Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA Weekly News Roundup: the7stars, Hawk Platform, Hubble and more

the7stars, the independent media agency, has announced the appointment of Marc Bignell as Commercial Director. Reporting to Managing Partner Liam Mullins, Bignell will work alongside the7stars’ Head of Trading David Counsell, and be responsible for implementing innovative trading solutions that drive performance for advertisers. Bignell brings over 30 years of experience to his new role. Before joining GroupM he was Chief Commercial Officer at Miroma, where he oversaw a portfolio of media and technology companies. Prior to this he spent more than 20 years with Omnicom Media Group, most recently as Worldwide Chief Investment Officer, followed by a stretch at Yahoo as Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Bignell brings over 30 years of experience to his new role. Before joining GroupM he was Chief Commercial Officer at Miroma, where he oversaw a portfolio of media and technology companies. Prior to this he spent more than 20 years with Omnicom Media Group, most recently as Worldwide Chief Investment Officer, followed by a stretch at Yahoo as Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. 

Hawk Platform (formerly known as TabMo) has expanded its senior team with the appointment of Geoffrey Fossier as VP, marketing and communications. Fossier joins from European trading desk Adot, where as VP of marketing he developed and implemented the communication strategy and tools for the company’s cross-device offering, which included media and insights solutions. Other key roles include digital marketing director at news media group, Le Figaro and head of programmatic marketing at Webedia, a global media and technology operation focusing on leisure and entertainment.

What’s Possible Group-owned, Hubble, the agency that provides a single solution for international marketers working in centralised teams, has announced that it has won the media business for workspace scheduling experts, Condeco, across the US, UK and Europe. This win will see Hubble support Condeco as it launches its scheduling software – a smart, simple-to-use workspace booking platform that will transform the world of work. The campaign started with a soft launch in the US and will be extended to a larger launch in 2022. Targeting C-Suite decision-makers and employees of progressive knowledge-based companies wanting to invest in flexible working solutions, the campaign will launch across channels including social, connected TV, audio, and digital display. Hubble will kick-off this campaign with a 90-second film and smaller cutdowns; five display executions; and an audio ad for a ‘day in my flexible working life’ podcast hosted by experienced TV anchor, Juliet Mann, who specialises in business news and has worked for CNBC, TRT World, CNN, Sky News, LBC Radio and Reuters.

Following on from successful crowdfunding efforts, in which the plant-based brand raised more than a million pounds worth of investment, Perkier have chosen ROAST in their first agency appointment. ROAST will run the challenger brand’s Paid Media activity, boosting brand awareness and growing its retail presence. While initially focusing on UK markets, where Perkier sells on average one bar every ten seconds, international expansion is imminent. The partnership between ROAST and Perkier kicks off this month and is on-going.

Performance marketing agency Journey Further has appointed Debbie Capell as its Chief Operating Officer. Capell will be responsible for leading Journey Further’s operations in the UK and US to deliver against the company’s ambitious five-year growth plans. She will be joining the executive board to develop the agency’s operations vision and will be working closely with the senior team to build a world-class training and people function. Capell brings over 17 years’ experience in operations, working for the likes of Xerox, thebigword, Close Brothers and most recently, Solera.

MoEngage, the insights-led customer engagement platform, has announced that it has raised an additional $30M USD in funding, more than doubling the company’s previous valuation from its earlier Series C1 investment in July. This funding round was led by new investor Steadview Capital, with participation from the company’s existing investors Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital, and Matrix Partners. MoEngage continues to invest in AI, insights, and cross-channel marketing solutions to empower brands to gain greater intelligence and scale their campaigns with advanced optimization. Customers can easily analyze audience insights and then act on those insights to engage consumers with contextual communications in the moment, at every touchpoint across their lifecycle.

Agent3, the global end-to-end Account-Based Marketing (ABM) provider, has hired former Forrester VP, Principal Analyst, Alisa Groocock, as VP to strengthen its consultancy proposition and help drive marketing success for key global accounts. As a VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Groocock was responsible for helping hundreds of companies to build, execute and optimize their ABM strategies. As part of this, she authored groundbreaking models that accelerated the identification and use of buyer insights to design high-performing campaigns. Prior to Forrester, she spent 20+ years on the client-side in field marketing roles at HP, Cisco and Informatica, where she worked closely with Sales to execute key account programs.

