Strategic dream team to lead Effie 2012

Media release
23 February 2012

CAANZ has appointed strategy experts David Thomason, Planning Director at DraftFCB and Lew Bentley, Principal at Headlight, as the Chair and Convenor of Judges respectively for the 2012 Effie Awards.

Paul Head, CAANZ CEO, believes that the pair are the ideal leadership team to drive the 2012 programme, due to their in-depth insight and experience as to what makes for a truly effective campaign.

“David and Lew are two of New Zealand’s leading thinkers in advertising strategy and planning. Their appointments will ensure that the Effie Awards continue its strong emphasis in recognising the real outcome of any campaign – its influence on consumer behaviour”.

New Effies Chair David Thomason has been in the advertising industry for a total of 25 years; the last 12 of which have been at a Planning Director capacity, with roles at Grey, DDB and DraftFCB.

At DraftFCB, Thomason has been instrumental in driving the agency’s high profile ‘Behaviour Change’ philosophy and positioning, contributing directly to a spectacular run of new business success and effectiveness awards in recent years; culminating in the recognition of DraftFCB as New Zealand’s Most Effective Agency at the 2011 Effie Awards.

As Chair, Thomason is hoping to stimulate debate around advertising effectiveness in general.

“It’s 2012 and we’re still regularly confronted with half-truths, hyperbole, fashionable pseudo-science, self-serving prophesying and down-right bollocks. Let’s use the build-up to Effies, and the inevitable post-match analyses, to thrash out some contrasting opinions on what really makes advertising effective today” says Thomason.

His counterpart for 2012, Convenor of Judges Lew Bentley is an independent Strategic Planner and Researcher. Through his company Headlight, Lew works directly with clients and with agencies to design marketing and communications programmes and solve problems.

Bentley has spent time at Clemenger BBDO, M&C Saatchi and The Campaign Palace, held positions as Business Development Consultant and Research Director of one of New Zealand’s leading research companies.

“There are no losers at the Effies. The challenge is to help the Judges identify the true winners from the many stories of success” he says.

The Effie Awards 2012 programme will commence in mid-June, with the annual call for entries campaign. The show itself is scheduled for Thursday 11 October 2012.

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