Marketing Gazette Deal Roundup, July 2020

Marketing Gazette Deal Roundup July 2020

Company Launches


Marketplace specialist Maze-One has launched in the UK.

Founded by former MD of media at Dentsu Aegis Network, Tim van der Bilt, the company helps brands build sustainable relationships on marketplaces such as Amazon. The launch in the UK is being led by Rupert Staines and marketing specialist Dan Brown.

Rupert Staines, MD and co-founder at Maze-One, said: “In the current climate, brands are increasingly seeking a more direct-to-consumer and online relationship. They are looking for trusted partners with specialist expertise, speed and agility. Maze-One has a proven track record in helping businesses grow through tailored and strategic marketplace strategies.”

Maze-One connects both large and small brands with up to 400 million shoppers worldwide, and its services include consultation, strategy, advertising support and content creation.

Lerato Umah-Shaylor

Lerato Umah-Shaylor.


Marmalade, a new influencer marketing agency, “with an African flavour”, has recently been launched.

The agency is headed up by former head of design at 90/24 Media and founder of branding agency Swiftly Studios, Tola Ade.

Based in London, Marmalade plans to connect brands with new markets by via influencers, and utilise technology-driven data and relational marketing.

Recent signings include: Kika Osunde (@kikagoodhair) of Good Hair and Lerato Umah-Shaylor (@leratofoods).

Vine Insights

A search agency led by search specialist Jack Smithson has been launched. Vine Insights, based in London and Manchester, focuses on customer needs and human behaviours to develop communications strategies.

Founder Jack Smithson said: “Our vision is to create a straight-talking agency that cuts out the jargon and focuses on real-life insights and the non-filtered picture.”

The agency is backed by the board of creative communications agency Tangerine.  Sandy Lindsay MBE, chair of Vine Insights, said: “Search and online insights is a really exciting area that is moving at pace, so we felt it was the perfect time to get involved. It’s never been more important for brands to know where to place their marketing focus and spend and we were impressed with Jack’s vision for where he could take the business.”


Academy of Chief Marketers

The Academy of Chief Marketers has acquired the licence of Superbrands UK.

Academy CEO and founder, Damon Segal, said: “Being awarded Superbrand status comes as a result of independent consumer and business research. It celebrates the success of those brands and increases brand awareness both within the industry and also direct to consumer.”

The Academy is launching a membership programme to create a confidential community in which brands and marketers can gain peer support, collaboration and learning, in addition to the Superbrand award status.

Segal said: “By bringing Superbrands into our group of businesses, we aim to drive its UK presence to gain an even greater reach, as well as bring new offerings that will be of further value to marketers.”

The Academy of Chief Marketers is affiliated with a group of companies including digital online marketing agency, Emotio, software and IT solutions agency, DNA Digital, and video production company IMRSIV.


Product review and user-generated content (UGC) solutions provider, Bazaarvoice, has acquired Curalate.

Curalate provides social, UGC and influencer marketing solutions. Its technology turns images into digital storefronts, catering to online shoppers.

According to Bazaarvoice’s Shopper Experience Index, around 42% of global shoppers say they have made a purchase on social media. The Index also showed a 17% year-on-year increase in reviews that include photos across its network, and a 67% increase in photo submissions among its community of influential shoppers who are invited to review products. 

Keith Nealon, CEO at Bazaarvoice, said: “Consumers are increasingly referring to images and videos within reviews to be able to buy online with confidence. As shoppers turn to e-commerce in unprecedented numbers due to the COVID-19 outbreak, empowering them with access to this type of UGC has become more important than ever.”

Apu Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Curalate, said: “From the outset, Curalate has believed that social media and visual content would shape how consumers shop… Now, by joining Bazaarvoice, we have the opportunity to accelerate what we started while bringing an extraordinary value proposition to brands and retailers globally.”



Global software provider, Uberall, has announced the launch of ‘Near Me’ ads in the UK. 

In partnership with Google, ‘Near Me’ ads give companies the opportunity to create local ads and publish them for multiple outlets at the same time, on Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook and Instagram.

The ads can also be tailored for specific business needs, including Call Ads for phone enquiries, Direction Ads to drive customers to your locations, or Website Clicks Ads to drive customers to a landing page.

The ‘Near Me’ ads were tested by car-park operator with more than 570 locations, Contipark, who used the ads to navigate drivers to its parking spaces. Consumers searched online if they wanted to park. With Uberall’s platform, Contipark placed advertisements for local searches in a targeted way, increasing the organic traffic to its website.

