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NZ ad agency beats world industry players, winning accolades at swanky London awards

An Auckland company has been recognised at awards in London overnight by the prestigious UK advertising title Campaign.

Special Group ran a global Tourism New Zealand campaign in 12 markets Source: Supplied

The Auckland-based Special Group received the awards in London last night, after a spate of the top awards going to major agencies in the United States, UK, or Europe.

The group was named global creative agency of the year and independent agency of the year by the UK-based advertising industry lead. 

Last year the award was won by legendary American advertising agency Weiden+Kennedy; best known for their provocative work with Nike and controversial endorsement of Colin Kaepernick.

“The advertising industry loves awards,” says Tony Bradbourne the Co-Founder and CEO of Special Group. “But to win a global award of this scale and prestige, from such a revered and established institution, against some of the biggest advertising firms in the world, is certainly worth celebrating.”

“I am so thankful to the entire agency, our dedicated partners, and our brave clients – but most importantly, I’m proud of what this says about Kiwi creativity. For too long we have been dominated by international conglomerates, and now we’ve been able to unanimously prove that New Zealand creativity shines on the world stage – alongside other creative industries like film and our music.”

The Campaign Agency of the Year awards are judged by a panel of leading marketing and industry experts. In their summation, Campaign commented: “Special Group had an impressive year in 2020 on a number of fronts, despite the impact of Covid-19. It opened two new offices, one in Melbourne and one in Los Angeles, and won 40 new pieces of business including Uber Eats in North America and Canada.”

“In many ways Covid-19 helped us,” says Bradbourne. “We’ve been able to connect with clients across the globe because everyone now lives in the same places - Zoom, Teams, and Whatsapp. It’s not about where you are geographically based, it’s about how good your thinking and ideas are. And it appears that if you’re after the best advertising ideas in the world, you don’t need to look further afield than New Zealand.”