Oz PR shop buys NZ agency (Updated)

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Six months after launching a New Zealand office, independent Australian PR agency Thrive has acquired Auckland-based PR agency, East Agency, and East Agency NZ founder/director Lucinda Kennedy, who consulted to Thrive during its set-up, has joined Thrive full-time as the on-the-ground New Zealand lead. Kennedy will manage the company’s expansion plans, leveraging Thrive’s three Australian offices and ANZ resources.

Thrive has 40 staff at its offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. The agency’s client roster includes Coles, Optus, Twitter, energy provider AGL and global gaming developer Ubisoft.

The agency handles a wide range of Aussie-based industries including food & drink, sport & entertainment, tech & innovation, home & design, health & wellbeing, and not-for-profit B2C and B2B work. Thrive was founded in Melbourne in 2000 by managing director Leilani Abels.

Since its launch in NZ, Thrive has signed local clients including Emeralds Foods and has extended its ANZ work for tech giant Cisco and global women’s brand Triumph.

Leilani Abels said: “I’m particularly pleased that there has been solid interest from local brands and other companies within the APAC region wanting to work with our Auckland office.

“The acquisition of East Agency further strengthens our local market knowledge and reach. It is a natural fit for us given the company’s knowledge of the NZ food, wine, sport, tech and leisure markets.

“Lucinda has more than a decade of experience, having worked agency-side in NZ and New York, as well as her previous work at Bauer Media NZ as a senior journalist.”

Lucinda Kennedy said: “Thrive is a dynamic, smart and progressive business that I am thrilled to bring East Agency under.

“This acquisition allows us to draw from Thrive’s 17-year history, bringing our clients exceptional PR and digital insights while leveraging Thrive’s expansive resources. We see a real opportunity to deliver remarkable results for Thrive’s Kiwi clients, both at home and abroad.”

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