Independent creative agency Impero has announced that it has been appointed by EO Charging (“EO”), the provider of charging solutions for electric vehicle (“EV”) fleets, as its lead creative agency. The appointment comes at an exciting time for EO as it prepares to ramp up its marketing activity for 2022 as part of a sustained growth drive (Brainlabs was appointed as its new media agency at the same time). It follows the business being ranked 27th in the Financial Times’ 2021 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies and its continued expansion into new markets in Europe and beyond, most recently the U.S.

M&C Saatchi has announced the appointment of Sophie Lewis, the award-winning strategist behind campaigns including Boots’ ‘Here come the girls’ and Sainsbury’s ‘Live well for less’, as Chief Strategy Officer. Lewis joins M&C Saatchi from dentsumcgarrybowen, where she was responsible for the overall strategic vision for the agency, leading new business and working on brands such as Amex, Halfords, and Heinz, a client she played an instrumental role in winning from BBH. She also held the additional role of EMEA Head of Strategy and Transformation, overseeing the agency’s strategy community across Europe. In her new role at M&C Saatchi, Lewis will partner with CEO, Camilla Kemp and Chief Creative Officer, Ben Golik to champion the strategic and creative output of the London agency. She has been tasked with driving and demonstrating creative effectiveness to deliver meaningful change.

GroupM U.K., WPP’s media investment group, has announced that Katie Grosvenor has been named as U.K. Chief Customer Engagement and Growth Officer, succeeding Paul Rowlinson who retired in November 2021. In her new role, Grosvenor will be responsible for leading the strategy and day-to-day management of GroupM U.K.’s Engagement & Growth squad. She has over 15 years’ experience in media and technology, at multinational organisations including MediaCom and Integral Ad Science. Currently Head of Sales, Northern Europe, at Integral Ad Science, Katie is responsible for ensuring advertisers and agencies maximise their investment technology through innovation, as well as championing the collective responsibility of the industry in sustainability and inclusion.

Landor & Fitch, the global brand transformation company, has announced the appointment of Jane Bloomfield as Global Chief Marketing Officer. Bloomfield will be responsible for developing innovative new business, marketing and communication strategies across the Landor & Fitch group. She will act as a strategic lead for business development teams, with an overall focus to drive new business opportunities as Landor & Fitch continues to expand both its offer and its geographical reach. With extensive experience in understanding consumers, brands and communications, Bloomfield has a unique sales, marketing and insights-driven background. Before joining Landor & Fitch’s management team, Bloomfield held successive leadership roles; most recently as Chief Growth Officer at Kantar UK.

Purplebricks has appointed the former O2 marketer, Ian Cafferky, as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Cafferky will be replacing Ben Carter who is moving on to take up a new position at Dunelm in the New Year. Cafferky is currently Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for SailGP – the adrenaline fuelled sailing Grand Prix which sees eight nations go head-to-head in challenges across the world. Prior to this, Cafferky was Director of Brand and Marcoms at O2 for five years where he achieved 12 consecutive quarters of growth. Cafferky was also Chief Brand and Commercial Officer at Manchester City, coinciding with Abu Dhabi’s investment in the team. In this role, Cafferky led the club’s move into multimedia, recasting content commissioning, social media vision, fan segmentation and CRM to drive bottom line growth.

Wavemaker has been appointed as media consultancy partner for Zwift, the at-home fitness company born from gaming. The agency won the account after a competitive pitch process. Wavemaker will support Zwift’s internal paid media team across a range of projects including Addressable TV, biddable media, audience science and strategic planning, working alongside long term agency of record SHIFT Active Media, whose remit remains unchanged, and adding global broadcast media insight and capability to support Zwift’s future growth plans. With Zwift’s global media operations based in the UK, Wavemaker will be running the business from their worldwide hub in London with a brief that covers core markets across North America, Europe and APAC.

On Saturday, December 11, Burger King in Poland is going for fries at McDonald’s, which is donating 1 pln from every serving sold to the Ronald McDonald Houses Foundation. The Burger King wants Mac to sell tons of fries. You can help too – you’ll get a free Whopper Junior as an incentive. Not only does Burger King dream of making this world a better place, but it also works for the cause. It engages across all divides, and there is a new great opportunity to do so. On the first and second weekend of December, McDonald’s is organizing a McHappy Day charity event. It will hold a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald Foundation. For every portion of fries purchased on those days, one polish zloty will be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses. The foundation supports the functioning of the homes, thanks to which parents can be by their children’s side when they struggle with illness. Currently, there are 377 of them all over the world and two in Poland – one at the University Children’s Hospital in Krakow and the other at the UCK WUM Children’s Clinical Hospital in Warsaw. To support the noble idea, Burger King decided to give up potential profits and encourage guests of its restaurants to support the McDonald’s fundraiser. On Saturday, December 11, in all its restaurants in Poland, Burger King organizes the action Helping Whopper Junior. Everyone who comes to the restaurant with fries and a receipt as proof of purchase at McDonald’s on that day will receive a free Whopper Junior. The author of the concept Burger King Helping Whopper Junior is agency 180heartbeats + JUNG v MATT.

