Team 2018-11-13T13:51:12+00:00

Pete Martin

Content Strategy

Pete Martin
Content Strategy

A founding director of the UK’s first fully integrated agency, Pete has 30 years’ experience in creative industries on both sides of the Atlantic. With over 100 industry awards in advertising, digital, brand & design, he was previously executive creative director in New York, and is one of the UK’s most experienced creative professionals. He has spoken on creativity at the Edinburgh International Festival and the RSA in London.

Christopher Brooks

Customer Strategy

Christopher Brooks
Customer Strategy

Christopher is a senior CX specialist. He created Lexden as an independent consultancy which measures behavioural change. Christopher seeks objective solutions which are purposeful and creative. His approach has attracted major UK and international clients such as The Coop Bank, Hiscox, More Th>n, UCL and Syngenta and helped take their Customer Experience to a new level. He writes for CX magazine and judges the Customer Strategy Awards.

Steve Kempster

Creative Direction

Steve Kempster
Creative Direction

Steve is an award-winning creative director with a proven track record. He has worked with leading brands such as M&S and Intel, as well as regulated businesses such as SSE, and major public sector organisations including The Scottish Government and Liverpool City Council. Steve’s expertise ranges across the spectrum of creative applications – from brand, digital and experiential to TV advertising.

John McElborough

Activation Strategy

John McElborough
Activation Strategy

John is a talented and versatile digital marketing leader. Not only is he streets ahead of other consultants in terms of skill and talent, he can predict new trends before they happen. His expertise ranges across online marketing, but also covers programming, sales processes and a deep understanding of online business. John is a pioneer in search and experiments relentlessly to uncover what really works.

Lou Kiddier

Content Production

Lou Kiddier
Content Production

Lou began her career in film. She was Senior Editor at a leading film studio, before switching roles to project management. She has produced work for major UK and global businesses such as Aviva, CFA Institute, Moet Hennessy, Scottish Widows, SSE and Seafish. Her role includes ensuring excellent production values and on-budget delivery. Lou has won awards for the films she has produced and is especially proud of the global “Best of Health’ film award for NHS Education.

Mary Antoniewicz

Organisational Development

Mary Antoniewicz
Organisational Development

Mary has worked in both the private and public sectors with roles as a marketing, project or change manager. Her marketing experience in the drinks and finance sectors, and project and business change experience in the public sector give her wide-ranging capabilities. She has worked on major transformation and innovation projects from customer first and digital services to business improvement and property rationalisation, all including a focus on people and culture change.

Jonathan Gould

Digital Design

Jonathan Gould
Digital Design

Jonathan is a career-creative whose skills span from digital design to technical production strategy. He is the winner of numerous creative awards, and began working life as a specialist in infographics. After having worked in the United States for two years, he segued into digital design. Jonathan is also a visiting lecturer in Visual Communications at the University of Highlands and Islands and supports several charities with the development of their marketing strategies.

Christina Giannakou

Creative Design

Christina Giannakou
Creative Design

Born in the USA and brought up in Greece, Christina is a creative thinker and visual communicator enthusiast. As a dedicated designer she has a passion to research each project before she begins work on it. She’s a whizz on the adobe suite tools with intuitive creative air. She likes to stay up to date on the latest trends and knows what content is hot and how it can be best executed across all channels.

Jennifer Kempster

Office Management

Jennifer Kempster
Office Management

Jennifer is a highly organised office manager and financial administrator. Her previous role in the Conservation and Research Department at Edinburgh Zoo provides the ideal experience for working with different species of clients, consultants and creatives. She was part of the Secretariat for the IUCN UK National Committee (an organisation comprising the UK’s conservation and government agencies – Zoos, WWF-UK, DEFRA etc.). She is skilled in financial admin including packages such as Xero and Sage.

Martin Kay

Creative Design

Martin Kay
Creative Design

Martin comes from a background of ethical and mission led marketing. He has a razor-sharp mind and a penchant for the outdoors. Most importantly, he is our crème de la crème graphic designer… in every sense of the word, as we’re convinced he has confectionary coursing through his veins. How else could someone make entire cakes disappear and retain a slim physique?

Sam Robertson

Production

Sam Robertson
Production

Having worked in advertising, account management and production, Sam brings over twenty years of invaluable experience and communication expertise to the table. Her indispensable role can be best described as the traffic controller in the agency’s hub-and-spoke production system: overseeing the seamless workflow of every creative project means that no material leaves the workroom without her seal of approval.

