Initiative launches in New Zealand following ASB win

| | No Comments
Initiative launches in New Zealand following ASB win

Media agency Initiative [wholly owned IPG entity] has been appointed as media partner to iconic New Zealand bank ASB and will expand its global footprint by launching in New Zealand as Initiative Aotearoa.


The new business announcement follows a competitive pitch process which saw expressions of interest from a group of high-calibre local and international agencies.

Chief marketing officer of ASB, Helen Fitzsimons says Initiative is the right partner for ASB as it evolves to meet changing customer needs and expectations in an increasingly complex and fragmented marketplace: “We were inspired by Initiative’s philosophy and the impact this is having for its clients around the world. Initiative’s energy, strategic thinking, data smarts, and overall approach were aligned to ASB’s transformational agenda and the ambitions of our marketing practice. We’re excited to welcome Initiative Aotearoa to New Zealand and to the ASB team.”

As ASB’s media agency partner, Initiative will deliver innovative and integrated media strategy, planning, and buying across all channels.

Melissa Fein (pictured above), Initiative AuNZ CEO said a move to open a New Zealand office has been on the agency’s agenda, but it was waiting for the right brand to launch with: “We’ve always admired the sheer creativity of marketers in New Zealand and share their philosophy on embracing bold cultural ideas to fuel growth. As such, a New Zealand presence was always on our radar, but we were waiting for the perfect partner to set up shop. ASB is that partner.”

In a new-world model powered by flexible working solutions, Initiative Aotearoa will combine the best from New Zealand and Australia in a trans-Tasman team built to meet ASB’s ambitions.

Says Sam Geer, managing director, Initiative AuNZ: “We’re excited for this partnership that will see global expertise with the best of New Zealand, delivering innovative solutions in support of ASB’s ambitious plans.”

A sentiment echoed by Chris Colter, Initiative AuNZ chief strategy and product officer: “ASB’s passion for its customers and innovation is infectious and has led them to create some of the most compelling marketing in the Southern Hemisphere. The opportunity to combine that with our world-class talent, tools and technology, is beyond exciting and we can’t wait to get started.”

Says Alex Radford, chair, Independent Media Agencies New Zealand: “On behalf of Independent Media Agencies New Zealand, I’d like to congratulate Interpublic Group on their win of the ASB media business, and their launch of the Australian-led Initiative into the New Zealand market to service the business. This does mean that all of New Zealand’s five largest banks are represented by foreign-owned media agencies – perhaps an opportunity for the next bank looking for a locally led competitive edge in their media strategy.”

Fein concludes: “Announcing Initiative Aotearoa and our partnership with ASB marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Initiative’s evolution, and all I can say is watch this space.”

The new contract takes effect 1st September 2023.