Initiative & Thinkerbell Win Big (Again) In B&T’s February New Business Rankings

Initiative & Thinkerbell Win Big (Again) In B&T’s February New Business Rankings

Initiative and Thinkerbell have claimed the top spots again in B&T‘s agency new business rankings for February 2024.

Thinkerbell had previously topped the rankings in our December update, while Initiative has claimed second place twice in the last six months.

This month saw a huge number of media account wins, including global wins for PHD and UM plus continued impressive new business for indie agencies such as Avenue C, which snared KitchenAid’s media away from Havas’ full-service offering. We even saw Howatson+Company enter the media game, picking up Honda’s account.

On the creative side of the ledger, things were slightly quieter,  though VML’s retention of Monash University’s account is not to be sniffed at. So, without further ado, here are the media and new business winners in February.

Media agencies

Bronze — Howatson+Company

While Howatson+Co might normally be associated with its creative offering, the agency won Honda’s first media account pitch in a decade. The account extends to more than the Japanese brand’s road cars, too, with it looking to harmonise all of its media efforts in one. Incumbent Zenith decided not to repitch for the account, despite holding it since 2001.

Silver — PHD

PHD had three pretty sizeable wins this month. It won the AFL’s media account, retained HP’s global account and its Melbourne office picked up the $10 million-rated McCain’s account. It’s a trio of big wins for the Omnicom-owned agency that had seen a number of its accounts rustled away by independents in recent months.

Gold — Initiative

Despite PHD’s trio of wins, Initiative has taken gold this month after it became Crown Resorts’ agency of record. Carat had held the account for nearly 30 years.

“With a refreshed brand identity, re-energised marketing team and a strong appetite for growth, we are set to write the next chapter together. We look forward to partnering with Initiative to unlock strategic growth and tapping into their connected thinking to accelerate business growth and build brand value,” said Yolanda Uys, Crown’s newly appointed group executive general manager – brand and marketing.

Melissa Fein, CEO Initiative Australia and New Zealand, added: “As a proud Melburnian, I’ve always seen Crown as an iconic brand. Combine that with Initiative’s footprint mirroring Crown’s; our shared belief in the power of culture to grow brands; and all the positive impact we’ve created via our strategic project-based work to date, it feels like we have all the makings for a powerful partnership.”

Creative agencies

Bronze — Akcelo

Refern-based agency Akcelo picked up the creative account for SPC Global in February, which owns the Goulburn Valley and Ardmona brands. The win follows previous work between the pair which saw Akcelo help launch SPC’s Street Eats brand last year.

“Akcelo understands our business, our challenges and opportunities. They translate these needs into bold and brilliant work – that’s their secret sauce,” said Peta Allsopp, chief marketing officer at SPC.

Silver — Paper Moose 

B Corp agency Paper Moose picked up a very interesting account last month, announcing it had won the creative account for Real Insurance on Valentine’s Day (aww). The insurer said that it was hoping to reimagine the formula that had seen it become a leader in the direct insurance market since launching in 2005.

“Paper Moose’s breadth of creativity really impressed us, as well as their production capabilities. We look forward to collaborating together to drive growth across our product suite,” said Simon Hovell, chief marketing officer at Real Insurance.

Gold — Thinkerbell

Yes, Adam Ferrier and co have done it again (and you can catch him speaking at Cannes in Cairns again this year, too) by picking up the Hort Innovation integrated account. That’s right, it’s picked up everything from creative, media, PR and social following a competitive pitch. TBWA had been the incumbent on creative, PR and social while Atomic 212 had worked on the media side.

Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development business for Australia’s $16+ billion horticulture industry, with a portfolio including Australian Apples, Australian Avocados, Australian Cherries, Australian Mangoes, and Australian Mushrooms.

Check out the rest of the New Business Winners here. 

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