Grafton goes Draftin’—UPDATED

DraftFCB saw its creative director Chris Schofield take up a role with DDB in October last year, following on from Justin Mowday’s shift there a year or so before. And, in the latest example of the ongoing inter-agency hostage swapping saga, DDB’s deputy creative director Regan Grafton has joined the fray as joint executive creative director with Tony Clewett. Executive creative director James Mok will become group ECD of Australasia. Grafton was, as his recently departed boss Toby Talbot said, the unsung hero of one of last year’s best campaigns, Steinlager’s ‘We Believe’, and he has received a range of international awards with his work for Sky, Coastguard New Zealand, NZ Lotteries and Cadbury.

Back when Schofield announced his departure, Mok said, rather tongue in cheekily: “Taika Waititi is in the middle of lower Mongolia writing a movie and we’d have to sell our grandmothers to try and woo Nick Worthington so it’s plan C for now. Chris is a one-off so we’re better off looking for a woman with a full head of hair just to avoid comparisons.”

Grafton isn’t a woman. But he does have a nice haircut and Mok says “he’s a great score for us”. And there’s no doubt he’ll be busy, with both Air New Zealand and Vodafone deciding to enter the building recently.

Here’s the official release:

With the arrival of new clients, Air New Zealand and Vodafone, DraftFCB has made a significant new hire in its creative department and a change to its structure.

Award-winning Creative Director Regan Grafton is joining DraftFCB as Joint Executive Creative Director. After eight years with DDB, Regan is ready for new challenges, having produced renowned campaigns such as Lotto’s “Wilson”, Steinlager’s “White Can”, Instant Kiwi’s “Get a Perm” and online brand nzgirl.

Regan will share Executive Creative Director (ECD) responsibilities with Tony Clewett, who has been Creative Director at DraftFCB for the last four years. Regan and Tony will report to current ECD James Mok, who will become Group ECD Australasia.

“We’ve always been very deliberate in the way we’ve managed our growth,” says James. “We’ve had an amazing team who have made an enormous contribution to our success in the last few years. It’s important that we have the right people and structures in place to ensure we continue to deliver the creatively effective work that has driven our success, and that of our clients.

“I’m really excited to have such a highly awarded creative leader in Regan joining us and working alongside Tony. Tony has led the agency to win Caples Golds, Axis Golds and to dominate the RSVPs for the last three years. As well as being super-talented, Regan’s an excellent cultural fit. They’ll make a great joint ECD team as they worked together many years ago early in their careers.”

Commenting on his appointment Regan said, “I’m really looking forward to my new role and am thrilled to be joining an agency that has doubled in size over the last four years.”

“My advertising philosophy is simple – to produce work that is loved and that truly connects with New Zealand. I feel a great natural fit with DraftFCB, which genuinely lives up to its moniker ‘The Change Agency’.”

As Group ECD Australasia, James Mok will be responsible for leading the on-going pursuit of creative excellence and talent development across New Zealand and Australia while the day-to-day management of DraftFCB’s creative product will be overseen by the creative leads in the Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne offices.


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