Special Makes European Move, Unveils London Office Plans With Havas’ Jennifer Black As CEO

Special Makes European Move, Unveils London Office Plans With Havas’ Jennifer Black As CEO

Independent creative group Special has announced it’s launching in Europe with a new London office.

Jennifer Black (pictured below), previous managing director of Havas London, will be partner and CEO of Special London, joining a global team across the group’s five other international offices in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles. The London agency’s creative and strategic partners will be announced soon.

Black, who was at Havas for four years, has also worked at Mother London and Fallon, and was previously founder and managing director of Fabula. During her time at Havas, Black led the agency to extraordinary growth, topped off with its Asda win in 2021, the biggest pitch of last year. She was named ‘Account Person of the Year’ at Campaign’s Agency of the Year awards this year.

Across New Zealand, Australia and the United States, Special works with blue-chip brands including Uber Eats, Virgin, Tourism New Zealand, Smirnoff, and Red Bull. The group has consistently punched above its weight in the global advertising community, winning a Cannes Grand Prix with its first major campaign for internet service provider Orcon, which starred Iggy Pop.

Other creative highlights include “Good Morning World” for Tourism New Zealand, which was recognised as one of the most effective campaigns in the world; and the ‘Tonight I’ll Be Eating’ platform for UberEats which is now running in eight international markets.

Special launched in Auckland in 2008, with a model designed to break down the silos between advertising agencies and design studios and a mission to create truly integrated and innovative business thinking. The Sydney office opened in 2014, Melbourne and Los Angeles in 2020 – where Special was named ‘Newcomer of the Year’ by AdAge just six months after opening – followed by Wellington in 2022.

Tony Bradbourne, Special’s founder and CEO/CCO in New Zealand, said: “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, CEO of Special London, added: “Special has shown that its unique blend of creativity and strategy, generously imbued with positive antipodean 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 launch Special.”

Lindsey Evans, partner and co-CEO at Special in Australia commented: “This is such an exciting moment for everyone Special. London gives us the opportunity to be able to work with brand owners in a truly global and modern way. Jen is a weapon and a properly ‘special’ human. And the talent she is attracting alongside her is truly world class. Can’t wait to see what’s possible. ”

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Jennifer Black Lindsey Evans Special Tony Bradbourne

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