SAATCHI & SAATCHI NZ WINS ADMEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR
Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand was last night named the Fairfax AdMedia Agency of the Year at a function in Auckland. This comes on top of taking out both the Campaign Brief and B&T titles for NZ Agency of the Year.
"Saatchi & Saatchi is back to its glory days," the judges said, noting the agency had a "brilliant" year in 2005 with revenue up by 36% and profitability by 169%. Saatchi also won 86% of new-business pitches and hired 80 new staff (taking total numbers to 190).
(The judging panel was privy to Saatchi's dollar numbers but - thanks to the USA's post-Enron Sarbanes Oxley Act - the actual figures cannot be published.)
The accolades for Saatchi didn't stop there. CEO Andrew Stone won CEO of the Year (he also won this category last year), Saatchi-owned media agency Starcom won Media Agency of the Year, and account manager Dave Hewitt won Rookie Suit of the Year.
Compact Agency of the Year was Tequila, a division of Whybin TBWA.
The judges made a special one-off award to DDB chairman/CEO Martin O'Halloran, who was last month promoted to chairman/CEO of DDB Australia and New Zealand, based in Sydney. O'Halloran, who was the AdMedia CEO of the Year in 2004, was named Agency CEO 2000-2005. "For over 10 years he has stood head and shoulders above everybody else," the judges said.
Also honoured was the creator of the National Party billboards, veteran advertising creative John Ansell, who came out of left field to create the most talked-about campaign of 2005. Ansell has previously written ads for Labour. "I thought I'd retired from advertising," Ansell said. "But when I saw Don Brash on the horizon, I just had to put my hand up."
The judges were consultant Cindy Mitchener, ad-industry recruiter Peter Spencer, and Marketing Magazine editor Graham Medcalf.
Unlike most advertising awards, which focus on creativity, the Agency of the Year rewards business success and management excellence.
Agency of the Year: Saatchi & Saatchi.
Finalists: Clemenger BBDO, DDB, FCB, Y&R
Compact Agency of the Year: Tequila.
Finalists: Mr Smith, Promotus, Revo.
Agency CEO of the Year: Andrew Stone (Saatchi & Saatchi).
Finalists: Martin O'Halloran (DDB), Greg Partington (Advertising Works Ogilvy), Jon Ramage (Y&R).
Rising Agency of the Year: Colenso.99.
Finalists: Mr Smith, Tequila, Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive, WRC.
Media Agency of the Year: Starcom.
Finalists: Spark, OMD.
Rookie Suit of the Year: Dave Hewitt (Saatchi & Saatchi).
Finalists: Bridgette Crispin (DNA), Cameron Owens (Grey), Katey-Ellen Price (FCB).
Agency CEO 2000-2005: Martin O'Halloran (DDB).
Wildcard: John Ansell (writer).