have access to the largest team of data scientists in the industry.

“New Zealand is a key market for APAC, and the launch of Digitas through Affinity ID completes an important part of the picture for us here,” said Michael Rebelo, Publicis Groupe’s ANZ CEO.

“Now, in addition to our creative, strategic, digital and media expertise; under the ‘Power of One’ platform, we can provide clients seamless access to best in class, data-driven customer experience capabilities.

“Our industry is transforming rapidly. We’re committed to adapting and evolving our offering at equal pace, so we can continue to be the collaborative, connected partner our clients need us to be.”

Affinity ID was founded in 1999, and its client roster includes Countdown, Kiwibank, and Southern Cross. Co-founder and director Angela Day said that its decision to choose Publicis Groupe and Digitas was because of the resources offered by the global network, and shared ambitions.

“We had a number of unsolicited approaches from leading communications and management consultancy groups, however, we felt the strategic direction and vision of Publicis Groupe and Digitas, were congruent to what we truly believe in – the ability to fuse technology and creativity to ignite change,” Day said.

“Throughout the process, we found Publicis Groupe to be the leading player, more knowledgeable than the others, with proven expertise and already delivering in this space. Their ‘Power of One’ ethos really resonated with us and we are looking forward to working closely with Saatchi & Saatchi and our other sister agencies to deliver end-to-end marketing transformation for clients.”

The launch of Digitas New Zealand is the latest expansion move for the brand, following recent openings in Dubai and Jakarta. Digitas ANZ CEO, Adrian Farouk, added that serving the New Zealand market would need to involve being on the ground.

“Increasingly, clients want their agencies to help navigate the ever more complex digital ecosystem and to do this well in New Zealand requires us to be on the ground and amidst the action,” Farouk said.

“We are excited to bring into the fold a smart group of people in Affinity ID, who will help build on Digitas’ strength as The Connected Marketing Agency by using data to fuel creativity.”


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