Andras Ferencz

Creative Content

Andras Ferencz
Creative Content

Andras is a restlessly curious writer with a knack for innovative language. He hails from Hungary, holds degrees in literature, classical music, and marketing, and enjoys taking on challenges of all nature. When not feverishly typing on his Mac or keeping his finger on the global pulse, he can be found scaling walls at the local rock-climbing gym or exploring boulders outdoors.

Pete Martin

Content Strategy

Pete Martin
Content Strategy

A founding director of the UK’s first fully integrated agency, Pete has 30 years’ experience in creative industries on both sides of the Atlantic. With over 100 industry awards in advertising, digital, brand & design, he was previously executive creative director in New York, and is one of the UK’s most experienced creative professionals. He has spoken on creativity at the Edinburgh International Festival and the RSA in London.

Christopher Brooks

Customer Strategy

Christopher Brooks
Customer Strategy

Christopher is a senior CX specialist. He created Lexden as an independent consultancy which measures behavioural change. Christopher seeks objective solutions which are purposeful and creative. His approach has attracted major UK and international clients such as The Coop Bank, Hiscox, More Th>n, UCL and Syngenta and helped take their Customer Experience to a new level. He writes for CX magazine and judges the Customer Strategy Awards.

Steve Kempster

Creative Direction

Steve Kempster
Creative Direction

Steve is an award-winning creative director with a proven track record. He has worked with leading brands such as M&S and Intel, as well as regulated businesses such as SSE, and major public sector organisations including The Scottish Government and Liverpool City Council. Steve’s expertise ranges across the spectrum of creative applications – from brand, digital and experiential to TV advertising.

John McElborough

Activation Strategy

John McElborough
Activation Strategy

John is a talented and versatile digital marketing leader. Not only is he streets ahead of other consultants in terms of skill and talent, he can predict new trends before they happen. His expertise ranges across online marketing, but also covers programming, sales processes and a deep understanding of online business. John is a pioneer in search and experiments relentlessly to uncover what really works.

Lou Kiddier

Content Production

Lou Kiddier
Content Production

Lou began her career in film. She was Senior Editor at a leading film studio, before switching roles to project management. She has produced work for major UK and global businesses such as Aviva, CFA Institute, Moet Hennessy, Scottish Widows, SSE and Seafish. Her role includes ensuring excellent production values and on-budget delivery. Lou has won awards for the films she has produced and is especially proud of the global “Best of Health’ film award for NHS Education.

Mary Antoniewicz

Organisational Development

Mary Antoniewicz
Organisational Development

Mary has worked in both the private and public sectors with roles as a marketing, project or change manager. Her marketing experience in the drinks and finance sectors, and project and business change experience in the public sector give her wide-ranging capabilities. She has worked on major transformation and innovation projects from customer first and digital services to business improvement and property rationalisation, all including a focus on people and culture change.

Jonathan Gould

Digital Design

Jonathan Gould
Digital Design

Jonathan is a career-creative whose skills span from digital design to technical production strategy. He is the winner of numerous creative awards, and began working life as a specialist in infographics. After having worked in the United States for two years, he segued into digital design. Jonathan is also a visiting lecturer in Visual Communications at the University of Highlands and Islands and supports several charities with the development of their marketing strategies.

Christina Giannakou

Creative Design

Christina Giannakou
Creative Design

Born in the USA and brought up in Greece, Christina is a creative thinker and visual communicator enthusiast. As a dedicated designer she has a passion to research each project before she begins work on it. She’s a whizz on the adobe suite tools with intuitive creative air. She likes to stay up to date on the latest trends and knows what content is hot and how it can be best executed across all channels.

Jennifer Kempster

Office Management

Jennifer Kempster
Office Management

Jennifer is a highly organised office manager and financial administrator. Her previous role in the Conservation and Research Department at Edinburgh Zoo provides the ideal experience for working with different species of clients, consultants and creatives. She was part of the Secretariat for the IUCN UK National Committee ( an organisation comprising the UK’s conservation and government agencies – Zoos, WWF-UK, DEFRA etc.). She is skilled in financial admin including packages such as Xero and Sage.

Martin Kay

Creative Design

Martin Kay
Creative Design

Martin comes from a background of ethical and mission led marketing. He has a razor-sharp mind and a penchant for the outdoors. Most importantly, he is our crème de la crème graphic designer… in every sense of the word, as we’re convinced he has confectionary coursing through his veins. How else could someone make entire cakes disappear and retain a slim physique?

