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Star creative duo join Special Group as ECDs

Independent creative company, Special Group, has hired two new executive creative directors as the agency hints at significant new clients and projects coming out of the Covid-19 Lockdown.

Not giving too much away when it comes to their new clients and projects, Tony Bradbourne, Special Group founder says that the past four months have been uniquely challenging, but adds that he’s incredibly proud of how well his team has worked. “It feels like our culture, our business momentum and most importantly, our world-class work, has never been stronger,” he says. 

This has afforded the agency the opportunity to bring onboard Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonathan McMahon, one of the most successful creative duos in the industry. They started their careers at Cummins & Partners Melbourne before working at Colenso BBDO, DDB, TBWA and Droga5 New York.

“I love Lisa and Jono’s energy, positivity and their brilliant body of work. They have an incredible track record of doing great work on some of the biggest brands and most challenging briefs,” Bradbourne says.

Most recently Fedyszyn and McMahon were executive creative directors at Ogilvy New Zealand where they ran and worked on campaigns such as BP’s ‘Thank You Button’, Auckland Transport’s ‘Most Dangerous Stunt’ featuring Zoe Bell, and New Zealand Police’s ‘World’s Most Entertaining Recruitment Video’ – which won the Grand Axis. Not only entertaining, the recruitment campaign was extremely successful, smashing the Police’s diversity and gender intake targets, whilst netting multiple Gold Effies and Cannes Lions, as well as an inaugural D&AD Collaborative Pencil.

“We’re super excited to be joining Tony, Michael and the group. We’ve always admired Special’s work over the years, they’re on a roll and have some amazing clients in the building – we couldn’t be arriving at a better time, so we can’t wait to collaborate with everyone and get stuck in,” says Fedyszyn 

Fedyszyn and McMahon will work alongside Stu Mallarkey who has been promoted to the role of ECD/Head of Digital, following the resignation of ECD Gary McCreadie in early April.

“We want to congratulate Stu for what has been an incredible eight years so far at Special,” says Bradbourne. “In the past 12 months he’s been recognised at every award show globally. And produced incredible work for Tourism New Zealand, Uber Eats, Education New Zealand, LION, Intercity, and Red Bull. He’s an exceptional, business-minded creative and has risen to be a real leader at Special.”

Bradbourne has also moved into a new role as CEO & CCO.

“My role is to ensure that our strategies and ambitions as a growing company, and our creative and strategic product, are both equally world class. Special Group is now 100 strong across our two offices in Auckland and Sydney, and we are working on some of the region’s biggest and most challenging briefs and brands.”

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