Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Talent Tracker: Journey Further, ISBA, Lucky Generals and many more

Performance brand agency, Journey Further, has appointed Kim Strachan as its new People Director. With over 10 years of experience in learning and development, coaching and talent, Strachan will be responsible for leading people strategy at the agency. This will include developing a roadmap of initiatives that will enable the agency to continue its rapid growth whilst enhancing culture and employee experience. Key areas of focus will include learning and development, EDI, career frameworks, ESG, performance, recruitment and engagement. 

ISBA has announced that Nick Louisson has joined the organisation as Director of Agency Services. Louisson will lead activity in this important area for ISBA members. He will be responsible for providing marketing and procurement members with vital advice, guidance, and best practice to ensure they make the best decisions with regard to agency management. His responsibilities will include the Marketing Services Framework Contract, Pitch Positive Pledge and running the marketing procurement working group COMPAG. Louisson was previously Senior Procurement Manager (Category Lead) for media across Europe at Sky, a role he held for almost four years. Prior to that, he held roles at TalkTalk (UK) & Kimberly Clark (Australia) both in marketing procurement. He started his career as a wine buyer and wine judge in Australia.

Lucky Generals has strengthened its leadership team by recruiting Cossette’s Cat Wiles as its first CSO. She will report into Andy Nairn, the agency’s strategic founder and help him continue to drive the strategy of the agency (which grew revenues by 21% last year) and key accounts. At the same time, the agency will promote Strategy Director Matt Gainsford to Head of Strategy, to manage the day-to-day running of the department, reporting to Wiles. In her three years at Cossette, Wiles helped Canada’s biggest agency overhaul its strategic capabilities. In 2020, it was named Effies Agency of the Year. In 2021, it was shortlisted for APG Agency of the Year. And in 2022, it won Gold and a Special Prize at the IPA Effectiveness Awards, for its SickKids paper, which Wiles co-authored. Wiles started her career at Unilever before switching to agency roles at Lowe and CHI. She then rose to become a Strategy Director at Mother, a Board Account Planner at AMV BBDO and Head of Planning at VCCP.

Dorsett Hospitality International is delighted to announce Mark Gallagher as its newly appointed Area General Manager UK. Gallagher joins Dorsett from IHG Hotels and Resorts where he worked as Senior Cluster General Manager within the UK&I Managed portfolio. He brings over 20 years of experience as a senior leader in the hospitality industry in the UK to his new role. Gallagher will bring knowledgeable experience in a range of different hotel brands and operating models. His business acumen and energy in driving consistent success will help to nurture the existing Dorsett portfolio as well as maximising the potential of their highly anticipated new projects.

Nextdoor, the neighbourhood network, has announced that it has appointed Liz Elward as Head of Partnerships for Northern Europe. In this role, Elward will be responsible for delivering greater value to members, growing engagement, and driving brand awareness to build Nextdoor’s reputation as the most valuable platform for neighbourhoods. This will include sourcing, negotiating and driving the execution of large-scale opportunities across consumer acquisition, engagement and brand-enhancing partnerships. Elward brings a wealth of experience in marketing and commercial partnerships, with more than 15 years at some of the world’s largest brands, including Apple, Spotify, Microsoft and BT Group. 

WPP’s Amanda Farmer moves to Publicis•Poke to complete the agency’s leadership team and lead its Commerce Practice. As Chief Client Officer, Farmer will look to further develop the agency’s ‘Sharp Commercial Creativity’ proposition for existing and new clients, with a particular focus on growing the Commerce specialism. Farmer joins from WPP‘s ‘The Pharm’,  the Global Walgreens Boots Alliance integrated team, where she held the role of Chief Client Officer. Farmer is a transformational business leader with over 20 years of experience in driving growth through digital innovation and data-driven customer experience. She has worked with clients including Nestlé, Diageo, Microsoft, Wendy’s, Colgate, Heineken and Cadbury at some of the UK’s leading digital, integrated and creative agencies. Prior to her role at WPP, Farmer spent five years at VMLY&R London. She joined VML as Client Services Director and was promoted shortly after to UK Managing Director. After the 2019 merger, Farmer became the UK Managing Director of the newly created brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R. She also spent time at Isobar, Work Club, Dare, and Elvis.

VeraViews, the advertising technology platform built to deliver transparent and auditable invalid traffic (IVT) prevention, is delighted to announce the appointment of Sandip Ray as Publishing Director. Ray is a London-based commercial and ad operations expert with a long track record of success. He will lead the publisher sales, onboarding and accounts management functions at VeraViews, supporting its mission to remove ad fraud from video advertising and increase trust and value across the media ecosystem. In a career spanning 20 years, Ray has led large teams across the publishing spectrum in sales, product, tech, marketing and data. Working as a senior director at Haymarket Media Group, he has been instrumental in shaping the digital development of numerous brands that include What Car, Pistonheads, What Hifi, Stuff and FourFourTwo; as well as establishing internal digital expertise by building out Haymarket’s Ad Operations and Customer Insights teams and technology. 

M&C Saatchi London has announced the appointment of Sonia Hall to the newly created position of People Partner. Hall joins from Evoke Europe, where she was most recently Senior HR Director, People and Culture, leading all aspects of strategic and operational HR and heading up a team that looked after five healthcare marketing agencies across Europe. Her efforts led to the company picking up multiple people awards, most notably a top ten placing in Sunday Times Best Places to Work. In her new role, Hall will partner with M&C Saatchi London’s leadership team and UK People Director to define and execute a new people and culture plan that supports and accelerates the delivery of the agency’s strategic business objectives.