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Socialites raids Colenso for new GM: Social media marketing agency Socialites has created a new general manager role, appointing Victoria Graves to the role.

Graves joins Socialites this week from Colenso BBDO, where she was group business director responsible for a range of brands including Tourism Fiji, ATEED, Samsung and Burger King.

At Colenso she also led the team creating the highly successful Motel Burger King Cheat On Beef campaign, where social media played a key role in getting thousands of Kiwis sampling their new chicken range.

Socialites managing director Wendy Thompson says she was impressed by Victoria’s experience amassed over 15 years at New Zealand and UK-based agencies.

Thompson says she recruited Graves to help forge her plans for growth. “The demand for our specialised marketing services is growing exponentially as companies recognise the power of building brand-loyal communities,” she said. “With our expanding list of large corporate clients the time is right appoint a general manager, and Victoria’s strong digital and advertising experience leading large teams makes her the perfect pair of shoes for the job.

“We share the same vision of the future of marketing and the opportunities ahead are massive. Plus I’ve heard on the grapevine she bakes a killer sausage roll.”

Why she made the leap from a big agency employing 100+ staff to join a team of 10 at Socialites? “I think it’s really exciting where social is heading,” Graves said. “Social is often at the heart of everything we do – it is what we check first thing in the morning, where we find most of our news, how we organise our events, and where we have direct and casual conversations with our family, friends and favourite brands.

“It’s also where you can test and learn new technologies and tactics more quickly, with analytics allowing social marketers to improve and demonstrate their results immediately.

“I think Socialites have found a terrific niche – they are well respected in the industry, and have done the work putting in the foundations and I’m looking forward to helping the company grow to be a much bigger business over the next few years.”

Victoria Graves five favourite things:

  • Favourite social network: “Instagram! I can’t get enough of it.”
  • Current smartphone: “My shiny new Samsung S6”
  • Favourite news source: BBC News and Vice.
  • Predictions for the rest of 2015: Video as king. The rise of messaging apps. And a maturing attitude from NZ business toward valuing social being as an always-on channel to facilitate and engage with a community, (rather than disseminating ad hoc campaigns).
  • Where she can be found on a sunny Sunday afternoon? “Walking my dog or doing renos on the new home.”

Ambient snatches Cameron Taylor from oOh!: Ambient Group has appointed Cameron Taylor to the newly created role of general manager – outdoor (Ambient’s fourth senior hiring in the past month).

Taylor has over 13 years’ experience in media and out-of-home. “His appointment is a pivotal step in the growth of Ambient Group’s business as it expands its out-of-home advertising concession foothold in the New Zealand market,” said director Chris Monaghan.

“Securing Cameron was integral to our 2015 business plan. We are on the verge of announcing some significant developments in the out-of-home category and he will be instrumental in driving these advancements.”

Taylor spent the previous eight years as general manager of Eyecorp and oOh! Media. “He is a well-respected figure in the New Zealand advertising industry, with a reputation for delivering results,” Monaghan said. “His strengths are built around successfully managing outdoor advertising concessions across airport, retail and university media.

“Ambient Group’s position in out-of-home is growing stronger, and I am confident that Cameron will make a positive impact on what we are poised to achieve. The company is on track for big things this year. Hiring Cameron demonstrates our commitment to provide the absolute best to our already broad client base.”

About the Ambient Group

Ambient Group is a specialist media agency providing ambient, experiential, events, talent and PR services. Ambient Group is majority owned by outdoor media company QMS (

NZME appoints Fran O’Sullivan to new role: NZME has appointed leading business commentator Fran O’Sullivan to a newly created position, NZME editorial director – business.

“Fran is the definition of quality journalism,” said NZME ceo Jane Hastings. “Her leadership and respected connection within the business community will further strengthen NZME’s business content. We are excited to have secured New Zealand’s best to lead business for the future.”

O’Sullivan will work across all NZME business brands and platforms including digital, publishing, radio and events. She will work closely with New Zealand Herald business editor Liam Dann and NZME Radios general manager talk, Dallas Gurney, together with NZME’s other journalists and radio hosts.

“I’m thrilled to be joining NZME at this exciting time under the new leadership team,” said O’Sullivan. “I have a passion for high-quality business journalism and the opportunity to take a hands-on role working collaboratively with NZME’s talented team across the whole business is too good to miss.”

O’Sullivan launched the influential annual Mood of the Boardroom report and the annual China Business Summit. She is also a multiple winner of the Westpac Financial Journalism Award and the Qantas Reporter of the Year.

Herald ed Shayne Currie described O’Sullivan as one of New Zealand’s most highly respected business journalists and one of the Herald’s best read. “Fran and Liam make for a formidable duo – our audiences will be the big winners,” he said.

O’Sullivan begins today.

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