Sam Robertson

Production

Sam Robertson
Production

Having worked in advertising, account management and production, Sam brings over twenty years of invaluable experience and communication expertise to the table. Her indispensable role can be best described as the traffic controller in the agency’s hub-and-spoke production system: overseeing the seamless workflow of every creative project means that no material leaves the workroom without her seal of approval.

Andras Ferencz

Creative Content

Andras Ferencz
Creative Content

Andras is a restlessly curious writer with a knack for innovative language. He hails from Hungary, holds degrees in literature, classical music, and marketing, and enjoys taking on challenges of all nature. When not feverishly typing on his Mac or keeping his finger on the global pulse, he can be found scaling walls at the local rock-climbing gym or exploring boulders outdoors.

The shape of things
to come

It’s easy to see that the marketing business has changed dramatically in recent decades. Just watch a few episodes of the award-laden TV show, Mad Men.

With its sleek style and seductive storylines (and chisel-jawed, bed-hopping, whisky-swilling hero, Don Draper), you may find yourself pining for a bit of ‘Brylcreem bounce’ and vintage frock flounce. Yet, from the dawn of the industrial era to the early 1990s, advertising wasn’t really a creative business. It was a commission business.

This fictional but historically accurate example may clarify.  Sterling Cooper, the ad agency in Mad Men, works on commission. They get paid 15% of the cost of any media advertising they place. (So, if they book a $1 million TV campaign for a client, they get paid $150,000 – not by the client, but by the TV company.)

So, remember the little fat guy with glasses who runs the media department? Well, he delivers the income that pays for all the agency’s creative services, not Don the creative genius. Until the early 1990s, almost all agencies were commission agencies.

It was a weird system, which had a number of odd side-effects. Firstly, there wasn’t a direct connection between the hours worked and what the agency earned: the idea you came up with in the bath or in the pub could be worth a lot of money.

Secondly, the agency didn’t get paid unless the campaign ran – or get repeat business unless the advertising worked. So, despite appearances to the contrary, agencies needed smart, effective processes to make good decisions happen fast.

And, finally, the commission system allowed clients to see agency services as free. Senior clients could consult the agency on strategic issues – and outsource tedious marketing admin to the agency – without apparent cost. So, agencies used to be both well-connected and well-staffed.

The changing face
of the agency

The 15% ad agency commission system more or less broke down in the early 1990s.

The little fat guys with glasses broke away to become “media independents”, offering low commission and refunding the difference to the client.

The Don Drapers of this world had to start charging fees for their time, and stop drinking at lunchtime.

Since few companies like paying fees, clients also sought alternative sources of advice and started in-sourcing their own marketing admin. As a result, agencies got smaller and made less money.

And yet, agencies still stuck to the old structures.

Except for the rise of media independents in the late 80s, and the relentless rise of ‘the internet, stupid’, the basic ad agency mindset hasn’t really changed since the late 60s.

That’s when Stanley Pollitt of Boase Massimi Pollitt (BMP) invented account planning – a crazy idea that the voice of the customer might be important in forming communications strategies.

Sure, these days the approach may be more like ‘the voice of the planner’ – a breed even less like the average customer than art directors.

As the Adweak Twitter feed recently joked: “BREAKING: After A Couple Hours Of Google Research, Childless 25-Year-Old Junior Planner Suddenly Expert On Mom Demographic”.

Kidding aside, it still shows how disconnected the classic agency structure has become from the big trends of the past two decades, never mind the past two years.

The art of
the possible.

For most clients, the world has become immeasurably more complex and pressured.

Marketing teams have found themselves picking up responsibility for a wide range of issues.

These may revolve around more than traditional brand measures, communications planning and campaign results.

The impact of customer data and metrics, social content and online analytics, service delivery and employee engagement have added both complexity and urgency.

That’s perhaps why clients seem to find themselves increasingly frustrated by the narrow focus and cumbersome hierarchies and convoluted processes of the traditional agency.

It’s also why we are doing something different.

Inspired by the ‘teal organisations’ of Holacracy and the agile methods of tech development, our system is self-motivated – covering CX science, data and analytics, human empathy, and organisational impacts.

By working in close-knit teams, we draw on these different perspectives in pursuit of a common goal.

In this way, we create holistic, timely solutions which fully reflect the customers’ needs, the commercial realities and the art of the possible.

OUR EXPERIENCE

WHAT WE DO