Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Talent Tracker: Adform, Iris Worldwide, M&C Saatchi and more

Adform, the most powerful and safe media buying platform built for the game changers, has announced the strategic appointments of Gary Humphreys and Martin Roberts as Sales Directors. The move marks a giant leap in Adform’s mission to advance the UK advertising technology landscape, with a special focus on Manchester and the vibrant fast-growing Northern market. Humphreys and Roberts, who bring with them valuable experience from Microsoft Advertising and Dentsu, respectively will be pivotal in building on Adform’s sharp trajectory of growth in the UK. They will forge strategic partnerships with brands across Northern England and promote the game-changing capabilities of Adform’s integrated ad platform: FLOW. This includes building awareness of the latest product developments for uncompromising ad spend performance. Humphreys is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in online media, advertising, and digital marketing. As the Client Partner Lead for the UK & Israel for Microsoft Advertising, he has an impressive track record steering strategic growth for renowned clients like bet365, Paddy Power/Betfair, William Hill, Entain Group,, and others. Roberts joins Adform after nine years at Dentsu, where he was Head of Media & Data Partnerships for Agency Trading Desk Amnet before moving into a Commercial Role responsible for all digital investment in North Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, and Edinburgh. He also served as the Head of Programmatic, UK for Dentsu, successfully managing programmatic and biddable teams advertising operations for the UK market across iProspect, Carat, and Dentsu X.

Iris Worldwide, the global creative network, has announced a trio of senior appointments as it looks to bolster its health offering for clients. The agency has hired Avril Furness as Creative Director, Marie Little as Managing Director, Health, and Harriet Masters as Project Director. Furness was most recently Creative Director at McCann Health, where she oversaw Teva’s Digihaler launch in the UK and Europe, as well as GlaxoSmithKline’s global vaccine account, amongst others. Her work on the Tear Couture campaign for Acid Survivors Trust International picked up six gold Creative Circle Awards last year. In her new role as Creative Director at Iris, Furness will lead the health creative team to deliver compelling, award-winning work, underpinned by data and insights. With 26 years in health and marketing roles, Little was most recently Group Commercial Head for Resonant Group, a group of agencies specialising in health PR, medical communications and patient engagement, where she was responsible for creating and overseeing the implementation of the group’s sales and marketing strategy. In her new position as Managing Director, Health at Iris, Little will lead and develop the health offering, managing its five-strong leadership team. She will oversee existing clients including Alcon and Convatec, as well as focussing on new business. Masters joins Iris from VCCP Health, where she was a Project Director, responsible for growing the creative production department, and refining and optimising the agency’s processes. During five years there, she was involved in multiple successful campaigns, including work for Teva and Edwards Lifesciences, which picked up three Cannes Lions. As Project Director at Iris, Masters will lead the production team for the health offering, overseeing delivery and directing all stages of the studio process to deliver the best work possible for clients.

M&C Saatchi is delighted to announce the appointment of Zaid Al-Qassab as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following a comprehensive search process. Al-Qassab brings an extensive track record of advertising and marketing leadership, managing global teams and brand-building expertise. Most recently, he was Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Channel 4. Al-Qassab held the CMO role at Channel 4 from 2019 where he was responsible for marketing, digital, product, communications and PR, advertising, media and continuity, its award-winning in-house creative agency 4creative, and its digital content and brand entertainment agency 4Studio. Under Al-Qassab’s leadership, the broadcaster gained a place as the top brand and #3 creative agency in 2023 (Campaign Lists), and he was voted one of the UK’s top ten marketers by Campaign in 2023.

RAAS LAB, the platform that delivers hyper-relevant targeting and creative for stronger cookieless advertising, has announced two key appointments – Paul Blackledge as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Clay Lenhart as Chief Architect. Both veterans of digital marketing agency, Jellyfish, Blackledge and Lenhart have extensively collaborated together in spearheading success in advertising and marketing technologies. Blackledge pioneered e-commerce and marketing solutions in the early 2000s, before becoming a senior leader at Latitude Group, where he was responsible for propelling major B2B product initiatives. Following Latitude’s acquisition by Jellyfish, Blackledge continued to drive major product development contracts and played a key role in growth. Lenhart has over twenty years of experience in delivering solutions for highly-relevant, high-volume advertising. This includes harnessing data-driven strategies to effectively connect advertisers with their target audiences and without the use of third-party signals. While Technical Architect at Latitude, Lenhart steered the trajectory of software systems. Lenhart also established his own consultancy, Lenhart Solutions, which he has led for over a decade and which specialises in offering bespoke advertising technology solutions.

Platform Communications, the team behind some of the most talked about brands in media and technology, announces the appointment of James McKeown as Director, leading a comprehensive suite of content marketing services. The new division, called “Story”, will work alongside Platform’s “Engage” PR, comms and social selling offering and its recently announced “Build” Go-to-Market lead generation and sales enablement capability to provide an integrated solution for building brands and driving sales. McKeown led B2B content strategy and commercial partnerships for Future Publishing titles across media, entertainment, and technology, serving as editorial director of the ISE Show Daily and editor-in-chief of Installation and TVBEurope magazines. Previously, he was content director at NewBay Media, driving media brands including AV Technology Europe, Pro Sound News Europe and TV Technology Europe and serving as editorial director of the IBC Show Daily. 

Digital marketing agency re:act has announced the appointment of Gem Frith as Design Director starting with immediate effect. Reporting into the Co-Founders of re:act, Tom Stone and Pamela Uddin, Frith will help oversee all design output for the agency, helping to improve online and offline experiences for clients across the total Group. Frith brings a wealth of experience to re:act, with former positions including Marketing Communications Lead at Ikea in both the UK and Sweden offices, and most recently Senior Creative Manager at Halfords.