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Jonathan Russell appointed GM: Wgtn Saatchi's

10 August 2004

Jonathan Russell appointed GM of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington

Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand CEO Andrew Stone today announced the appointment of Jonathan Russell as General Manager of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington.

Mr Russell has held a number of senior positions in leading corporates including Lion Nathan and NZ Dairy Foods, where he was initially General Manager Sales and Distribution before being appointed to head up their $250 million Foods business. Most recently he was general manager for another advertising agency.

Mr Stone says that Mr Russell is a key appointment for the Wellington agency. “Jonathan brings a great combination of business acumen and experience, creativity and passion to the agency. As a former client of Saatchi & Saatchi, he also has the unique advantage of having been on both sides of the fence. He understands the market – he knows what clients want, and how to give it to them.”

Born and raised in Wellington, Mr Russell says he is delighted to be back in the capital and working for an agency he believes in.

“As a client at New Zealand Dairy Foods I was always excited and stimulated by Saatchi & Saatchi’s ideas and vision, and I have continued to admire from a distance. The chance to be part of a team with the best creative brains in New Zealand was unmissable. Saatchi & Saatchi has an absolute belief in the power of great ideas and great brands, and it’s fantastic to be involved with that.”

Mr Stone said that under Mr Russell’s leadership the agency would operate as a separate agency servicing the Wellington market, sharing resources, such as the Interactive Team and studio resources, with Saatchi & Saatchi’s Auckland agency where it made sense. Some Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington people would move to Auckland as a result of these changes.

“This new operating model gives Saatchi & Saatchi’s Wellington and Auckland agencies the best of both worlds,” said Mr Stone. “Each agency will be able to pursue clear objectives that recognise the needs of the local market while enjoying access to key resources on a national level.”

Mr Russell said that he was excited about joining Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington. “I’ve returned to Wellington after a time away, and the city has evolved, becoming increasingly dynamic and multi-dimensional. I’m looking forward to taking a similar journey with Saatchi & Saatchi, rebuilding the agency through a passionate ideas-driven approach.”

“One of the reasons Saatchi & Saatchi has been so successful is that it makes excellent use of its reach, tapping talent spread across agencies around the world. The results are first-class, as shown by our best-in-show award at last year’s Effies, and more recently at our strong performance in the Axis Awards, which included a Grand Axis Gold.”

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington’s clients include New Zealand Post, the New Zealand Army, the Retirement Commission, the Festival of the Arts, Whittakers and the NZRU. The agency will share the Telecom account with Auckland, and will also service recent account win, New World.

Jonathan Russell – Key Biographical Details

Jonathan is 41 years old, and lives in Island Bay. Before his appointment as General Manager for Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington he was General Manager for Clemenger BBDO, prior to which he was General Manager of New Zealand Dairy Foods’ $250 million Foods business. Highlights while within that role included leading the highly successful acquisition and integration of The Puhoi Cheese Company. As a passionate Wellingtonian he revels in the city’s cultural heart and is a keen supporter of local theatre. In his spare time he plays golf or enjoys fly-fishing at his bach at Lake Taupo. He holds an Honours Degree in History from Victoria University.


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