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AUCKLAND, Monday: The Comms Council advises that the 2024 Axis Student Challenge has officially commenced, “sparking enthusiasm among tertiary students across Aotearoa”.

Comms Council communications manager Axl Arthur said: “Organised by the Comms Council as part of the Axis Awards, this prestigious competition aims to foster and encourage emerging creative talent in the country’s advertising industry.

Led by Tara McKenty, chief innovation officer, and co-executive creative director of BMF Australia, and Comms Council head of comms & events James Wotton, the briefing session, which took place last Friday, set the stage for ambitious students from various tertiary institutes nationwide. Inclusivity and diversity take centre stage this year, with the competition open to all tertiary education providers. 

Comms Council ceo Simon Lendrum, CEO emphasises the pressing need to address the challenges of recruitment in the industry.

“Opening up the Student Challenge to all tertiary education providers is just one way we can help foster a thriving, diverse talent pool that will invigorate and enrich our industry,” Lendrum said.

“Over the next month, students will unleash their creativity to craft advertising concepts, receiving valuable feedback from a panel of creative directors.

“To continue the programme’s expansion and nurture the creative talent pool in Aotearoa, the Comms Council seeks a sponsor for the Student Challenge.”

“The competition offers a unique opportunity for sponsors to gain prominent exposure within the creative industry while connecting with the next generation of creative talent and shaping the advertising landscape for years to come.

“The stakes are high, and the rewards are exceptional, with the winning team receiving a coveted gold Axis trophy at the Awards in April 2024.”

“All shortlisted finalists and their dedicated tutors will also enjoy exclusive tickets to the prestigious awards evening and associated Axis Speaks event.

“The Axis Student Challenge has a proven track record of propelling aspiring creatives into the limelight, with past winners like Robyn Ramsay and Luke Roxburgh from Media Design School in 2021, Bella Rākete and Sam Taunton-Clark from Media Design School in 2022, and Amie Franshaw & Max Hansen from AUT in 2023 leaving their mark on the industry.

“To continue the programme’s expansion and nurture the creative talent pool in Aotearoa, the Comms Council seeks a sponsor for the Student Challenge.

“Sponsors will not only gain prominent exposure among the wider creative industry but also introduce the next generation of creative talent to their brand or product, contributing to the growth of an innovative generation of creative minds.”

To explore how your organisation can play a vital role in supporting the Axis Student Challenge and securing the future of New Zealand’s creative advertising industry, please contact James Wotton at

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