Mike Ballantyne is President and Co-Founder of Online Republic, a New Zealand based global e-commerce business.
Online Republic’s group of companies include Cruise Republic – one of Australasia’s leading cruise travel agents, Car Rental Republic – one of the world’s largest car rental booking agents, Motorhome Republic – a global leader in motorhome rental, and Search Republic – a specialist search marketing agency.
The Online Republic group owns and operates thousands of websites, including airportrentals.com, motorhomeroadtrip.com, cruisesalefinder.com.au, cruisesalefinder.co.nz and searchrepublic.co.nz.
Mike co-founded Online Republic (originally named iMall Brands) with his brother Paul in 2004, and by March 2012, the business had grown to 100 staff in four countries, with $143 million in turnover.
Sadly Paul died in January 2011 after a short battle with cancer, but his legacy lives on, as Mike, their business partners and staff continue the company’s vision of becoming a global e-commerce giant.
Prior to Online Republic, Mike worked in the advertising industry for 15 years.
In his first role Mike teamed up with his brother Steve in Tauranga to create The Ballantyne Agency, which grew to become New Zealand’s largest provincial ad agency at the time, with 25 staff and $12 million in billings.
In 1997 he moved to London and worked as a copywriter for four years in boutique and global agencies.
This was followed by a year at George Patterson Bates in Melbourne, then 3 years with Tequila and Whybin TBWA in Auckland.
During his advertising career, Mike and his Art Director Guy Roberts won prominent advertising awards including a Cannes Gold Lion for their work for adidas.
Prior to his advertising career, Mike studied fashion design in Auckland and was raised and educated in Gisborne.