Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA’s Talent Tracker column provides a regular update on which companies are recruiting who and from where.

Talent Tracker: VCCP Media, Brave Bison, Poppins and more

Agencies Image

VCCP Media announces the arrival of James Shoreland and Will Parrish as its new CEO and CSO as it invests in its top team, aiming to challenge the status quo of media. The pair have joined from Initiative Media where they worked together for the past six years. Shoreland and Parrish were instrumental in turning around the fortunes of the IPG Mediabrands-owned media shop, winning brands such as Deliveroo, NatWest and Nike. Tara Marus will become Chief Operating Officer reporting into James Shoreland while Simon Jenkins will become Chief Planning Officer reporting into Will Parrish.

Digital media, marketing and technology company Brave Bison has appointed Al Ward as Head of Delivery and Operations for its Commerce division. As a member of the Brave Bison Commerce leadership team, he will be charged with driving forward and maintaining the company’s legacy of excellence in four key areas: Project Delivery, Operations, Client Leadership, and Business Proposition and Growth. During his 20 years in the digital space, Ward has led delivery and operations at leading agencies and technology start-ups, including VCCP and MullenLowe MediaHub, working with a wide range of blue-chip companies, such as Eurosport/ Discovery Network, Coty, Emirates, O2, Compare the Market and EasyJet. His most recent position was as the Head of Delivery and Business Operations at a Climate Tech start-up, where he was instrumental in growing the team by 366% inside 12 months. 

Poppins, the London-headquartered agency operating at the intersection of technology and creativity, has appointed Kevin Thompson as US Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer to lead the agency in the US and establish its presence in New York. For the last two decades, Thompson has spearheaded the brand and storytelling revival of some of the world’s leading brands in luxury and fashion. Most recently Thompson was the CMO for the Princess Grace Foundation at Grace de Monaco where he created and launched the brand – the world’s first luxury brand designed to benefit others. He has also previously held executive leadership roles at Sotheby’s International Realty, Barneys New York, Simon Property Group, Moncler and Gucci. Thompson will build on Poppins’ mission of crafting bespoke brand experiences with unique storytelling for the US-market, as well as enhancing its philosophy of doing good while partnering with major global brands.

The Space Between, the sports marketing and PR agency for challenger brands, has announced the hire of Ben Goldhagen as its new Head of Social. Formerly of DAZN, Whistle Sports, the F2 Freestylers and adidas, Goldhagen brings a wealth of experience into the role having worked on global campaigns featuring personalities from across the world of sport and entertainment such as Leo Messi, David Beckham, Stormzy, and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as brands and organisations such as MLS, the NFL, Nike, Monster Energy, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. The creation of the role sees Goldhagen heading up the agency’s social team, providing its clients with best-in-class strategy, social-first creative development, production, channel management and paid support. The role will also support existing clients, tailoring the agency’s ongoing work for social ready outputs. In addition, Pete Oller joins The Space Between as a Senior Strategist. Formerly of ITV and Ogilvy, Oller’s experience, including leading the strategy for ‘The Pride Has Arrived’ top-ranking advert for the Women’s World Cup, will see him head up the agency’s strategy and insight work.

Global socially-led creative agency We Are Social has promoted Paul Greenwood to Global Head of Research & Insight (R&I). Greenwood, who previously held the role of UK Head of Research & Insight, will now also take on the responsibility for strategic leadership of We Are Social’s global R&I capabilities. He will do this by continuing to evolve and build the offering, while driving consistency, efficiency and quality standards across We Are Social’s 19 global offices, and leading the agency’s Global R&I Council. Greenwood will be tasked with driving product innovation within R&I, and leading the data and effectiveness function, ensuring a unified and innovative approach to measuring content and campaign success on social. He will lead R&I delivery for We Are Social’s key global clients, identifying innovation and growth opportunities across the agency’s roster, which includes brands like Adidas, Activision and Samsung.

