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LONDON, Today: NZ owned and operated Special Group was named Global Creative Agency of the Year and Global Independent Agency of the Year overnight by one of the world’s most prestigious advertising titles – Campaign UK.

It is the first time ever that a New Zealand advertising agency has achieved the accolade, and is testament to the strength of New Zealand owned creativity.

The Auckland agency fended off stiff competition from the four other finalists – BBH Singapore, adam&eveDDB London, The Brooklyn Brothers (US) and Mother London.

Special co-founder/ceo Tony Bradbourne said: “The advertising industry loves awards, but to win a global award of this scale and prestige, from such a revered and established institution, against some of the biggest advertising firms in the world, is certainly worth celebrating.”

“I am so thankful to the entire agency, our dedicated partners, and our brave clients – but most importantly, I’m proud of what this says about Kiwi creativity.  For too long we have been dominated by international conglomerates, and now we’ve been able to unanimously prove that New Zealand creativity shines on the world stage – alongside other creative industries like film and our music.”

“The Auckland agency fended off four finalists – BBH Singapore, adam&eveDDB London, Brooklyn Brothers (US) and Mother London.

Special Group started in Auckland before expanding to Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles. It now employs 160 staff across all four offices and has expanded its remit from advertising and design, to include media and PR.

The Campaign Agency of the Year awards are judged by a panel of leading marketing and industry experts. In their summation, they commented: “Special Group had an impressive year in 2020 on a number of fronts, despite the impact of Covid-19.  It opened two new offices, one in Melbourne and one in Los Angeles, and won 40 new pieces of business including Uber Eats in North America and Canada.”

“In many ways COVID-19 helped us,” Bradbourne said. “We’ve been able to connect with clients across the globe because everyone now lives in the same places – Zoom, Teams, and Whatsapp.

“It’s not about where you are geographically based, it’s about how good your thinking and ideas are.

“And it appears that if you’re after the best advertising ideas in the world, you don’t need to look further afield than New Zealand.”

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