New Zealand Tourist Board is axing Saatchi & Saatchi and handing its 1m account to Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy.
The agency will help devise a campaign to attract younger travellers to go down under.
Chief executive Nick Mustoe says the agency has been in talks with the board since last year. It was awarded the account this week. The brief involves a promotion with Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand.
Saatchi claims there was a “mutual agreement” with the tourist board to split.
NZTB marketing manager Greg Anderson says the organisation is changing its marketing tactics to target younger travellers, in addition to its core market of over-45s.
Mustoe says: “I think New Zealand is often misunderstood as just a place with big green open spaces, like Britain in the Fifties.”
The account was previously handled by Laing Henry, before shifting to Saatchi after the merger.