Dentsu UK and Ireland has announced the appointment of Dan Truman as Chief Strategy Officer, who will join its Executive leadership team. This new role will enhance dentsu’s ability to deliver unique advantage and provide the best possible growth outcomes for its clients, leveraging its integrated media, customer experience, creative and business transformation capabilities. Specifically, Truman will be scaling dentsu UK&I’s strategy, business transformation and consulting capabilities to help clients creatively solve their challenges in today’s difficult business environment. This will bring together the commercial rigour of a consultancy with the creative thinking and agility of an agency, combining strong data and technology capabilities to create solutions that aid the future success of brands – all through the lens of dentsu UK&I’s Sanpo Yoshi philosophy of being good for people, business and society. Truman will also play a key role in supporting dentsu’s growth strategies across EMEA and global new business. Truman brings 25 years of digital transformation consulting experience, joining from Prophet, an independent, global growth and transformation consultancy. In this role, he led the scaling of its EMEA regional marketing & digital transformation capabilities, delivering customer-centric growth strategies for global organisations across multiple industries.

Kerry Gibson has joined TMW Unlimited from Ogilvy UK, where her most recent role was New Business Director for Advertising, Brand & Content. Reporting into Steve Garside, Divisional Head of New Business & Marketing, Gibson will be working across TMW Unlimited’s teams in London and Bristol to help drive new business opportunities and bring focus to the full breadth of the agency’s skills. Whilst at Ogilvy Kerry added the likes of Sainsbury’s Group, Google and Costa to their client portfolio. Prior to Ogilvy, Kerry spent 3 years at McCann London as Marketing Manager and has also worked in New Business at DLKW Lowe before it became MullenLowe.  

Brand transformation and creative change agency Born Ugly has announced the addition of Clare Deacon, Senior Director Provocation & Creative Strategy, to the Born Ugly team. Deacon joins Born Ugly to provide world-class strategic brand and creative support to Born Ugly’s diverse global client base, heading up the Provocation & Creative Strategy team to deliver norm-defying and category defining work that delivers meaningful impact for brands and people. She brings a wealth of experience to Born Ugly, having previously been Strategy Director at PHD Media and a Senior Strategist at Ph. Creative and LOVE. Deacon has worked with a plethora of household names including North Face, Diageo, Nestle, and Nordstrom in the US, as well as FMCG brands such as Funkin, Benecol and Haagen Dazs. Her appointment to the team will become an integral part of the agency’s future strategic endeavours.

Platform Communications has announced the appointment of marketing expert, Anne-Louise Buick. The move will see Platform expand its services with the launch of a new division dedicated to Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy, lead generation and sales enablement that will build on and complement its current service portfolio of content creation, PR, comms, social selling and thought leadership. As director of the new division, Buick will work closely with existing and new clients to build business success. Buick brings over two decades of experience orchestrating and directing marketing initiatives that yield tangible business results for prominent media, entertainment, and technology vendors. In the past she has built and led marketing teams at Avid, Ericsson and Telestream, driving a customer-first approach to comprehensive global marketing campaigns that drove revenue via direct and indirect routes to market – actively enabling and engaging sales and channel partners worldwide.

Interbrand, the brand consultancy, has announced the promotion of Holmfridur Hardardottir to President, Interbrand New York. Hardardottir was previously Chief Operating Officer, Interbrand New York. She has co-managed the business for six years, overseeing finance, HR, operations, and the re-structuring of the business into four client centric business units. Since joining Interbrand in 2017, Hardardottir has also served as an Executive Director leading client programs and relationships including Verizon, Truist and American Express. Prior to Interbrand, Hardardottir served as General Manager and Executive Director at FutureBrand New York. As part of a new management team brought in to revitalize the business, she built new capabilities, innovated the offer and quadrupled the size of the business over a five-year period. She has also worked as a client and business leader at Siegel+Gale New York and Los Angeles. Alongside her role at Interbrand, Hardardottir is a founding member of Chief – a network for female leaders.