Special Australia wins AdNews salute

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Special Group Australia has recognised as AdNews magazine’s Emerging Agency of the Year – just over a year since the Auckland agency established its fast-growing Sydney branch.

The agency won the award on the back of a fast-growing client roster, including Red Bull (which Special works with on both sides of the Tasman), Paspaley Pearls, iconic boot maker RM Williams, Sandhurst Foods, Harris Farms Markets and Pet Barn, as well as major projects for Qantas.

“It’s been our first year in business and the best of our careers,” said Special Group Australia ceo Lindsey Evans.

Auckland-based Special Group creative partner Tony Bradbourne said: “Most multinational networks open in a market because they have a client that they think they can make some money from.

“Our approach could not be more different. We looked for people first. Our belief is that smart marketers are attracted to the best talent, talent that can help transform their businesses and fulfil their ambitions.

“We are very lucky to have found and attracted what we believe is the very best talent in the Australian market. It’s clear the judges agree.”

Special Group Sydney’s founding partners are Lindsey Evans, managing partner Cade Heyde and the ECD partnership of Matty Burton & Dave Bowman (both of whom have worked in Auckland). The office has grown quickly to number more than 30 staff.

“Matty and Dave left the joint ECD position at TBWA Sydney to start Special, and are regarded as the sharpest ECD duo of their generation with a staggering award tally including a Cannes Grand Prix, 11 Cannes Golds, 2 Titaniums, D&AD Black Pencil, 6 Yellow Pencils and 13 Gold Effies including Best in Show,” Bradbourne said.

“This is great recognition for all of the hard work the team has put in, and the brilliant work they have created,” said Special Group’s Auckland ceo Michael Redwood.

“It is great to see our unique model creating such attention and results for clients in the Australian market.”

Special Group was recently appointed by Bell Tea & Coffee Company to help grow their business on both sides of the Tasman, something that Redwood believes will happen more. “We work beautifully across these different markets in a close and highly effective way, with a genuine spirit of collaboration that I think traditional networks struggle to match.

“We are partnering with a growing number of ambitious NZ clients who want success in Australia, and this award is a clear signpost that the model is working for them.”

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