DDB Group Aotearoa poaches Google’s Matty Burton for group CCO role

DDB Group Aotearoa NZ has appointed Matty Burton as its first group chief creative officer. He joins from Google where he was the APAC region’s creative chief based in Sydney.

The new role will see Burton leading the creative output across the group’s four agencies in New Zealand, DDB, Track, Tribal and Mango.

Burton has two decades of industry experience, which has included founding Special Group’s Australian offices, leading TBWA in Australia and spending time at globally renowned Droga5 in New York. He has previously worked in New Zealand when he was creative group head at Saatchi & Saatchi NZ.

Matty Burton

Burton said: “The chance to lead the creative team within DDB Group, an agency group that is home to the market’s leading creative, digital, customer experience and PR agencies, is an incredibly exciting prospect.

“I am excited to be ‘coming home’ to an agency with creativity at its core. Working at Google as their APAC creative chief was an incredible experience and a career highlight but there’s a difference between working somewhere where creativity is one part of the process, versus an environment where creativity is infused at every step of the journey.”

Priya Patel

New group CEO, Priya Patel, said that he is exactly the right mix of creative firepower, innovation and leadership that the group has been in the market for.

“Matty’s diverse multidisciplinary experience as a creative leader is fairly unique and we believe that with his skills and the existing capability in our building, we’ll be unstoppable.”

“We’re so excited about his obvious talent in both the creative and innovation space, and the freshness of thinking he’ll bring to our work. Our ambition as a Group remains to drive growth for our client partners through exceptional creativity, and we believe we are uniquely placed to bring that to life across the total brand experience.”

As part of the announcement, executive creative director Gary Steele of DDB Aotearoa has been promoted to chief creative officer, and will work closely with Burton.

Steele said: “Creative people only want two things – to work in a fantastic place where creativity is part of the DNA and to work with talented people. I have been fortunate enough to have both of those here at DDB. Then you add in Matty, one of the most talented and humble people I have ever met. It can only get better and I am looking forward to all the great things we will do together.”

On Steele’s appointment, Patel added:“Gary has made an outstanding contribution over the past two years within DDB. He has been a driving force behind some of the agency’s most famous and innovative work. Most importantly, he is a wonderful human who deserves recognition.”

“With Gary and Matty at the helm of New Zealand’s largest creative department, supported by some of the market’s best multidisciplinary marketing talent, we believe DDB Group will continue to bring world class, end to end brand experience capability that drives local growth and gets global recognition.”


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