UPDATED – CB can confirm that Toby Talbot, group ECD of DDB New Zealand is set to join top London agency RKCR/Y&R as executive creative director – not to join DDB London as planned back in September.
Talbot will be replacing RKCR co-founder Damon Collins, who, together with CEO Richard Exon, left the agency in September to form a new start-up.
Talbot has been amongst the top three most awarded creative directors for the last eight years in Campaign Brief’s annual rankings and is ranked the number one ECD in the world over the past decade on bestadsontv.com.
Under his watch, DDB New Zealand has won Campaign Brief Agency of the Year three times in the past four years – last year sharing the honour with Colenso BBDO.
Says Mark Roalfe, chairman of RKCR/Y&R: “We scoured the globe for the very best creative talent and were really excited to find Toby. The standard of the work he has led at DDB is fantastic, but most of all Toby is a very charming and down to earth chap. Aside from his evident creative talent, he has an innate understanding of how to build ideas and departments that are completely media neutral. He’s very Rainey Kelly in all his attitudes and I’m really looking forward to working with him to grow RKCR to its next level.”
“DDB has been in an incredible agency to be a part of and boasts an incomparable network too” said Talbot. “I am proud of the work we do, the relationships we maintain with our clients and I am blessed with the best creative department in the region.
“We as an agency have come a very long way in the last five years. And with Andy Fackrell and Chris Schofield coming on board to spearhead the creative department, I know that we will maintain the trajectory we are on.
“[DDB Australia/NZ CEO] Marty ‘O Hallorhan has been really supportive of my desire to reconnect with my family in the coming year in the UK, but the fact is I need a role that keeps me in London. The role with DDB was destined to be a regional one. The role I have been offered will have me 100% based where I need to be for now.
“So I have decided to make a clean break and bow out with the agency in rude health. It’s a real wrench but it feels like the right thing to do.
“I will miss DDB just as I will miss New Zealand. Both feel very much home to me. To coin a certain US Governor, ‘I’ll be back’.”
Says DDB New Zealand CEO Sandy Moore: “We are sorry that Toby has decided not to take up the DDB London role as originally planned but we understand that being based permanently in London was most important to him and his family – and the DDB role was a regional one. We appreciate that Toby’s decision to move back to the UK has been led by his family needs.
“For four years Toby has led our creative department in developing terrific campaigns for our clients. One of the many things he’s also done is develop a creative department with tremendous firepower. Toby leaves the department in great shape for Andy Fackrell, who joins us as ECD next week, working with new creative director, Chris Schofield.
“We wish Toby the very best and look forward to seeing him when he finally returns to these shores.”