Young & Shand inherits as Consortium calls it a day

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Following the loss of long-term client AUT in May, Auckland agency Consortium has closed its doors – 12 years after they opened.

The closure means that Lightbox, the agency’s main remaining account (it was worth around $5 million) has moved to Young & Shand, along with four Consortium staffers.

M+AD could not contact Consortium founder Paul Shale by press time, and the agency has remained largely silent since the news broke. Consortium was founded in 2003, and made an immediate impact with its award-winning work on 42 Below, mostly created by Darryl Parsons (now a freelancer).

Young & Shand CD Tom Wood said being able to hire Consortium’s “smart” Lightbox team was a great opportunity.”This combination will deliver a modern integrated approach with a big focus on digital,” he said.

Wood says tech companies like Bigpipe and Lightbox emphasise digital, and that he is noticing a shift in the industry.

“Clients are seeing the value of it,” he says. “Clients are really seeing that if you engage at a digital strategic level and put digital in the centre of what you’re doing, you can start to connect the dots and have a much more powerful piece of communication.”

Max Fashions win confirmed

Wood also confirmed rumours that the agency had earlier won the Max Fashion account after a pitch.

Wood is a recent arrival at Y&S, after becoming a redundancy casualty himself when RAPP laid off staff in May. “I am now full time at Y&S,” he told M+AD. I’m delighted about that, as is managing director Duncan Shand and the leadership team.

“This is a very exciting step for the agency. Establishing a creative platform and improving the quality of our creative output is my mandate.”

The ex Consortium staffers now at Y&S include senior account director Vanessa George – but former co-owners Shale and Ralph Brayham appear not to be among them.

Consortium also previously held the Bigpipe account (now part of the Young & Shand portfolio), but this business was not part of the handover. “We won Bigpipe a week or so ago in a competitive pitch,” Wood told M+AD.

“It was great to have a competitive pitch against the agencies we did, and then for them to pick us as their full-service agency,” Wood said. “So from strategy through to execution, we’ll look after everything for them.”

New hires

In addition to adding the four former Consortium employees to its team and bringing Wood on board, Young & Shand has also hired Alex McVinnie as photography director of photographer and Will Brown as a motion designer.

Young & Shand now employs 55 people, giving the agency the necessary skills to develop and execute multi-channel projects in-house.

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