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Brandtech appoints Rachel Barnes as director of communications

The Brandtech Group has appointed Rachel Barnes, former marketing lead at Wolff Olins and UK editor of Campaign, as Director of Communications. 

The hire strengthens its global communications team as the group continues to cement and extend its leading position in generative AI for marketing. Barnes will build on Brandtech’s long-standing history in AI, which it has invested in since 2016, as well as focusing on its unique, marketing-leading generative AI marketing platform, Pencil. 

While there is a seemingly unlimited amount of industry talk and press announcements related to what companies might do in the future with generative AI, Brandtech is already working with major clients, such as Unilever, Bayer and Hotel Chocolat, creating innovative and effective AI-driven marketing. Brandtech owns the #1 gen AI marketing platform, Pencil, which was founded in 2018, and has created more than one million ads across 5,000 brands, powered by $1BN in media spend.

Barnes was previously at global brand consultancy Wolff Olins, where she was marketing and content director, helping to relaunch the company’s brand last year. Her comms career follows a shift from an 18-year stint in journalism during which she was UK editor of Campaign and editor of Marketing magazine. 

In her new role, Barnes will work closely with Brandtech Associate Partner Louise Jack, who leads Group comms, building a strategically coherent suite of content drawn from leaders across the group who are expert in generative AI and other technology, elevating storytelling and thought leadership. 

Rachel Barnes says: “Generative AI is going to create a tectonic disruption in marketing and advertising and The Brandtech Group is just about the only major global company that isn’t having to run around and scramble to pivot its business. The group was created in 2015 with a belief that you can do all marketing better, faster and cheaper using technology and with AI and machine-generated content as a core vertical. Those bets have now paid off and they are in a truly unique position today – it’s an incredible time to be joining the business and I’m excited to help them tell their story.”

Brandtech founder and CEO David Jones commented: “The famous quote ‘no-one built a reputation on what they said they were going to do’ is clearly not one that has been read very widely in the advertising industry. But all joking aside, while we are the clear market leaders when it comes to generative AI marketing, with advanced gen AI capabilities (we still have the only proven product in market that you can use today to create ads end-to-end and that has been used by over 5,000 brands to create 1MM ads since 2018), we have been lagging behind when it comes to talking about that. Rachel joining represents our desire to talk about and demonstrate what we are doing and having someone of her caliber and expertise join Louise’s team will be a huge asset for us.”

Louise Jack, Associate Partner at Brandtech, said: “When someone as talented and respected as Rachel comes on the market, you don’t hesitate, you move heaven and earth to get them. We are extremely lucky that she decided to join us, and at such an exciting time for the group and for marketing. Accelerating our gen AI content and storytelling is a top priority.” 

Barnes takes up her post immediately.