Kiwibank backs off Assignment exclusivity, casts agency net wider

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Kiwibank has ended its agency-of-record partnership with Assignment Group, and will now keep its agency options open.

Kiwibank comms manager Regan Savage says the move won’t end the bank’s close relationship with Assignment – but it has become difficult to rely on a single provider to deliver across all channels.

He stresses that Kiwibank is changing its model rather than its agency.

“Assignment has been our agency-of-record for about the last four years and we’re really proud of the work we’ve done with them and that will continue on certain jobs,” he says.

“The objective for Kiwibank is to ensure that we continue to have complete freedom to bring to the table the very best partner for the job at hand.”

This will sometimes include Assignment, but it could also mean the introduction of a number of other partners with specialist skills.

This move has echoes earlier shifts, when BNZ took Colenso BBDO off retainer last year; ASB ending its partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi (then appointing digital agency With Collective), while Frucor and AMP have been working with Many Minds on a project basis.

The move has been some time in the making for Kiwibank, which has already been working with several agencies recently, including OMD and Affinity ID, and Savage says he’s still looking.

Other agencies are already criticising Kiwibank’s theory, pointing out the difficulty of keeping brands on message across a number of partners.

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