New BusinessPress Release

Initiative expands operations to New Zealand following ASB win with Aotearoa launch

Melissa Fein

NEW ZEALAND — Media agency Initiative (wholly owned IPG entity) has been appointed as a 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 that saw expressions of interest from a group of high-caliber local and international agencies.

Chief Marketing Officer of ASB, Helen Fitzsimons, said 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,” Helen said.

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

Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative AuNZ, 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.

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,” said Initiative AuNZ Managing Director, Sam Geer.

A sentiment echoed by Chris Colter, Chief Strategy & Product Officer of Initiative AuNZ: “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.”

Melissa concluded: “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 September 01, 2023.

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