In a major top-level management change, Whybin\TBWA New Zealand today announced the appointments of Todd McLeay as Chief Executive Officer and Toby Talbot as Chief Creative Officer.
Commenting on the two key appointments, Keith Smith, TBWA President – International, said: “I am delighted that we have attracted two outstanding and proven performers. It’s a very exciting time for us and with Todd and Toby on board, we are well positioned to take our business to the next level in New Zealand.” Smith added, “This unique partnership is a blueprint for a new order of how we run our agencies in this rapidly changing world.”
Todd McLeay joins Whybin\TBWA following a successful career in running marketing and media organizations. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer of APN New Zealand where he was responsible for all APN’s local publishing and digital business, including the New Zealand Herald. Prior to that, he was CEO of NZ Lotteries.
Scott Whybin, Founder and Chairman of Whybin\TBWA Group, said: “McLeay has a reputation as one of the most customer-centric business leaders in New Zealand and has an excellent track record of growing businesses with creative marketing strategies.”
Critically, Talbot and McLeay have worked together before. “When I was CEO of Lotteries I worked very closely with Toby who was Executive Creative Director at DDB,” said McLeay. “Not only did we produce some of the country’s most loved advertising, but we grew the business – one of New Zealand’s largest consumer brands – in a very significant way.That’s the combination of creative and commercial success we want to bring to TBWA’s clients.”
Ending months of speculation about Talbot in what can only be described as a creative coup for Whybin\TBWA, the multi-award winning creative director returns to Auckland from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R in London, wherehe was Executive Creative Director. He is responsible for some of New Zealand’s most iconic campaigns including work for brands such as SKY TV, NZ Lotteries and Steinlager. Talbot won Campaign Asia-Pacific’s 2011 ‘Australia / New Zealand Creative of the Year’ and was responsible for DDB’s numerous ‘Agency of the Year’ titles, including Campaign Brief’s ‘New Zealand Agency of the Year’ for the last three consecutive years – a feat unsurpassed by any New Zealand agency.
“Toby is a world-renowned creative leader,” commented John Hunt, TBWA’s Worldwide Creative Director. “He’s been a top ranked ECD in the world for the past decade. His personal award tally is scattered across every festival. He totally transformed DDB in Auckland, and I know he has ambitious plans for Whybin\TBWA. I think Toby and Todd are going to be a unique, winning combination.”
“Being ECD of a greatLondon agency and working alongside people of the calibre of Mark Roalfe on brands like the BBC has been an incredible experience,” Talbot said. “But the truth is,New Zealand has had a strong gravitational pull all year for my family. The prospect of joining Whybin\TBWA in partnership with Todd was just too good an opportunity to pass up. I’ve always admired Scott Whybin, David Walden and Andy Blood, and the operation and culture they’ve created around the impressive list of clients they work with.”
David Walden will assist McLeay any way he can in the handover.“Toby and I look forward to tapping into Devo’s vast knowledge in the first months. He’s a legend in New Zealand advertising. We can learn a lot from him,” added McLeay.Meanwhile, Andy Blood will step down as Executive Creative Director and help Talbot transition into his new role.
“2012 was a fantastic year for the agency – we launched our biggest campaign ever for Tourism New Zealand and helped our long-time client 2degrees to the one million customer landmark. I hope 2013 is even more successful and I think it’s brilliant that Toby will be part of that,” said Blood. “I decided last year that I wanted to move on. To start afresh and explore new opportunities.”
“Andy has been with us for almost nine years and has contributed enormously to our strong growth and creative reputation,” said Whybin. “Filling Andy’s shoes was a near impossible task so we are thrilled that Toby, who has an impeccable creative reputation and truly understands the New Zealand market, will be joining us.”
“I’m extremely proud of the group we’ve built here in New Zealand since Scott and I started the company in 1997,” said Walden. “Whybin/TBWA’s continued success is important to me and I know the agency will be in great hands with Toby and Todd”.