Haystac founders Anton Staindl and Richard Hayward have re-entered agency world with the launch of Alt/Shift, a creative communications agency that marries PR with social, digital and experiential marketing. And in a major coup for the newly launched agency, Elly Hewitt will serve as the business’ managing director. Hewitt will be supported by former Cotton On Group PR strategist, Samantha Vassos as general manager.
Pictured above L-R: Richard Hayward, Anton Staindl, Elly Hewitt, GM Samantha Vassos
Alt/Shift director Anton Staindl said, “We’re thrilled Elly is joining us on this adventure.
“Rich and I worked with Elly early in our Haystac days, and she always struck us as a natural leader and someone destined to do great things. We’re excited to be getting the band back together and building a great agency from the ground up.
“While the landscape has evolved significantly in the 15 years since we first launched Haystac, the essence of what makes a great agency hasn’t. The starting point will always be understanding the commercial needs of our client – not just creating ‘noise’ for the sake of it.
“An ethos of creating smart campaigns delivering the right messages to the right people drives Alt/Shift. The agencies doing the best work seem to be creatively driven, nimble, and able to execute across a range of traditional and social platforms. That’s the space we’ll operate in.
“From modest beginnings, Elly grew Mango to eclipse Haystac as the dominant agency in the Melbourne market. She is the perfect person at the perfect time to lead a new breed of agency, that will now naturally take that mantle,” Staindl added.
“Having only opened our doors a few weeks back, we have grown to six staff with a strong consumer-based client list, without actually announcing we exist. We’re looking forward to Elly taking the business to the next level now that we’re officially up and running.
“We founded Haystac in 2001 and grew to 80+ staff with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Singapore and Perth. We’re not chasing growth for growth’s sake, but we do expect to add quite a bit of depth to our team relatively quickly.”
Throughout her career, Hewitt has snagged a number of accolades, including leading her former agency Mango to be awarded numerous Experiential and PR Agency of the Year titles from awards including B&T Awards.
“I’m a strong believer that an agency is only as good as its people and I’m looking forward to growing our team and attracting the best talent in the creative communications industry,” said Hewitt.
“We have all the benefits of a boutique agency, coupled with ‘big agency’ experience.”