Assignment Group parts ways with Hyundai

Auckland agency Assignment Group – famous for not talking to the media – is no longer working on a key account, on the heels of losing Stuff.co.nz recently.

Auckland agency Assignment Group – famous for not talking to the media – is no longer working on a key account, on the heels of losing Stuff.co.nz recently.

It has parted ways with Hyundai.

Marketing manager Darren Kirkland confirmed the split, saying it was all for the best.

“We’ve just made a mutual decision to change direction,” he told NBR, declining to comment on what prompted the decision.

Mr Kirkland said he was still undecided about whether or not the account would go to pitch – although several very well-placed industry sources claim a pitch is already underway.

"We will approach the agencies we think are suitable for our business and the way we conduct business, unsolicited harassment will only hinder any potential new partner’s opportunity to win our business. As is well known Hyundai and its management do not believe in the traditional agency model," Mr Kirkland said.

“We’re by no means in a panic state – we’ve got lots of plans in place, and we’ll just work through a process over the next six months.”

The account is estimated to be worth $4.6 million in ad spend, $3 million of which is spent on television (Nielsen, year end December 2009).

Mr Kirkland will not be in want of prospective suitors.

“At this stage we’re fine, we won’t be receiving anything at this stage. We’ll just be parking everything until the middle of the year or when it fits our purpose.”

Mr Kirkland said the options were there to pull on creative from another market, although it currently has ads for the i45 on the go.

“We’re by no means panicked at this stage. It’s all going in the right direction for us.”

Hyundai, according to Mr Kirkland, is having a record-breaking start to the year.

As for predictions for the industry this year, he has some very firm ideas.

“I think we’ll start off with a summer, move into an autumn and have a winter in the middle of the year.

“That’ll shift into a spring, a bit crazy I know, and then ultimately a summer again. Amazing, these things seem to repeat themselves year after year.”

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