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New Business: World’s largest kiwifruit marketer Zespri appoints WPP global integrated team led by VMLY&R and Mindshare

LONDON, UK – Zespri International Limited has selected an interdisciplinary team of WPP agencies as its global Agency of Record (AOR) to deliver its brand proposition, “Make Your Healthy Irresistible”, through communications, experience, commerce and technology. Zespri is the world’s leading kiwifruit brand, working on behalf of more than 4300 growers in New Zealand and around the world with operating revenues of US$2.2billion.

Jiunn Shih, Chief Growth Officer at Zespri International, said: “At Zespri, we are on a mission to help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. As we enter a new phase of our journey with the refresh of our brand, we recognised the need to partner with a leading global agency group that shares our values and our belief that a brand with purpose can change the world for the better. Throughout the selection process, WPP agencies like VMLY&R and Mindshare have stood out for their strategic thinking, creative direction and innovation capabilities. Most importantly, we were impressed by the talented and diverse team we’ve met. I am excited by the start of this partnership and I look forward to the impactful work we will create together.”

The new appointment will drive greater efficiency and consistency for the brand through a consolidation of Zespri’s current agencies. This follows a year-long competitive agency pitch process across the globe, managed by independent consultancy R3 Worldwide. WPP will work with Zespri to enhance its global market proposition across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan).


Mark Read, CEO, WPP said: “WPP shares Zespri’s belief in the importance of brand trust. We’ve seen how a focus on growing a strong brand and innovation have led to more sustainable livelihoods for Zespri’s co-operative community. We are excited to support their mission globally, through our team’s rich knowledge of local consumer preferences and best-in-class marketing innovations.”

WPP’s integrated team comprises the expertise of VMLY&R for strategic and creative leadership, Mindshare for media planning and buying, Hogarth Worldwide for production, and Geometry for commerce experiences.

VMLY&R Asia Co-CEO Tripti Lochan will lead the new unified team. Commenting on the global appointment, Lochan said: “Zespri’s growth ambitions are inspiring. Working with a client partner who mirrors our own focus on creating connected brand experiences across global markets, and does so while being collaborative with a desire to be the benchmark of marketing excellence is humbling. We can’t wait to get started with this new partnership.”

Rohan Lightfoot, Chief Growth Officer for Mindshare in Asia Pacific said: “From the very first day of the pitch process, we were inspired by Zespri’s vision for their business and their growth ambition.  As a fast-growing, global business with their home in Asia Pacific, they are a great partner for Mindshare.  Zespri is embracing the power of data and digital to accelerate the growth of their brand and their business and we’re excited to be helping them realise their ambitions.”

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