Westfield creates ‘bespoke’ agency setup using STW group assets

Batistich speaking at last year's Mumbrella 360

Batistich speaking at last year’s Mumbrella 360

Westfield is shifting all of its marketing agency functions into a new bespoke STW Communications offering, as it looks “free up resources from administration and put them into creative”, Mumbrella can reveal.

STW group agencies Moon Communications and Ikon Communications currently handle the shopping centre giant’s creative and media buying accounts, although the new entity will be housed and staffed separately to them.

John Batistich, director of marketing for the Scentre Group which owns Westfield, confirmed the move to Mumbrella this morning, saying the new offering “is designed only to work on our business and no other”.

The move signals the end of One Green Bean’s involvement with Westfield, a month after delivering the “best ever” Christmas campaign for the shopping centre group.That campaign saw the group bring over child stars Sophia Grace and Rosie to promote the message of ‘Happy giving’, getting widespread attention on local TV and other media outlets.

Batistich added: “It was a PR led campaign and from a PR point of view in terms of reach and quality of messaging which is what we measure it was an outstanding success, our best ever. The sales performance was decent and Christmas was strong, although we will not have all the data available until next month.”

The new dedicated offering will see staff brought in from STW’s suite of agencies, including Ogilvy and Ogilvy PR, working solely on the account for Westfield, but tapping into the wider resources of the group.

Batistich said the aim was to “free up resources from administration and put them into creating and thinking”.

He said: “We want to bring a bespoke solution to our brand and we will work collaboratively to that end. we didn’t go out to public pitch to that end, it was ‘can you solve our business needs?’

“This move is designed to address some of the fundamental shifts we’re seeing in the industry, and we’re looking to do a number of things to support our marketing.

Westfield“We need to think strategically about what we call our platform infrastructure, data and analytics, creative technology and experience and design. That all supports the plan to have great customer knowledge. We’re bringoing together the resources that we see as important now and into the future.”

The new offering will be housed in STW accommodation, but have a “clear and strong link into our business”. “It will be less about company and agency and more about creative collaboration. The divide between our business and them will definitely be blurred.”

The move is similar to the Team Detroit setup for Ford in the US which was mimicked locally last year with the creation of Blue Hive, which sees WPP agencies JWT, Mindshare and Wunderman housing teams working on the client together under one roof in Melbourne.

Batistich said it was a model more large clients would be looking to implement in the future as they increasingly struggle to manage large agency rosters, adding “the industry needs to start to create bespoke solutions for reasonably big clients”.

The new arrangements are set to take effect by the second quarter of the year.

It comes with speculation in market that WPP could be eyeing up a takeover move for STW, after increasing its holding in the company as its shares dropped to a three year low.

Both STW and One Green Bean declined to comment.

Alex Hayes


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