Marketing Gazette Movers & Shakers, April 2020

It was a bit of a dodgy month worldwide, but April brought some positive recruitment news for the marketing sector.

Movers & Shakers April 2020


Hannah Strong, Silverbean

Hannah Strong, head of marketing, Silverbean and AGY47

Silverbean and AGY47

Global affiliate marketing agency, Silverbean, and its sister agency, SEO, PPC and CRO specialist, AGY47, have appointed Hannah Strong as head of marketing.

Strong has been with the agencies for more than four years, joining Silverbean in 2016 as a senior paid marketing manager before being promoted to head of paid marketing in 2018. Her new role will see her take on a fresh challenge – heading up both firms’ UK and global marketing efforts and developing an ongoing strategy to support commercial growth.

Neil Robbins, CEO of Silverbean and AGY47, said: “I’m delighted Hannah is returning to us to take up this exciting challenge after recently starting a family. As we continue to scale our growth here in the UK, and further afield through our Australian office, I felt it was critical we took a different approach to our marketing than we have done so before.

“Our own marketing needs to be high performance and I am very confident Hannah will bring a new dimension to how we position ourselves and communicate with our target audiences and clients alike.”

Before joining Silverbean, Strong previously held a marketing manager position with a local design agency, honing her skills in digital marketing and SEO copywriting before propelling her career in PPC.

Strong said: “In both my Silverbean roles, I’ve always enjoyed the commercial responsibilities; marketing the PPC service and contributing to new business pitches. Since returning from maternity leave in April 2020, I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to create and implement both global and UK-focused marketing strategies for the agencies.

“The talented individuals I’ve worked with for such a large part of my career are fantastic at what they do, and genuinely care so much about each other and our clients. It’ll hopefully make my job to raise awareness of our services an easy one, and I’m very excited to work alongside Neil to propel commercial performance from strength to strength in 2020 and beyond.” 

Richard Davies, chief digital officer, MediaCom UK

Richard Davies, chief digital officer, MediaCom UK

MediaCom UK

Marketing and advertising firm, MediaCom UK, has appointed Richard Davies to the role of chief digital officer.

Davies moves into the role having joined MediaCom last year as head of conversion and digital as part of the Lloyds Banking Group account. He has extensive experience in driving digital excellence, having held multiple high-level digital positions across organisations such as Greenhouse, GroupM and MEC (now Wavemaker). He will take over from Bianca Best, who was acting as the interim chief digital officer, as she returns to her full time role of global MD of BLINK & Strategic Partnerships.

Davies will be central in growing and extending the organisation’s digital specialisms as well as establishing robust and compelling product propositions for an increasingly digital-first world. As part of his role, he will help clients to drive digital transformation across their own businesses, bringing in the latest techniques and technologies to better engage their target audiences. 

Davies said: “With more digital clients and billings than any other agency in the UK, MediaCom is already a leader in this space. And as the wider industry continues its shift towards digital transformation, being able to lead and direct that momentum is an exciting prospect.”

Kate Rowlinson, CEO of MediaCom UK, commented: “An experienced and practiced industry expert, Richard is perfectly placed to help our clients with their innovation challenges, ensuring they can respond to today’s industry demands. We are looking forward to seeing how Richard will help shape and deliver MediaCom’s digital vision.”


Datasine, AI-powered ad optimisation and personalisation specialist, has appointed business veteran Mark Popkiewicz as chairman of its board of directors. 

The strategic addition to the Datasine board follows the company closing a record year of success, highlighted by the onboarding Tinkoff Bank, BNP Paribas and Hello Bank as enterprise clients and the closing of its Series A transatlantic funding round in 2019 led by Propel Venture Partners

Igor Volzhanin, CEO, Datasine, said: “AI is revolutionising how brands and agencies interact with consumers.

“Mark is a seasoned executive and CEO with a stellar track record for helping to build and invest in high growth digital businesses. I am confident that his experience will have a tremendous impact on Datasine’s strategic direction and future growth.

“We’re thrilled to have Mark on our board, and I look forward to his invaluable guidance and contributions at this particular inflection point of our growth.”

Most recently Popkiewicz founded Mirriad Advertising, a global state of the art video monetisation platform using technologies such as machine learning and computer vision to dynamically integrate advertising imagery into mainstream video and TV entertainment with customers around the world including Tencent, Alibaba, FOX, NBCU and RTL.

Popkiewicz has held several roles in various high growth companies including Braid Systems, Eicon Networks, SDX Business Systems, Lucent Technologies, Mobile Media and has served as a Director at the BBC. He previously served on the advisory board of Wyvern Partners and non-executive director for Imagineer Systems. He has delivered several trade exits and IPOs of over $1bn in aggregate.

Popkiewicz said: “Datasine has developed a remarkable product that I believe is capable of revolutionising the way creative is personalised at scale. Since its inception, the company has demonstrated remarkable increases in performance across a broad range of verticals achieving uplifts of up to 80% in engagement and 71% in sales. Since the company’s launch, Datasine’s expertise in psychology, data and machine learning has evolved into a world-class SaaS platform.”