London-based branding agency Lantern has developed a striking new identity for design studio PR specialist Red Setter. For more than ten years, PR agency Red Setter has been building the reputations of ambitious and pioneering design agencies the world over. The rebrand with a new logo, visual language and identity system are inspired by the rolling, scrolling, streaming pace of today’s news agenda.

Prostate Cancer UK and Sky Media have announced a festive extension of their partnership with a football pundit special Quizmas Cracker Christmas quiz. Together with former England stars Karen Carney, Jamie Carragher, Paul Merson and Micah Richards, the lively and upbeat quiz, fronted by Adam Smith, aims to normalise conversations around prostate cancer with sports fans. This festive edition to the year-long partnership further demonstrates the positive way Prostate Cancer UK is using its sports ties to engage with men in conversations about their health in a way they feel comfortable with. Bridging entertaining content and Christmas celebrations to dive into a dialogue around men’s health which is often avoided.  

Introducing Ada by Dept, a proprietary marketing technology platform designed to help brands build and accelerate their digital businesses. Creativity, technology, data and people are the foundations of digital success, and Ada by Dept combines all four with proprietary technology and third-party integrations that serve thousands of campaigns today. Ada by Dept was built with the experience of over a thousand of Dept’s best marketers to focus on helping brands to automate large-scale digital operations and repetitive tasks in order to create hyper-personalized ads at scale, discover insights by combining data sources for better audience research, targeting and decision making across all digital touchpoints, and accelerate growth through AI and machine learning that makes campaigns smarter and faster. Ada by Dept uses data from billions of ads, served in hundreds of countries, across thousands of campaigns, to improve search, social, TV, programmatic, and marketplace results and help brands make better informed, smarter decisions faster. Rituals, the leading European cosmetics chain, has increased online sales by 186% by leveraging data and martech solutions from the Dept platform. Other brands that are using proprietary solutions from Dept include Philips, JustEat Takeaway, Ralph Lauren, AXA, Douglas, Nivea, and Dextro Energy.

Immersive experience studio, Pixel Artworks, has created a visual language to bring to life the opening sequence at the launch of Round 3 & Final Round of the UCI Track Champions League live sporting event at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this weekend just past. The light sequence energised over 6,000 fans at the Lee Valley Velopark, and entertained over 2 million via broadcast on both Friday and Saturday. As cycling’s popularity increased following the Olympics and the pandemic, Great Big Events as the appointed Sport Presentation supplier have used their in-depth experience of track cycling to continue to bridge the gap between sport and fan engagement when watching it live. Great Big Events appointed Pixel Artworks to support with the new vision for the launch by building suspense and excitement ahead of the cyclists entering the track which includes; World Champions and Olympics Champions such as Emma Hinze, Harrie Lavreysen and Katie Archibald. The opening sequence was designed to pique’s the audience interest and increase engagement. The new UCI series will be entrusted to Global Cycling Network (GCN), in collaboration with Eurosport’s dedicated event promotion division, Discovery Events. The event will also be livestreamed on Eurosport for fans who can’t be there in person.

Be the Best Communications has appointed renowned data and political journalist David Ottewell as Head of Communications, Data and Insight. Ottewell joins Be The Best Communications from the New Statesman Media Group where he was Head of Data Journalism, creating the group’s data journalism content strategy and workflow and playing a key role in the delivery of new news websites to cover global foreign investment, energy and infrastructure, technology, cities and urban issues, and capital flow. Prior to that Ottewell was Head of Data Journalism at Reach Plc, where he created a team that delivered an average of more than 100 national and regional front-page stories a year, as well as some of the company’s best-performing content online.

