Bates generates merger in New Zealand

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AUCKLAND--The Bates Palace New Zealand has mergedwith local independent agency Generator to formGenerator Bates. Although financial details werenot disclosed, it is believed the combined entitywill be third largest in the country when finalizedon Oct. 2.

Former Generator head Andrew Stone becomes CEOof Generator Bates, filling the gap left by NoelBrowne, who has left the company. Mr. Stonebrings with him his entire staff of 25, including Oliver Maisley, who becomes creative director of the new company.

The Bates Palace is owned by Australian-basedThe Communications Group, an offshoot of U.K.-based Cordiant Communciations Group.

Generator has established a name in the localmarket for sophisticated, creative advertising,including last year's controversial Sony campaignfeaturing identical twins with different sexualbents.

Generator has never published its billings. TheBates Palace had billings last year of $57 million,and has confirmed it will not quite double itsbusiness by adding the Generator client roster.

The new company has had to relinquish local brewing firm DB Breweries as the account conflictswith Bates' work for Carlton & United Breweries(Fosters), a Bates client of 34 years.

Otherwise, Bates' clients, such as Arnotts, Nokiaand Daewoo, fit "perfectly" with Generator's, including Red Bull and Mercury Energy, says Mr. Stone.Bates' media buying division will remain Media Palace, while PR arm 141 Palace Plus become 141 New Zealand.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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