The company also welcomes new chief revenue officer, Stefan Britton. In his role, Britton will lead in scaling the company through this next phase of growth. Britton has previously led the rapid growth of Pure360 and Phrasee.

Volzhanin said: “Adding Stefan Britton to the leadership team is a fantastic addition for us. His previous success within the Martech world scaling Pure360 and helping launch the commercial activity of Phrasee is the perfect match for our ambitions. Stefan’s knowledge and insight into the needs of the digital marketer combined with his ability to galvanise sales, marketing and product behind a common vision will be critical in the coming years as we launch unique, cutting edge technology into the marketing industry. 

Britton has led the launch and growth of numerous high tech SaaS startups and was instrumental in helping create the AI subject line optimisation category during his tenure with Phrasee. Previously Stefan held senior leadership positions within Email and Social optimisation tools and has led several start ups from inception to rapid growth and is a renowned speaker in  the AI and Martech space. 

Volzhanin added: “With these two highly respected specialists in place we are excited to bring our industry leading technology to a global audience and help marketers all across the world understand their audience better and in doing so make their advertising work harder.”

Tom Upfold, strategic director, Octopus Group

Tom Upfold, strategic director, Octopus Group

Octopus Group

Octopus Group has hired a new strategy director, Tom Upfold, to lead on consulting engagements with its raft of B2B tech clients, and further evolve the agency’s brand to sales offering.

Prior to joining Octopus Group, Upfold worked for 10 years at The Marketing Practice, where he ran an international strategy team working on clients such as Oracle, Microsoft, ServiceNow and Sage.

Billy Hamilton-Stent, director at Octopus Group, said: “Tom joining the agency represents an exciting milestone for us as we look to expand our consulting and strategy work with clients. Clients are increasingly looking at different ways of developing and applying marketing strategy in more agile and creative ways. Tom brings tons of experience and tech market knowledge which will allow us to expand this side of our business and benefit our whole client base.”

Upfold said: “Octopus Group’s growing profile in the industry and its Brand to Sales approach is winning creative, campaign and workplace awards, so it’s a really exciting time to join. OGs clients are an amazing mix of scale-up and blue-chip tech innovators, all doing something fascinating in their chosen market, presenting all kinds of strategy and planning opportunities. I can’t wait to get involved.”

The Octopus Group also recently revealed that Dave Montrose has re-joined the agency as creative director. Montrose had previously worked for Octopus Group as head of design between 2016 and 2018, during which time he led on design across a number of key accounts such as Vodafone, Adecco Group, Bluejeans, British Heart Foundation, Worldpay and Zendesk.

In his new position, he will drive the continued implementation and evolution of the brand, providing creative oversight and direction across the business.

Jon Lonsdale, CEO at Octopus Group, said: “We’re delighted to have persuaded Dave to come back home to OG, this time as our Creative leader. With our creative reputation growing in the industry, it’s important to invest in coming up with the best digital content to drive our client campaigns. Dave gets the DNA of this company and the ambition of what we’re trying to achieve.”

Montrose added: ‘Octopus Group is a company very close to my heart, and one I’ve found myself measuring all other companies against for culture and work ethic over the last few years, so I feel immensely proud to have been welcomed back. We already have lots of exciting changes happening this year both operationally and across key hires, and our Brand to Sales proposition is going from strength to strength.”


Toluna, an ITWP company that connects brands with consumers for digital qualitative and quantitative research, has made two strategic appointments as it prepares for growth in 2020 and beyond.

The company welcomes Ron Ruffinott to the North America team as a senior research solutions consultant based in the company’s US headquarters in Connecticut. Dixit Chanana joins as country director in India based in the Gurgaon office in northern India.

Ruffinott brings a wealth of experience to bolster Toluna’s offerings to worldwide clients, having spent the past 17 years at Kantar in a variety of leadership roles focused on driving client insights. He heads up the North American research solutions team, driving client growth through the company’s insights solutions and consultative guidance and support.

Nick Langeveld, MD of North America for Toluna, said: “We’re focused on ensuring that we have the right people in the right places to achieve our goals and Ron’s strong background in research fits the bill. 

“Ron will help us progress our strategy to encourage more engagement from clients with the platforms by demonstrating just how valuable the insights are to sectors including CPG, media and entertainment, and healthcare to name just a few. Clients will continue to benefit from our flexible offerings, choosing to engage with us in self-service, assisted service or managed service models.”

A former long-standing VP at Karvy Insights, Chanana brings more than 20 years of research insights experience across business development, client management and sales. He has led full-service research programs for clients in India, which will enable Toluna to expand its presence in this market. Prior to Karvy, Chanana was group business director at Kantar.

Ludo Milet, managing director of Asia-Pacific for Toluna, said: “Dixit will be instrumental in developing our domestic business in India as we look to push growth in the country. 

“He brings real ear-to-ground experience and knowledge that will enhance our team’s understanding of consumer behaviour so that we can grow our client base in key industries. It’s great to have Dixit on board.”

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