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Whalar boosts EMEA team with three new hires

Global creator commerce company Whalar has bolstered its significant growth with the addition of three new hires in its Commercial team covering Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): Samantha Hicks has been appointed as Commercial Director; Bandi Manzini joins as Senior Brand Partnerships Director – Beauty & CPG; and Liz Harriott has become Senior Brand Partnerships Director – Entertainment & Gaming.

UK Commercial Lead, Samantha Hicks, has been at the forefront of developing digital marketing strategies and innovation pilot programmes for leading global brands covering CPG, Telco, Apparel and Finance for over 20 years. More recently, Samantha led Spotify Advertising’s EMEA and APAC Account Management teams, where she was part of MediaWeek’s UK Sales Team of the Year.

As Commercial Director at Whalar, Hicks will be responsible for shaping and driving the commercial sales strategy for Whalar in the UK, reporting into EMEA President, Marco Bertozzi. She will be managing the Partnerships team to build long term, profitable and trusted relationships with clients to drive revenue growth and deliver a best-in-class client experience.

Hicks said: “The Creator Economy is shaping up to be one of the most powerful evolutions in media, especially for Gen Z and Millennial audiences. I’m excited to join Whalar as one of the leading businesses in this space, and to have the opportunity to work with brands to creatively and effectively engage people and communities when they’re most engaged themselves.”

Bandi Manzini previously worked at Conde Nast where she played a key role in pivoting GLAMOUR UK into a successful digital 1st proposition – successfully leading the launch of the publication’s e-commerce initiatives and delivering over six figures in revenue for beauty event sponsorships. In her 20-year career, she has spearheaded content-led partnerships and cross-media marketing solutions for companies including ClearChannel, ITV and Time Inc.

Liz Harriott is an experienced brand partnership and sales lead with over 15-years’ experience in media and advertising. She has successfully led commercial entertainment and gaming business for companies such as Bauer Media, ShortList and Stylist. Most recently she was part of the team that relaunched The Face, where she led the brand partnerships and commercial business.

Both Senior Brand Partnership Directors will be responsible for developing lasting and authentic client relationships and brand partnerships, as well as increasing revenue across the Beauty, CPG and Entertainment and Gaming verticals at Whalar.

Commenting on the new appointments, Marco Bertozzi, President, EMEA at Whalar said: “We’re delighted to welcome Samantha, Bandi and Liz to the Whalar family. They join at an exciting time for Whalar as we take bold steps in setting a global standard in powering the Creator Economy. The vast amount of expertise between them and passion for delivering for clients makes them valuable assets to not only the future growth of Whalar but for the success of the brands and platforms we partner with.”

Whalar was honoured recently by Adweek as the 2022 Creator Agency of the Year win. The agency’s campaigns and talent partnerships were also commended with five Adweek Creator Visionary Award wins. Earlier this year, Whalar also acquired C Talent, a disabled-led, award-winning talent management and consultancy company that represents high-profile Deaf and Disabled talent in an effort to represent Deaf and Disabled voices to power all communities of the creator economy.