He joins new New Zealand-born chief executive Nicola Bell. Both will start their new roles on February 22, filling the big shoes of Andrew Stone and Mike O’Sullivan, who threw in the towel late last year.
Harrison, who grew up in Melbourne, tried his hand at stand up comedy, studied law and commerce and then fled a respectable legal career for the London advertising scene, joins Saatchi & Saatchi after a 10-year stint with DDB London, where he picked up awards for Volkswagen, Marmite, Budweiser and the Guardian.
In addition to three nominations and a coveted silver pencil at D&AD, he has won at every major awards show, including gold at Cannes, One Show, Clio, ANDY, Creative Circle, Campaign Press and Eurobest.
His print ad ‘Cops’ for Volkswagen won both the Grand Prix in Cannes and Eurobest, making it the most awarded print ad in history. And he repeated the double Grand Prix honours again last year, scooping both the Eurobest and Epica top award for the TV ad ‘Singing Dog’, for Volkswagen.
Harrison says he’s raring to go. He also says he likes to make short films, get back to nature and marvel at his twin babies in his spare time.
“I can’t wait to get started. Opportunities like this are so rare. I didn’t hesitate. After 13 years in London, I couldn’t resist returning to the region. It’s not often you get the opportunity to work for an agency as creative as Saatchi’s and in a market as dynamic as New Zealand’s. There’s never been a more exciting time to be in advertising: the liberation of media through technology, the global financial crisis, and creativity earning its rightful place in the boardroom solving fundamental business issues.”
Ian Rowden, chairman and chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia Pacific, who must be glad to be announcing an acquisition rather than another high-profile defection, says Harrison’s appointment follows a worldwide search for the right candidate.
“Dylan is a world class creative talent, whose awards were garnered for work that essentially solved big client problems. His restless obsession with the power of creativity to solve business issues, and a belief in driving consumer engagement and participation, will serve our clients well.”