Arrivals & Departures: Chemistry taps four

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Westhaven-based integrated indie agency Chemistry Interaction has hired four new staff members to help service their growing client list (which now includes Samsung, Caltex, Bridgestone and Tony’s Tyres, Cancer Society, MobileIron, Fisher Funds and Serta Mattresses).

Business director Jacqui Copas has returned home to New Zealand from hot London digital agency Zone (, where she ran the Pro-Social (not for profit) side of the agency, leading a cross-functional team of 40.

“On returning to NZ, I was looking for a strategically smart, forward thinking, fast growing independent agency with top tier clients, ” she says. “Somewhere I had a chance to really carve a place for myself. Chemistry was it!”

A native digital marketeer and passionate charity advocate, Copas brings with her extensive international experience on brands like The Nike Foundation, Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, Prostate Cancer UK, Shelter, BT, Reckitt Benckiser and London School of Economics.

She has also worked client-side for Telecom, Yellow Pages and WHSmith.

Also returning home is senior account director Laura Austin, who joins the agency fresh from Sydney with several head of marketing roles under her belt. She brings with her many years of integrated marketing experience on brands like ANZ, Qantas, Visa, Telstra, NRMA, Foxtel, Canon, Whitcoulls and Video Ezy.

Austin says Chemistry has a strong reputation in New Zealand and award-winning work that gets results. “Strange as it sounds, I knew within minutes of walking in that I wanted to work at the agency,” she said.

“There is a great culture here.”

New from the client service side is account director Helen McGrath, who joins from Twenty, where she worked for five and a half years on Energy Online, PlaceMakers, AA Insurance and Bay Audiology.

McGrath, who lives on Waiheke, is a direct marketing and retention expert.

And finally, bringing a bit of Northern English wit and data-driven digital marketing smarts to our Southern skies is senior account manager Alex Priestner, who joins from Ubiquity, where she worked on Southern Cross, Panasonic, TOWER, Accor, Palmers, Stella and Ziera.

“Competition for the best talent is fierce here in Auckland, so we’re really excited that the guys bought into the vision we all share for Chemistry Interaction and decided that they wanted to be part of it,” said Mike Larmer, co-founder and director of Chemistry.

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