VIVA! Communications hits 15th year milestone

By Craig Daveson in Marcoms News on
Health and wellness agency VIVA! Communications is celebrating its 15th birthday today as well as its best financial results yet of eight per cent year over year revenue growth.
“When I founded VIVA! as an independent, Australian, strategic health + wellness communications agency 15 years ago, I never dreamt it would be so successful, and would still be going strong, so many years later,” said VIVA! Communications principal Kirsten Bruce.
“It’s been an incredible journey. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve built at VIVA! Communications, and of the exceptionally high quality services we offer our existing and growing clientele.”
Amongst the company's roster of clients added in recent times are the likes of Amgen, MSD, Ashley and Martin, Apotex, Medibio, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and the Australasian College of Dermatologists.
The company’s two year old Queensland office has also been instrumental in campaigns for QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, the Lung Foundation of Australia and Medreleaf Australia.
VIVA! Communications is also the only Australian representative of Global Health PR, the world’s largest network of independent agencies working in the health and medical markets.
“Through GLOBALHealthPR (, clients gain a wealth of benefits, including the opportunity to obtain local, regional and global health communication strategies that come with a streamlined, central administration and one key point of contact,” explained managing director Paul Jans.  
“This independent model allows clients to access superior local and regional marketplace insights, a trusted global network, and experts across a wide range of areas.” 

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LEWIS Australia expands talent and clientele

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The Australian arm of communications agency LEWIS has landed new accounts while adding new talent to its roster.

The company stated that four new people have been hired, including one who was reassigned from LEWIS’ HQ in London, England. The company appointed long-serving employee Gemma Kavanagh to be the Sydney office’s regional technology section chief, fresh from maternity leave. The agency is already entertaining applications for two more staff members and are considering opening a new Melbourne office.

LEWIS also faces 2018 with much work cut out for them thanks to seven new clients. They include cybersecurity company Sophos, specialist recruitment company Robert Half, and baby monitoring device maker Owlet.

“The collaboration, both at a regional and global level has been a real eye opener. A lot of agencies talk about being global, but struggle to connect the dots in a meaningful way. LEWIS has been built from the ground up to work on regional and global busi

Etched Communications rebrands to Wilkinson Butler

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Boutique communications firm Etched Communications has undergone a rebranding, assuming the new trade name of Wilkinson Butler.

Under the rebranding, Wilkinson Butler expands on Etched’s existing repertoire by adding issues management, lead generation, web development, digital advertising, and crisis communications to the mix. The firm already does media relations, government relations, online and social media management, and community engagement.

“A boutique agency like Wilkinson Butler, with a well-rounded mix of senior consultants and access to the directors allows for client intimacy, as well as a broad range of skills,” said company chairman and co-owner Peter Wilkinson.

Ikon welcomes strategy and media experts

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Marketing communications agency Ikon has welcomed new staff to man its national strategy and media investment divisions, B&T reported.

For the national strategy division, the company brought in Hugh McGilligan from a long career in New York City where his last job was with Millward Brown Vermeer. He handled strategic action for clients including a major American automobile manufacturer, an appliance company, and a top men’s fragrance brand.

Ikon’s current director for trading and media service, Pia Coyle, is now promoted to lead the media investment section. Coyle has been with the company for over five years. Both she and McGilligan will report to Ikon COO David Gerrie.

Blancato leaves beauty sites

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Michelle Blancato has stepped down as GM of and

Bauer Xcel Media officials stated that Blancato is relocating to Queensland from Sydney to pursue other ventures, such as digital media consultancy and content generation. She had been managing both websites for years before Bauer Media acquired them in 2015.

Beautyheaven editor Rosie Taber and beautydirectory employee Georgie Haigh are the temporary officers-in-charge.

Follow Blancato on LinkedIn.

Haystac Sydney scores new accounts

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The Sydney office of PR agency Haystac has been enlisted for three new companies: Oracle NZ, Toys R’Us and HBO.

Under the arrangement, Haystac’s work for HBO will focus on influencer activity for The Deuce, a drama series about the legalised adult industry in New York City during the early 1970s.

The Toys R’Us assignment involves managing the company‘s PR and influencer activity for an upcoming holiday season campaign, while for Oracle NZ, Haystac will tackle corporate affairs and PR.

“It’s fantastic to see Haystac Sydney go from strength-to-strength across both our fintech and consumer divisions. We’re creating strategic campaigns and that really deliver for our clients and our recent growth is wholly reflective of the smart, creative team we have in place,” said Haystac Sydney GM Sarah Littlefair.

WPP AUNZ lands Bankwest

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The WPP AUNZ group has signed on as Bankwest’s official creative and communications handler.

The agency won over Bankwest after a recent pitch alongside several agencies including incumbent client agency Host/Havas.

Whilst Ikon Communications — a WPP member-firm — will still work with Bankwest, the new partnership allows the bank access to every outfit under the umbrella such as Ogilvy Sydney, The Brand Agency, PPR, and PLAY Events.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to broaden and deepen our relationship with Bankwest through the development of this unique agency model, it’s about giving the team access to the best talent wherever it sits in the group, without the complexity of managing multiple agency relationships,” said WPP AUNZ CEO Mike Connaghan.

The Economist put under DEC PR umbrella

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Top international business publication The Economist has signed up as DEC PR’s latest client.

The new partnership came about as The Economist was looking to expand its audience reach in Australia and needed a credible PR specialist to build up its brand. As part of the workload, DEC PR’s campaigns for The Economist will focus on, among others, business executives who have global interests and people who keep a close eye on overseas developments.

“We proudly welcome The Economist to the Agency. It’s an honour to be working with such a distinguished brand, one that our team has held in very high regard and often deferred to for mind-stretching and rigorous intel across their careers,” said DEC PR founder Agata Kenna.

“We selected DEC PR as our communications partner for their diverse experience across many sectors, organisations and challenges; a well rounded Agency that would respond swiftly and intelligently to the diverse needs and reporting agen

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