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Colenso BBDO lures Beth O’Brien and Thomas Darlow with creative group head roles

Colenso BBDO has appointed Beth O’Brien and Thomas Darlow as creative group heads at the agency.

O’Brien most recently worked in New York as an associate creative director at R/GA and Droga5, where she was involved in a range of high-profile campaigns with her creative partner. 

During the US election, The New York Times and Forbes labelled their ‘Role Models’ spot for Hillary Clinton “a masterpiece of political advertising” and a “Hall of Fame-level” ad.

O’Brien has won over 40 national and international awards, including New Zealand’s only ever a black pencil for K9FM, which she made at Colenso before leaving to the States.

Darlow returns from five years at R/GA New York. His ‘We Are America’ campaign has been viewed over 120 million times, and is up for an Emmy at this year’s awards. And his ‘Mamba Day’ campaign for Nike is regarded as one of the most successful shoe launches in history. The campaigns picked up five lions at this year’s Cannes festival, and made Darlow half of the R/GA network’s most-awarded team globally.

“I’m stoked to return to the Colenso BBDO family,” says O’Brien. “Colenso is an immensely special place. It’s full of uniquely talented people, who work tirelessly to push the boat out on what’s possible. The creative department, lead by Wortho and Levi, has all the hallmarks of a true operational studio, which I love to bits. There really is no agency like it. I can’t wait to get back, have a beer with the team, and get stuck in.”

Darlow adds: “I’m frothing to get weird with the industry’s best.”

The appointment of the pair of creative group heads follows the departure of former creative group head Simon Vicars and senior art director Andre Sallowicz to London earlier this year.

It also comes after the announcement of the return of Levi Slavin, who took up the role of chief creative officer in March.  

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