Y&R prepares to reveal 'big changes'

Agency is rumoured to have appointed former ColensoBBDO head of planning James Hurman as managing director.

Advertising agency Y&R is set to announce “big changes”, with new clients and significant appointments, new chief executive Josh Moore says.

Mr Moore took over a week ago from Jon Ramage, who left the agency to “recharge his batteries” and was due to go skiing this week.

Y&R today is rumoured to have appointed former ColensoBBDO head of planning James Hurman as managing director.

Mr Hurman, who is planning partner for Ogilvy Shanghai, has previously worked with Mr Moore at Generator Bates, which was part of the Y&R network, and at Publicis Mojo.

Mr Moore would not confirm the appointment but said “if it happens, it will be confirmed on Friday”.

“We are very much business as usual but there are big changes to announce at the end of the week and early next week,” he told NBR ONLINE.

“We are looking for significant growth and are having conversations for new clients and growth of the clients we have. Business is in a healthy state. We have had no losses for a long time and we have a couple of wins we will announce in the next fortnight.”

Y&R employs 60 staff across in Auckland and Wellington and claims to be growing.

“We have four new hires to announce over the next three weeks, all of which are significant. We can say the industry is in good shape. Y&R has the advantage of being able to get really good people as we have built up a fantastic culture over the past nine months. Things are on the up,” he says.

Nine months is virtually the time Mr Moore has been at Y&R.

"It [taking over] is not something that I haven’t been preparing for and definitely it came earlier than I had imagined,” he says.

However, Wellington-born Mr Moore had been executive creative director/founder of agency UsSydney for four years.

“I have plenty of experience from Australia, but also here. I have been sharing the experience in the office with Jon. It’s not like I have stepped into management last week.”

Mr Moore is a former creative director of Lowe Worldwide Auckland and former art director of Publicis Mojo and Generator Bates. He began his advertising career in 1998 as an intern when taken on by Ross Goldsack of Goldsack Harris Advertising in 1998.

Mr Goldsack, as Y&R New Zealand non-executive chairman, announced Mr Moore’s appointment last week.

But Mr Moore says his appointment was made by Y&R Australia New Zealand chief executive Russel Howcroft, not Mr Goldsack.

Meanwhile, as he begins “recharging his batteries”, Mr Ramage has told NBR he does not know what the future will bring.

He plans a European holiday, saying he will be gone “for a very long time”.

”I’m not sure whether I will return to advertising. I might do something completely different. 

“I’ve worked with some fantastic, talented people and some bright clients. We won the agency of the year in 2008 and I was runner-up for CEO of the Year that same year.”

Mr Rampage says the real pressure in the industry is keeping up with new technologies.

“Agencies have had to change as clients change. They’ve shifted the way they operated. They have to understand more about how customers use the media and stay ahead of that.”

“The only thing certain about the future [for me] is that it will involve a lot of running and skiing,” he says.

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