Arrivals & Departures: Rory Gallery joins Special Group as head of strategy

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After an extensive global search, Special Group has appointed Rory Gallery to the position of head of strategy. Managing partner Michael Redwood says that though the agency is renowned for the quality of its design, creative and digital output, strategy has always been at the core of Special’s success.

“We’ve been fortunate to have worked with some exceptional strategic planning talent over the years, so it was vital we found the right person to lead Special strategy as we move into 2018. We’re couldn’t be more delighted Rory’s decided to come on board,” he said.

Gallery is leaving the position of head of strategy at McGarry Bowen London where he worked on brands such as Sony Xperia, Green & Black’s Chocolate and Boddingtons Bitter. Prior to that he was board strategy director at AMV BBDO London, where he was core to the global ‘Made of More’ strategy for Guinness that won over 10 Cannes Lions and a Gold IPA effectiveness award.

“In my opinion, Special’s digital and mobile work is equal to anything coming out of London.”

Gallery said: “After spending some time working in Australia, I’ve long admired Special Group’s work from afar. The integration of brand design and communications activation is a model that means Special can add value across clients’ whole business, not just in advertising. They build brands, they don’t just make ads. And in my opinion, their digital and mobile work is equal to anything coming out of London. I’m really excited to be moving to NZ and joining the team.”

After gaining a first class honours degree in History & Sociology and a Masters (MSc) in Advertising, Gallery started his agency career in his native Ireland. He’s no stranger to this part of the world, though, having completed a stint as a strategist at Host Sydney, working on Coke Zero, Bankwest and the award-winning Kiwi Sceptics campaign for Air New Zealand. He’s also previously spent time in Auckland as he’s married to a Kiwi.

“We are working to build a world-class strategic capability that spans creative and commercial strategy in a way that goes well beyond the traditional role of advertising planning,” says Redwood. “Rory’s arrival is a real coup for the agency, and teamed with Special Group planning director Clare Leitch will add huge value to our clients’ businesses. He’s also a tremendous bloke to boot.”

Rory Gallery starts at Special on Monday 15 January.

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