Growing up in an Australian ski resort, David couldn’t imagine anything better than touring the world as a ski instructor. Ironically, it was his imagination that eventually took him abroad, not his skis.
David launched his career by winning top student honors at the Australian Writers and Art Directors School.
At 22, he became a Partner and Executive Creative Director of OMON Sydney. Over the next five years, OMON won Australian Agency of the Year twice and Ad of the Year four times.
In 1996, David moved to Singapore to become Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore and Regional Creative Director of Saatchi Asia.
By 1998, Media Marketing named Saatchi Asia Regional Network of the Year and Advertising Age named the Singapore office International Agency of the Year.
At 29, David was promoted to Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi London.
In 2002, Saatchi & Saatchi London won Agency of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and both Advertising Age and Adweek named Saatchi Agency of the Year.
In 2003, another challenge came knocking, and David headed to New York City as the first-ever Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of the Publicis Network. In less than two years, Publicis enjoyed a very public creative and new-business renaissance around the world.
However, tired of growing other people’s companies, David decided to start his own agency.
In 2006, Droga5 was launched in New York City.
To date, Droga5 has been named Agency of the Year 13 times and is the only agency to be named in Advertising Age’s A-List over eight consecutive years. In 2013 and 2017, the agency was named one of Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies.
Along the way, David has also received countless personal accolades. To date, he is the single-most-awarded creative at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the youngest person ever inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and one of the youngest members of the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement. He has been inducted into the Australian Writers and Art Directors’ Hall of Fame and awarded one of the Andy Awards’ inaugural Bravery Awards. Asian Media and Marketing, Campaign Brief Asia and AdNews have each included David in their Halls of Fame.
Esquire magazine has featured David in its annual Best and Brightest issue three times, and Creative magazine named him Australian Creative Person of the Decade. In 2012, he was named Global Australian of the Year by the Australian Advance Committee and honored by the American Australian Association and G’Day USA. In 2017, Adweek named David one of the top 100 most influential leaders in marketing, media and technology for the third year in a row. That same year, David received the Cannes Lions’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lion of St. Mark, and was the youngest person ever to receive the honor.
David sits on the board of the New Museum, Endeavor, New York Public Radio, New York’s Public Theater and the Facebook Creative Council.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and four children.
Beyond his family and building Droga5, David‘s favorite topics are the arts, the environment, all sports and anything Australian.