John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

Joy to world as adman eyes New York office

Adman Graeme Wills insists Joy will not be a carbon-copy of Publicis Mojo, which created the Speight's campaign. Photo / APN
Adman Graeme Wills insists Joy will not be a carbon-copy of Publicis Mojo, which created the Speight's campaign. Photo / APN

Kiwi adman Graeme Wills is still tying down star creative talent for his new Auckland ad agency Joy as he pushes for a New York office next month.

Cashed up from selling his stake in the cross-Tasman ad agency Publicis Mojo, Wills yesterday launched its New Zealand replacement and already has ambitious plans.

He has been in talks for Joy to get a New York office up and running next month.

Paris-based Publicis Groupe - which owns Saatchi & Saatchi - bought Wills out of Publicis Mojo's Australasian operations, which included Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane agencies, in December 2011.

But on December 21, Publicis announced the money-losing New Zealand business would be placed into voluntary liquidation.

The closure of the creatively high-profile agency shocked the ad industry and "surprised" Wills, who said he had been negotiating to buy it back.

The French withdrew from the negotiations, he said.

He insisted Joy would not be a carbon-copy of Publicis Mojo, which created the Speight's Southern Man campaign. Publicis Mojo's New Zealand accounts include retailer Hallensteins and Panasonic.

Joy has been given some security. One of Mojo's biggest advertisers - the transtasman food company Goodman Fielder - confirmed it would be moving about 70 per cent of its Australasian business, about 25 brands, to Joy.

Goodman Fielder New Zealand marketing manager Peter Baltus said he had been with Publicis Mojo a long time and was drawn to key executives at Joy including Kay Boyle, Graham Ritchie and Lachie McPherson.

However, Wills said Mojo executive creative director McPherson would not have that role at Joy.

Wills acknowledged the appointment would be important in defining the proposition offered by Joy.

- NZ Herald

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