Special Group has appointed Rory Gallery to the position of head of strategy.
The appointment follows an extensive global search and will see Gallery leave McGarry Bowen London where he works as head of strategy with brands including 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.
Managing partner Michael Redwood says that strategy has always been at the core of Special’s success and having worked with some exceptional strategic planning talent over the years, it was vital the agency found the right person to lead strategy as it moves into 2018.
“We couldn’t be more delighted Rory’s decided to come on board.”
He adds that Gallery’s arrival is a real coup for the agency as it works to build a strategic capability that spans creative and commercial strategy in a way that goes well beyond the traditional role of advertising planning.
“[Gallery’s arrival] teamed with Special Group Planning Director Clare Leitch will add huge value to our clients’ businesses. He’s also a tremendous bloke to boot."
Gallery is also excited to be moving to New Zealand and joining the team.
“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.”
He’s no stranger to this part of the world 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.
Special Groups' former head of strategy was Claire Beatson, who Redwood describes as a long-time collaborator and friend of the agency. She is now freelancing for the agency as well as others.
Gallery starts with the agency on 15 January.