Special launches in London

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AUCKLAND, Today: Independent NZ agency Special has broken new ground, opening an office in London with Havas’ Jennifer Black as partner and ceo.

The New Zealand-founded group now has six offices globally.

Former Havas London MD Jennifer Black – now ceo of Special London – will be joining the Special teams in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, and Los Angeles. The London agency’s creative and strategic partners will be announced shortly.

Black, who was at Havas for four years, has also worked at Mother London and Fallon, and was previously managing director of Fabula. She was recently named Account Person of the Year at Campaign Agency of the Year Awards. 

Special founder/ceo/CCO Tony said: “We are extremely excited to start our journey in London with such an incredible, kind and driven leader as Jen.

“We have a huge amount of respect and love for the strategic and creative thinking that London consistently produces. We hope to add to that in some small way, by bringing a fresh and ambitious model to clients in London.”

“Special London is on an active new business drive, but this office provides a compelling opportunity for NZ businesses to drive global awareness.”

Jennifer Black said: “Special has shown that its unique blend of creativity and strategy, generously imbued with positive New Zealand energy, works across borders.

“I am genuinely thrilled to be joining the Special family and I’m looking forward to bringing that energy into Europe through the new London office.

“I helped grow Havas into the creative agency that it is today and am excited to leave at this juncture and bring all that energy and thinking to the launch to Special.”

Tony Bradbourne: “Special London is on an active new business drive, but the new office provides a compelling opportunity for New Zealand businesses to drive global awareness and consideration.

“Special already works with the likes of NZTE, Tourism New Zealand, Emma Lewisham and Rockit Apples who place increasing importance on global scale and impact.

“For decades Kiwi businesses have been exporting ‘brand New Zealand’ to the world stage, but there hasn’t been a New Zealand-founded advertising network to help them on that journey.

“It’s meant marketing teams here have had to hunt for remote creative partners in the US or the UK to grow.

“This year Special LA created the lauded Super Bowl spot Uber Don’t Eats featuring Gwyneth Paltrow eating her own vagina-scented candle.”

“Now, Special has a world-leading team based in New Zealand to work alongside these businesses and help them scale across Australia, the United States and Europe.

“Special’s clients include Uber Eats, Virgin, Tourism New Zealand, Smirnoff, Kiwibank and Red Bull. It has long punched above its weight in the global advertising community, winning a Cannes Grand Prix with its first major campaign, created for internet service provider Orcon and featuring US rock singer Iggy Pop.

“Other border-busting creativity includes work for Uber Eats. Special Sydney launched the Tonight I’ll Be Eating platform in Australia four years ago and have since taken it to eight international markets, launching it in the US with celebrity pairings Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill.

“This year Special Los Angeles created the lauded Super Bowl spot Uber Don’t Eats featuring Gwyneth Paltrow eating her own vagina-scented candle.

“Special launched in Auckland in 2008, with a model designed to break down the silos between advertising agencies and design studios, and a mission to create truly integrated and innovative business thinking.

“The Sydney office opened in 2014, Melbourne and Los Angeles in 2020 – where Special was named Newcomer of the Year by AdAge just six months after opening.

“Special is widely regarded as Asia Pacific’s leading creative agency. In 2021 they won every industry Agency of the Year title across both Australia and New Zealand. The APAC Effies also named Special Asia Pacific Agency of the Year in the same year.

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