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Young Kiwi Creative Selected to Judge World's Best

For Immediate Release

Young Kiwi Creative Selected to Judge World's Best at D&AD Awards in London

Wednesday, 4 October 2006: Karen Maurice O'Leary, just two year's out of completing her Axis Ad School course and a rising creative star at advertising agency TBWA\Whybin, has been invited to judge at next year's D&AD (Design and Art Direction) awards in London. A D&AD award is arguably the world's most sought after advertising accolade.

O'Leary (29) is already a multiple award winner for work she has produced in partnership with her creative colleague Verity Butt. She has been an integral part of successful TBWA\Whybin campaigns such as 'Be the Ball' for adidas and 'Failed Messages' for Multiple Sclerosis Society, which have both received international accolades.

"TBWA\Whybin is an agency that encourages input from everyone, and values that input accordingly. Being mentored by TBWA\Whybin Group CD Andy Blood has helped my development enormously, as it has for all our creatives, and that development has culminated in the invitation to be a judge at D&AD," she says.

"The thought of witnessing the sheer volume of excellence produced by the advertising world's creative community and being part of the judging process at D&AD gives me goose-bumps, so I'm both excited and thankful," she adds.

The D&AD competition receives more submissions than any other advertising competition in the world (over 35,000) and yet bestows the fewest number of awards. TBWA\Whybin's ground breaking outdoor media campaign for adidas, known as 'Be the Ball', picked up a 'Silver Pencil' in May earlier this year, the only New Zealand agency to have received such an award.

O'Leary says that working at TBWA\Whybin has been the perfect start for her career, and that working in tandem with Butt on the TBWA\ 'Young Bloods' scheme this year (a mentoring scheme designed to foster young talent throughout the TBWA\ global network) has been an ideal environment to develop her skills. Group CD Andy Blood is equally enthusiastic about the value derived from the 'Young Bloods' scheme.

"As an agency we strive to grow our talent from within, and Karen's meteoric rise to the top of the judging tree is clear evidence of that - we're thrilled for her and what this means for the value attached to her creative judgment and insights," he says.


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