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TCG Forms Convergence Unit

An international Convergence Unit formed by The Communications Group is designed to provide its clients with insights into ‘leading edge’ ways of communicating says the managing director of The MediaPalace.

Andrew Lamb is a recent recruit from TCG agency iGeorge in Sydney and he has been working with his former employer and George Patterson Bates in Australia to set up the new unit.

Initial planning by the local agency — comprising Generator Bates, 141 New Zealand and The MediaPalace — has also involved TCG companies in Europe in its discussions.

Mr Lamb says the initiative enables TCG companies to share information and “is extremely timely considering the recent alliance between TelstraSaturn and TVNZ”.

He says the aim is to expand the unit throughout the Bates Worldwide group.

“Part of the unit’s goals is not only to develop ways to effectively communicate to people in the existing convergent world,” Mr Lamb says. “It’s also to predict what the possibilities may be so our clients are prepared when opportunities do arise.”

As an example, Lamb cited Internet access through hand-held devices.

“Some mobile phone companies are predicting that by 2003 net access will be greater through handsets than through PCs. Our Convergence Unit is designed to help clients communicate effectively with their prospective customer base using new vehicles such as these.

“Obviously, in this context, the interactive world is important too. We are concentrating on making the medium work hard for our clients.

“Many interactive campaigns have failed because of poor planning and management. It is critical to learn from others’ mistakes.

“We must also ensure we bring new, innovative and relevant interactive media solutions to our clients. Banners and buttons are only the tip of the iceberg — and a rapidly-melting one the way click through rates have plummeted.

“Just as in above the line advertising, interactive information must be relevant, appropriate and significant to the consumer.

“It’s up to us to work closely with media providers to develop solutions that result in more powerful branding and buying for our clients,” Mr Lamb said.

While media tools helped in making the right decisions for clients, Mr Lamb believed access to them was merely the entry level to any media / advertising relationship.

“Proprietary research is where we can add real value. We plan to develop a bank of qualitative and — to a lesser extent — quantitative research.

“Using this research in conjunction with our subscription and proprietary media tools enables us to provide a much more holistic view of consumers.”

Mr Lamb, who joined The MediaPalace in early November, said he was still feeling his way around the New Zealand market.

“But on first impressions I believe this market represents huge opportunities for media firsts and innovations. There seems to be a very open attitude towards media — not just from clients but also from the media themselves.

“Media ideas that have proved difficult to get off the ground elsewhere seem to be easier to execute here — and that’s great.”

Mr Lamb said he had had “an enormously encouraging start” to his tenure as head of The MediaPalace.

“They’re a great bunch and the merger (with Generator) has injected new creativity to complement the experience of the Media Palace team.

“Now, as we move ahead, the challenge is to utilise the local and world-wide resources we have as part of the Bates network,” Mr Lamb said.

BACKGROUND: In New Zealand The Communications Group comprises GeneratorBates (advertising), 141 New Zealand (event and ambient marketing and PR) and The Media Palace (media planning and placement).

The Communications Group is a member of The Bates Worldwide Network.


Issued by 141 New Zealand for The Communications Group


Andrew Stone Andrew Lamb
Chief Executive Officer Managing Director
The Communications Group The MediaPalace
Tel: 0-9-979 7700 0-9-979 7748

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