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SYDNEY: Wednesday: The Aussie arm of AUNZ creative agency The Monkeys has snared Colenso BBDO NZ Beth O’Brien to the position of head of innovation. Based in Sydney, she starts in January next year.

O’Brien entered advertising after completing a Masters in Fine Arts. She won New Zealand’s first D&AD Black Pencil for Pedigree’s K9FM before moving to New York. There, she worked at Droga5 as a senior art director followed by RGA as associate creative director.

Since returning to NZ, O’Brien has built a reputation as one of the top people under 40 championing change and progress in the APAC region.

She’s spoken on stage at both Australian and New Zealand Semi Permanent Festivals. She also launched Love This – a podcast that interviews creative leaders from around the globe.

Her work has been celebrated at major global creative award shows including Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, Clio, and The Spikes.

“Coastlands is the largest shopping centre in Wellington – and the only one with two supermarkets.”

O’Brien told Branding in Asia: “The great relationship of my life has been to creativity. It’s grounded me in imagination, possibility, and most importantly people. The Monkeys deliver all three. I cannot wait to get started.”

The Monkees Sydney CCO Tara Ford said: “Beth is a truly unique creative talent. So, I’m super excited to see just where we can take this.

On her Linkedin page, O’Brien describes herself: “I’m a queer, dyslexic CD born in New Zealand/Aotearoa.

“When I was a kid I camouflaged my difference, now I celebrate it.

“I’m a big believer in using creativity to dismantle systems that don’t serve the planet, the historically marginalised, or our young people.”

Serious firepower
Branding in Asia said: “Beth is an authentic and original thinker and a fantastic person. Congratulations Beth and well done to The Monkeys. That’s some serious firepower in Monkeys/Accenture armoury.

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