Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA News Roundup: Imagination, Team ITG, The Sun and more

Global experience design company, Imagination, has announced the appointment of Maura Gaudio as Head of Business Development and Partnerships, The Americas. Joining at a period of growth for the business, Gaudio will work across both the New York and Detroit studios, taking over from her predecessor Chad Hines. Her role will be key in unifying the business offering across the North American region while fueling growth and exploring new business opportunities. Gaudio joins Imagination from experiential marketing agency Superfly, where she held the position of Vice President, Partnerships & Live Events, bringing with her over 12 years of extensive industry experience. Her impressive portfolio features collaborations with major global brands, such as Bose, Adidas, PWC, and Netflix. In her new role,  Gaudio will work closely with Sascha Uzzell, Managing Director, of Imagination New York, and Tim Stafford, Managing Director, of Imagination Detroit, as well as Imagination’s regional and global marketing teams, to develop the company’s national new business strategy. She will specifically focus on business development strategy and execution, partnerships, PR, marketing, and pitching, to bolster both existing and new client relations, while identifying new revenue growth opportunities for the agency.

Technology-led marketing activation business, Team ITG, has partnered with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK to manage retailer marketing, tactical communications and social media for its national brand advertising, along with its network of 96 Van Centres and authorised repairers, following a competitive pitch process. Having begun work in January 2024, Team ITG (part of the Inspired Thinking Group) has already taken on management of the brand’s social content, while also developing multichannel campaigns for Volkswagen’s Amarok and Approved Used offerings. Alongside dealer relationship management, the automotive brand sees huge potential in Team ITG’s state-of-the-art Capture Studios film and photography facilities – a single location with shoot capabilities ranging from a drive-in Infinity Cove studio to cutting-edge Virtual Production, and everything in between.

The Sun has announced the appointment of two Programmatic Sales Leads to The Sun’s commercial team. Alexander Craig is promoted from within The Sun commercial team, having previously held the position of Senior Sales Manager. He is joined by Laurence Saleh, who bolsters the team with his experience in programmatic sales at JCDecaux and Condé Nast. Craig and Saleh will be tasked with generating incremental revenues for The Sun. This will involve leveraging News UK’s first-party data platform Nucleus to introduce new clients to The Sun’s audiences and, through Nucleus’ pre-campaign insight, help maximise ROI for our brands. The premium programmatic leads will focus on new business and on clients in underrepresented ad categories across The Sun. They will also provide support and expertise to the wider Sun commercial team, consulting with advertisers as they continue to invest through direct programmatic channels in the premium web, supported by The Sun’s rich first-party data.

TalkTalk, the UK’s largest value for money connectivity provider, has teamed up with celebrity mum of three and TV personality Billie Shepherd to discuss the importance of reliable internet connectivity on household harmony. Billie shares her expert parenting tips for domestic bliss and reveals that her value-packed and reliable full fibre broadband is a ‘lifesaver’ at home. The collaboration comes as a new study commissioned by TalkTalk reveals that half of Brits (50%) believe the internet is the glue that keeps households happy and harmonious, while 35% of us are in agreement that we would rather have a reliable internet connection than a night in with our partner. More than three-quarters (76%) of British parents, including Billie and Greg Shepherd, agree that a high-speed internet is necessary in today’s digital-first world. Six out of 10 believe that a solid internet connection allows families to spend more time together and over half (57%) of parents expressed that a reliable, high-speed internet can improve the mood at home, reducing online related tantrums.

MarTech scaleup, Lunio, has been selected by Digitl, the consultancy and marketing technology service provider, as its strategic partner to protect the German marketing industry from invalid traffic (IVT). The strategic partnership comes at a time when German advertisers are increasingly losing control and visibility over their ad spend due to the rise of smart bidding and fully automated campaign types such as Google’s Performance Max. With audience targeting decisions increasingly determined by algorithms – and Lunio estimating 10 – 25% of paid media budgets across search, shopping, social and programmatic are routinely wasted on fake ad engagement – the collaboration will play an important role in ensuring data fed to automated systems comes from real users with genuine conversion potential. Lunio and Digitl have a shared vision to enable more advertisers in the region to eliminate fake and invalid traffic from their campaigns by surfacing actionable insights and automated blocking features. With advertisers set to waste over €69bn (£59bn) globally in 2024 on traffic generated by invalid activity such as bots and automated scripts, the partnership will accelerate Lunio’s efforts to stop invalid traffic in Europe’s second biggest market when it comes to advertising spending – only behind the UK.

Conga, a global leader in Revenue Lifecycle Management solutions, has announced the appointment of Andrew Bennett as chief marketing officer. In this role, Bennett will draw on his marketing expertise and product led-growth experience to lead Conga’s global brand and marketing strategy to drive marketing effectiveness and demand for Conga’s products and offerings. Prior to Conga, Bennett served in various roles at enterprise work management platform Smartsheet, building their digital marketing and demand generation function and then leading commercial sales before becoming CMO. As CMO of Smartsheet, he led the company’s brand, demand generation, product marketing and digital marketing teams through the company’s growth to over $1B in Annual Recurring Revenue. Before joining Smartsheet, Bennett was Vice President of Professional Services, Americas at Onyx Software Corporation. A successful entrepreneur, he also founded and served as president of Deneki Outdoors, an outdoor recreation brand, where he developed a passion for inbound marketing.

Mediatool, the Media Collaboration Platform, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Jean-Daniel Germain, known as JD, to the pivotal roles of France Country Manager and Global Luxury Lead. JD brings a wealth of experience from his distinguished career in the global communication industry.
With an impressive 14-year tenure at Dentsu, one of the world’s foremost communication groups, JD has consistently demonstrated strategic acumen and leadership. His most recent accomplishment was spearheading the growth of the Global Media Hub of dentsu and iProspect in Paris, transforming it from a single talent to a powerhouse of 50 global media makers. Under his guidance, the hub provided international media services to esteemed clients such as Kering, Estée Lauder Companies EMEA & Groupe SEB. As the Global Client President of iProspect, the Full Funnel Media agency of dentsu, JD played a pivotal role in the agency’s relaunch in 2020. His contributions to the global leadership team were instrumental in shaping iProspect’s success.