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Toby Talbot

Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand

Toby Talbot


Toby studied Graphic Design at Chelsea School of Art in London in the late 80's. He was a truly terrible designer but an okay writer so did a D&AD Advertising 'Failures' course with Dave Trott and joined the industry just as the recession hit. He worked at a bunch of small agencies that no longer exist. Disillusioned by the industry in London (McCann London being the real low point) he fled to New Zealand where his career took off.

He joined Colenso BBDO in 1996 and over the course of the next eight years the agency went from nowhere to a serious contender in the Gunn Report. Countless Agency of the Year titles and multiple Lions later, Toby joined Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland as creative director. Another transformation in the agency's fortunes followed, more Agency of the Year titles and more shiny Lions.

Two years later Toby joined DDB New Zealand as group ECD. He took the agency from a respectable third to number 1 in New Zealand, garnering 4 out of 5 Campaign Brief Agency of the Year titles between 2007 and 2011. He was Campaign Asia Creative of the Year in 2011. Talbot's extracurricular activities at the time included sitting on DDB's Global Creative Board and being founder and chair of DDB Asia Pacific Creative Council's 'Bullseye', driving the quality of work of 21 offices across 14 countries in the region. In that time, DDB Asia Pacific won Spikes Network (and NZ Agency of the Year) and Adfest Network of the Year two years running.

In 2012, Toby returned to the UK for family reasons and was ECD of RKCR Y&R London on the BBC business, before returning to New Zealand a year later for a brief spell as CCO of Whybin TBWA Auckland.

Toby returned to the DDB fold in July 2014 as chief creative officer of the Sydney office. He is a passionate believer in integrated creative departments where lines are blurred and generalists involve themselves in the co-creation of one idea together. The kind of work Toby loves to do is anything from big budget, big brand ideas that explode across all touchpoints to sticking a bottle of Big Mac sauce on eBay for $10 and watching it get 2.1 billion media impressions in two days.

In July 2016 Toby moved to the managing partner role at Assignment Group in New Zealand. He departed for a new phase of his career in February, 2017.

In April 2017 he was lured to the chief creative officer role at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand.

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