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Special launches in London with Havas’ Jennifer Black as Partner and CEO

Special becomes the first New Zealand advertising agency to launch a full-service office in the United Kingdom, appointing Jennifer Black as Partner and CEO.

Named Campaign’s ‘Global Creative Agency of the Year’ & ‘Global Independent Agency of the Year’ in 2021, the New Zealand founded independent creative group now has six offices globally, with London chosen as the hub for its European launch.

Jennifer Black, Managing Director of Havas London, will be Partner and CEO of Special London, joining a global team across Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, and Los Angeles. The London agency’s creative and strategic partners will be announced shortly.

Black, who was at Havas for four years, has also worked at Mother London and Fallon, and was previously Managing Director of Fabula. She was just named ‘Account Person of the Year ‘at Campaign’s recent Agency of the Year awards. 

Tony Bradbourne, Special’s Founder and CEO/CCO in New Zealand, says: “We are extremely excited to start our journey in London with such an incredible, kind and driven leader as Jen. We have a huge amount of respect and love for the strategic and creative thinking that London consistently produces. We hope to add to that in some small way, by bringing a fresh and ambitious model to clients in London.”

Jennifer Black.

Black adds: “Special has shown that its unique blend of creativity and strategy, generously imbued with positive New Zealand energy, works across borders. I am genuinely thrilled to be joining the Special family and I’m looking forward to bringing that energy into Europe through the new London office. I helped grow Havas into the creative agency that it is today and am excited to leave at this juncture and bring all that energy and thinking to the launch to Special.” 

Special London is on an active new business drive, but the new office provides a compelling opportunity for New Zealand businesses to drive global awareness and consideration. Special already works with the likes of NZTE, Tourism New Zealand, Emma Lewisham and Rockit Apples who place increasing importance on global scale and impact.

Bradbourne adds: “For decades Kiwi businesses have been exporting ‘brand New Zealand’ to the world stage, but there hasn’t been a New Zealand founded advertising network to help them on that journey.  It’s meant marketing teams here have had to hunt for remote creative partners in the US or the UK to grow.  Now, Special has a world-leading team based in New Zealand to work alongside these businesses and help them scale across Australia, the United States and Europe.”

Special’s clients include Uber Eats, Virgin, Tourism New Zealand, Smirnoff, Kiwibank and Red Bull. It has long punched above its weight in the global advertising community, winning a Cannes Grand Prix with its very first major campaign, created for internet service provider Orcon and featuring US rock singer Iggy Pop.

Other border-busting creativity includes work for Uber Eats. Special Sydney launched the ‘Tonight I’ll Be Eating’ platform in Australia four years ago and have since taken it to eight international markets, launching it in the US with celebrity pairings Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill. This year Special Los Angeles created the lauded Super Bowl spot ‘Uber Don’t Eats’ featuring Gwyneth Paltrow eating her own vagina-scented candle.

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