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David Nobay

Creative Chairman / Droga 5, Australia

 

David (Nobby) Nobay fell into advertising by accident. A misread prospectus diverted his fine arts career as a painter into an advertising degree – study that was to be derailed by a job offer into a trajectory from which Nobay has never looked back.           

Hired by Ogilvy Direct at 19 under DM guru Drayton Bird, the aspiring artist turned copywriter was promoted at 20 to Group Head and subsequently launched a colourful 25 – year career as a creative director in Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco, Melbourne and Sydney.           

At 27 years of age he established his first agency, Wells Nobay McDowall in Melbourne, which went on to become one of the most awarded Australian integrated agencies of the 1990s.           

Relocating to New York in 2000 to join an all‐new new Bozell team as Deputy ECD, alongside Tony Granger, he was at that time ranked in Archive Magazine’s ‘Top Ten Most Published Copywriter’s of the last millennium. In 2003, Nobay returned to Australia as Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney. With Nobby at the helm, Saatchi’s was ranked Agency of the Year for an unprecedented three years in a row. In 2010, the agency was also awarded the accolade of ‘Australian Agency of the Decade’ by Campaign Brief Magazine.           

Ranked as the most awarded Creative Director in Australasia, Nobay had a heavy slew of Cannes Lions, D&AD, Clio and various industry awards at his belt. He sat on the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Board until 2007 until he was invited by David Droga to launch Droga5, Sydney.

Officially opening in 2008, Droga5 Sydney, under Nobay’s stewardship, soon cut its own swathe and was named ‘Agency of the Year’ by B&T Magazine in 2009.

In 2010, he was the only Australian‐based inclusion in Ad Age’s ‘Top 50 Creative Thinkers Worldwide’.           

As one of Australasia’s most awarded creatives Nobay has been recognized by all major international shows including Cannes Lions, D&AD, Clio and The One Show. In 2012 he appeared in AdNews’ ‘Power 50 The Powerbrokers in Australian Advertising’ and Encore Magazine’s ‘E-List – Most Powerful Media and Entertainment Players’.

He has judged most international accolades, sitting on juries from London to Dubai, South Africa, and the US. He is a three‐time Cannes judge (including sitting on the Titanium Jury) has led two D&AD juries, Chair of ADC, London Festivals, Dubai Lynx, Young Guns and Australian AWARD and recently Chair at the 34th Annual Loerie Awards.

Amongst other personal projects he has: recently finalised a full length play Moving Parts; is working on a short film script, developing a TV documentary pilot and is well in to the final stages of writing his first book, The Idea Killers.

Nobay is well known for an attitude, a lunch, an idea and polarising opinions. He is also known for the wise pearl that is: Find your voice early – and use it.           

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