Fackrell heads for Sydney, takes up regional DDB reins

It’s been a busy end-of-year for DDB NZ, with some big losses and a few big wins. And it’s got some more news to share because executive creative director Andy Fackrell has decided to take up a new role within the DDB Group as regional creative director for Asia Pacific and will move to Sydney in the new year. 

Fackrell will move at the end of January and while an international search for a replacement is conducted, Shane Bradnick, who joined DDB ten months ago from BMF in Sydney where he was executive creative director, will take over. 

In addition to supporting the region’s ECDs, he will work as required on pitches, proactive client briefs and idea generation. But while he says a lot of regional role are about “managing ECDs or doing speeches”, he says his role will be about the work—and trying to improve the quality of it around the region.

“I’ve also got one or two long-term projects with DDB New Zealand, so I’ll be back,” he says. 

Fackrell, who was recently named runner up creative director to John Mescall of McCann Melbourne in the Campaign Asia Pacific Agency Awards, was raised in Adelaide and has a house in Sydney, so he’s familiar with the country. He’s unsure how much work he’ll be expected to do for the Australian arms of DDB, but it “depends on the projects available”.

“It’s a pretty flexible arrangement. And I’m lucky to have that flexibility. It’s a role that suits me.” 

He says he’s enjoyed his two-ish years in Auckland—and he’s complimentary of New Zealand’s “unique ad culture”.

“I think New Zealand is one of the most creative environments I’ve been in. There’s a freedom down here, which is fantastic. And I’ve really enjoyed having the ability to get the work through … I really think the place is booming and it’s at the forefront of the move to find new ways to communicate with consumers.” 

As for DDB, while he says it is still strong in traditional areas like TV and print, that’s not enough for any agency these days, and he says the type of work the agency is producing is changing to reflect that, with a very strong digital department and steps being taken in the direction of content creation.  

In a release, Marty O’Halloran, chief executive of DDB Australia and New Zealand, said: “I am delighted that Andy is spreading his talents across more of the DDB network, although sad for New Zealand that he is departing after two very successful years.” 

Fackrell joined DDB in January 2012 after nine years at 180 Amsterdam and prior to that he worked on Nike at Weiden + Kennedy Portland, where he won the Cannes Grand Prix for Nike ad ‘Tag’.

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