Saatchi & Saatchi Australia's Damon Stapleton set for chief creative officer role at DDB New Zealand; Shane Bradnick retains ECD role

damon stapleton-web.jpgCB can reveal that Saatchi & Saatchi Australia ECD Damon Stapleton, whose impending departure was announced yesterday, is set to take the chief creative officer role at DDB New Zealand - effective July 1 - filling the void left after the transfer of Andy Fackrell to the DDB regional role back in December last year.

Shane Bradnick, who joined DDB New Zealand from BMF Sydney in January 2013, retains his role as executive creative director.

Stapleton and Bradnick started their careers together in South Africa at TBWA\Gavin Reddy - Stapleton, who was born in Australia, was CD, while Bradnick, who was born in South Africa, was an art director (interestingly, joining from DDB South Africa).
Stapleton is one of the world's most awarded creatives, recognised for leading the Trillion Dollar Campaign for The Zimbabwean newspaper. He has won over 100 international awards including a Cannes Grand Prix, a Grand Clio, an ADC Black Cube, a D&AD Black Pencil and took first place on the All Guns Blazing list in the Gunn Report.

He was responsible for leading the successful Adidas campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, which sold over a million football jerseys. Creativity magazine in America and Big Won Report in the UK have ranked Stapleton in the top 10 ECDs globally.

Justin Mowday, CEO DDB New Zealand, says he is delighted to have Stapleton join the agency: "He's such a phenomenal talent and his work extends past epic TV spots and delves into experiential, activation and digital. Damon knows how to produce world-class work that can't be ignored. He's going to be a very exciting leader of our creative product.

"We've also been on the search for the best possible ECD and have realised he's already here in Shane, so we're excited to confirm him as our permanent ECD. Damon and Shane are both modern thinkers and together they will be a true creative force."

Stapleton built his reputation over more than 14 years working as an ECD in Africa and Australia at TBWA Gavin Reddy, TBWA Hunt Lascaris and most recently at Saatchi and Saatchi Australia, and has worked on brands as diverse as Heineken, Nissan, BMW, Adidas, Jameson, Toyota and Cadbury.

Says Stapleton: "I am incredibly excited to be asked to lead such a great agency and I am really looking forward to working with Shane again. Together, I know we will make some pretty special secret sauce."

Marty O'Halloran, chairman and CEO DDB Group Australia and New Zealand, says Damon's hire is another example of DDB investing in the best talent across the region: "His experience is second-to-none and I'm looking forward to seeing that correlate into results for our clients."

ShaneBradnick.jpgECD Shane Bradnick (left), who has known Stapleton for over 16 years, says he is an inspirational person to be around with a brilliant, creative mind: "It's great to be reuniting with Damon. I knew him before we were in advertising, I've known him whilst in advertising and if there is life after advertising, I really hope to know him then too. He's possibly one of the funniest men ever to win a D&AD Black Pencil and I look forward to us doing some great work together."

A man of many talents, Stapleton is not only one of the world's most awarded creative directors but has dabbled in stand-up comedy, is an experienced photographer and photojournalist, and plays husband and father to two after hours.

26 Comments

Ha said:

The previous press release stated Damon was leaving to pursue a new overseas opportunity. The only move more underwhelming than moving across the ditch would be taking a job in Tasmania.

@He said:

Seriously? The work in NZ shits over the work in Oz...

Good said:

Hear, hear!

Jeneal said:

Holy shit it's David Bell.

Pete said:

Massive hire. Damon's damn good and a bloody good man with it.

Game On said:

Clients love Damon. Staff love Damon. And his work is world-class.
Watch out Colenso.

James said:

Congrats DDB, the two Sarfies will be great.

In response to 'Ha' said:

DDB Auckland has a higher standard of creative output then pretty much any agency here in Australia. Reasonable size of billings as well. Great hire. Good move.

who gets the office said:

Seriously, who gets the office?

Maria said:

Bloody hell that's a big move. Great hire. Colenso should be nervous.

Used to be said:

Maybe DDB's output was better but certainly not anymore. Colenso, Draft and Clems Wellington are award light years ahead in recent/ current times. And, c'mon as if the work out of NZ is better than what Clems Melbourne produces. 'Dumb Ways to Die', the most awarded ad of all time was from Australian as well wasn't it? NZ does get some stuff away but it's mainly scam.

Long overdue said:

Glad to hear that DDB is bringing in someone for a rebuild. If you looked at the list of talent that's walked out of that place in the last couple of years... Mismanaged for too long. Well done.

Nah said:

The days of NZ work being better than Oz are over. Y'all are kidding yourselves.

Sad said:

While they're PR'ing hiring this guy, they are slyly making others in the creative department redundant

Two Horse Race said:

It's been a ddb/Colenso fest for some time. Other agencies may have popped up and down, but these two own the marketplace. Damon may well tip the balance of power, he's damned good.

@Nah said:

We'll see :)

@Sad said:

Such is the nature of business worldwide.

@Sad said:

Question is, are there making redundancies due to financial issues or just clearing out the under-performing?

Lets face it it might be time for some new blood there.

Old Blood more like said:

It hardly needs new blood. Only about 5 creatives left who have been their more than three years.

@old blood said:

Sorry when I said time for new blood, what I meant to acknowledge was the fact that the new blood they have needs change.

But I hear it's only one or two being let go after they let p and j go late last year

Transfusion... said:

There was a time not long ago that DDB was stacked. Just off the top of my head this is the list of talent that's left the Creative Department at DDB NZ, in the last year:

Andy Fackrell - now regional CD
Regan Grafton - now ECD
Steve Kane - now MD
Aaron Goldring - Global Digital CD
Lisa and Jono - now CDs
Pete and Jay - now CDs
Gav - now CD

I know turnover is normal in this game... But, imagine if any other agency in town lost it's top ten creatives.

Good luck Damon.

Maria said:

Congratulations Damon and DDB. You'd be hard pressed to find a better ECD, better leader and better guy than Damon.

@Maria said:

Hard pressed? Are you joking? You only have to look around NZ at Regan, Toby, Wortho, Levi before he left NZ to find an ECD whose reels eclipse these guys at DDB. But it is always nice to see mates continue to sort each other out.

The truth said:

Let's see here
Andy F - reassigned within the DDB office to allow Damon in. Still working for DDB NZ on projects like telecom

Regan - left over two years ago.

Steve - a pr man moved on.

Jono and Lisa - promoted ahead of time.

Pete and Jay - let go. If DDB viewed them as must keeps they would still be there

Aaron - big loss but replaced by a great Digitsl CD in Mr Kerr

Gav - done his time. You can't keep people at one agency forever.

Bet the mod won't post this but it's 100% the truth

@The Truth said:

Spot on.

Mr 100% said:

Awesome hire.

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