Special taps Clemenger BBDO’s Ryan Fitzgerald as Melbourne ECD

Independent creative agency Special Australia has selected Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s Ryan Fitzgerald to take on the newly created role of executive creative director for the agency’s Melbourne office.

Fitzgerald has vast experience in creative roles, most recently as joint ECD at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. He was appointed to the role alongside his Droga5 colleague Jim Curtis in March 2020. The pair is charged with heading up Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s creative output following the departure of former CCO Stephen de Wolf.

Previously, Fitzgerald spent five year at Droga5 New York, where where he was responsible for a raft of multi award winning work. Some of his most notable campaigns include selling Australia to the world under the guise of a Crocodile Dundee reboot for Tourism Australia, creating a documentary with Gotham Chopra and Steph Curry for Under Armour, helping establish Earth’s Black Box in aid of climate change.

Fitzgerald work has been highly awarded, recognised by every major award show around the world, including a Titanium at Cannes, and the first-ever Logie for Most Popular Television Commercial.

The new appointment is off the back of significant expansion for the agency, with a number of new business wins including ANZ bank, Bonds and Netflix. As Special’s client base has grown, it has expanded its creative offering in Melbourne, with Fitzgerald joining a growing Melbourne leadership team. In the new role, Fitzgerald will have the opportunity to help the Melbourne office to reach its full potential, whilst also adding his creative firepower to the agency’s national offering.

Julian Schreiber, partner and CCO at Special said: “There’s no doubt this is a significant moment in the history of Special Australia. Ryan’s exactly what we hope for in a creative leader. A rare talent who’s innately driven to make great work, believes an agency is the ultimate creative project to work on and is also just a really good human who cares about the people he works with.”

Of his appointment, Fitzgerald said: “World class humans doing world class work—It’s pretty simple really. Add in the opportunity to sculpt the next phase of this impressive collective with someone of Bec’s smarts and creative nous and it makes for an opportunity that I could not be more excited about.”

Tom Martin, partner and CCO added: “We’ve known Ryan for a long time and it’s always been our hope that we would have the chance to work with him again. When this moment arose and we sat down together and really talked about what we believe makes not just great work but a great agency we knew we had to make this happen.”

Rebecca Stambanis, partner & CSO, added: “Ryan is the partner in crime I’ve been waiting for. He’s not only going to be the standard that everyone strives for creatively, but he has a keen business acumen and strategic mind that will be invaluable in helping shape where we go next. I can’t wait to get started with him on setting the course of how our Melbourne office can keep expanding and flourishing.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.