New research from Nextdoor, the neighbourhood network, has revealed 78% of the UK are at risk of not seeing Santa this year with almost half (47%) not having a dedicated Santa Claus within its community at all. Those hardest hit are people residing in Newcastle (57%), Cardiff (56%) and Liverpool (53%). To combat this, Nextdoor is training 100 volunteers from across the country in its first ever Santa‘s Helper School. With nearly a third (31%) of people confirming they would be disappointed to miss a visit from Father Christmas this year, Nextdoor is working with experts[1] to train the volunteers via a series of virtual and in person training sessions. Each Santa’s helper will be put through their paces to learn how to get into the spirit of Christmas and help spread festive cheer across the UK whether that be visiting families in their neighbourhoods or surprising loved ones in community centres or village halls.

Berlin-based live shopping startup LIVEBUY has announced the successful closing of a $5.6 million seed funding round. The round is led by RTP Global and is further supported by other renowned business angels, including Scott Chacon (Github Co-Founder), Mavericks Founders and former Sony Music CEO Philip Ginthör. LIVEBUY’s funds will be used to further develop the fledgling start-up’s software offering, expand the scope of the services it offers to customers, and for expansion across other European markets.

Seedtag has announced a collaboration with Xandr, to create a new contextual marketplace. This collaboration will provide advertisers access to Seedtag’s contextual AI solution, LIZ©, via curated, multi-seller deal, available through Xandr Curate. Seedtag’s contextual marketplace will serve as the channel for advertisers to access and utilise its contextual AI capabilities. In order for this data to become more widely available, Xandr’s end-to-end platform will be able to offer third parties access on notice to unique contextual abilities. Seedtag will be able to contextualize any publisher in the Xandr network to increase the inventory of the contextual marketplace, seamlessly offering its contextual technology, LIZ©, to a broader user base at a measurable scale. This new partnership is significant for advertisers, providing a proven way to use contextual advertising based on Seedtag’s proprietary contextual AI technology, LIZ©, at a crucial time as third-party cookies and identifiers are phased out and deprecated. In turn, this will allow brands to target the most relevant audiences while respecting users’ privacy and providing the highest level of brand safety.

Napa Valley’s legendary Robert Mondavi Winery will launch a first-of-its-kind partnership with French luxury porcelain house Bernardaud. Looking to revolutionise the world of wine collecting and authentication through NFT technology, this is a bold first step as the winery looks to cement its position as Napa Valley’s preeminent luxury winery. Offered exclusively through generative art non-fungible tokens (NFTs), each bottle is a unique and collectible piece of art. These tokens also act as a “key” to unlock redemption of the wine bottles, exclusive winery experiences and insider access to future offerings. Furthermore, inspired by the porcelain bottles and wine blends and driven by an autonomous system in tandem with the artist’s creative code, generative artist Clay Heaton will produce 1,966 original works of digital art created at the moment of purchase. The NFTs were developed in strategic partnership with VaynerNFT, a pioneering entity under VaynerX holding company, founded by serial entrepreneur and chairman Gary Vaynerchuk.

Peach have announced a platform integration with, recently acquired by Adobe for $1.275bn, making it even faster to create and collaborate from post-production to ad distribution, all in the cloud. The combination of these two platforms helps customers connect the creative and ad distribution workflows. By allowing movement of assets directly from into Peach, the process enables a seamless and efficient asset journey, helping to avoid mistakes and save a great deal of time, with no need for file download and upload, no email chains and no insecure links. The new integration will allow customers to simply ‘grab’ approved master files in and transfer them directly to Peach, making the process a lot faster, safer and more efficient. Another key benefit to this technical integration is the ability to bring in different industry players such as agencies, production, brands, and media owners to collaborate – making communication and flow easier and faster.

Shopmium, the supermarket cashback app, which enables major FMCG brands to reach more than 10% of UK households, has unveiled its new brand identity as it celebrates five years in the UK market. Its enhanced app offers a slick new user experience and will make it easier than ever for brands such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Britvic, Arla and Ferrero to reach consumers with relevant offers in their local stores and online. Shopmium’s rebrand and user experience is the result of months of studying consumer trends and behaviours, as well as the changing media landscape for FMCG brands. Its enhanced app offers superior ease of use for shoppers, as well as the best ROI potential for brands. Featuring a sleek new display and navigation system, the app highlights the most relevant products to consumers based on their previous purchasing habits. It uses enriched brand creatives for extra product appeal with core information about each product, including consumer ratings and reviews, immediately visible to the consumer, thus driving greater brand discovery and engagement than ever before.