Florian Hübner, co-founder and CEO of Uberall, said: “The power of ‘Near Me’ is impressive. It’s estimated that one of every two Google searches conducted today is a ‘Near Me’ search, and leads to an offline purchase 30% of the time,”

Head of channel sales UK & Ireland, Northern Europe and emerging markets at Google Customer Solutions, Adrian Blockus, said: “As a certified Google Ads Partner, Uberall empowers businesses to boost conversion rates across all of their locations. Uberall’s ‘Near Me’ Ads simplify and streamline the process for multi-location businesses to reach ready-to-buy consumers at the very moment they’re looking for products and services, wherever they are.”

Client wins

knitting, DMCBMB

DMC Group has appointed BMB to a global strategy brief running across its three brands: embroidery thread-maker DMC, British wool brand Sirdar and digital-first crafting kit creator, Wool and the Gang.

Founded in 1746, DMC was acquired by Lion Capital in 2019 and the appointment of BMB signifies a new phase of investment in the brands. The pitch was run in house.

Due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19, more people are spending time at home and demand for needlecraft supplies has increased. 

Justin Wraight, CEO at DMC Group, said: “What’s happening in the various needlecraft communities right now is full of vitality and excitement. With our three very different brands already beloved by makers all over the world, there’s so much that’s positive to tap into and the team at BMB are the perfect partners for us to respond to this incredible opportunity.” 

CEO at BMB, Jason Cobbold, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the team at DMC to develop strategies for their well-loved brands.”

BMB’s work for DMC Group will launch in 2021.

Brave Bison

Panasonic has appointed Brave Bison as its social content partner for its SPORTS CHANGEMAKERS global campaign. 

The social video group will lead the creative execution on a series of videos across multiple platforms in four key markets: the US, Europe, China and Japan.

In 2019, Panasonic invited university students from these four markets to participate in its ‘Going Beyond Barriers’ SPORTS CHANGEMAKERS competition. They were asked to identify barriers in sports today, and come up with a technological solution. Brave Bison will work with one winning team from each key market to help tell their stories.

Oliver Green, CEO at Brave Bison, said: “We’re excited to be working with Panasonic on this global campaign, spanning multiple platforms and markets. As a social content publisher that specialises in engaging youth audiences, we’re eager to use our expertise to create easily-digestible content that tells these stories from start to finish.”

Yasuhiro Fukuda, Panasonic project leader, Olympic and Paralympic marketing team at Panasonic, said: In collaboration with Brave Bison on our project, we are looking forward to making some valuable and irreplaceable content. We are also confident that, with them, we can deliver our passion to even more people of the youth generation around the world.”

Faith PR

Faith PR has been selected to deliver social media services to the recently established US arm of the German-based STADA Corp.

The PR agency, based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, provides corporate PR and social media for Thornton & Ross, part of the STADA group.

MD at Faith PR, Stefanie Hopkins, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with STADA Corp US to enhance the company’s profile in North America. STADA is an innovative and forward-thinking company and we are looking forward to highlighting its successes and enhance brand awareness in the US market.”

Faith was also selected to provide PR and social media for Sniffers Pet Care in promoting its new Buffalo Natural Dog Treats range. 

My Management Accountant (MMA), a cloud-based accountancy business, selected Faith to provide PR and digital marketing services as well.

Hopkins said: “We are also delighted to have My Management Accountant and Sniffers Pet Care on board. Both are well established, highly successful local businesses and we’re delighted to be working with them and helping them continue on their impressive growth trajectories.”


ORM, part of Paragon Customer Communications, has been awarded a contract by HomeServe to lead the home emergency repairs business’ new website and design strategy.

Paragon Customer Communications holds the HomeServe marketing and transactional communication account for the UK, and ORM will now take control of the brand’s digital strategy.

Kristy McCready, director of marketing communications at HomeServe, said: “We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of working and the team at ORM have made this seamless and efficient, meaning we’re making excellent progress already. They really understand our business and we can’t wait for the next stages in our digital journey.”

Peter Gough, managing partner at ORM, said: “With everything that’s happening in the world right now, businesses need websites that drive growth and demonstrate value. This is an ideal time for HomeServe to continue its digital strategy and we’re excited to be working with the team and to apply our proven methodologies to help make the website their primary acquisition channel.”


PR agency LEWIS has been appointed by cloud communications company, Infobip, to lead its thought leadership and brand awareness communications in Europe and Asia.

LEWIS, operating in Europe, Asia and North America, began working with Infobip on May 1, 2020. A key part of the remit is the integration of communications into Infobip’s sales and marketing function. 

Sanja Buterin, global marketing director of Infobip, said: “After a thorough agency review, the decision to select LEWIS was unanimous. The team’s understanding of our business, market and marketing communication requirements was spot-on. We have already seen in just a few weeks the quality of the team, ideas and ability to execute. We are looking forward to growing and expanding with LEWIS.”

Safestyle ukJourney Further

Safestyle UK has appointed Journey Further to to handle its digital strategy and delivery across PPC, paid social, display, SEO, digital PR and conversion optimisation.

The window and door specialist invited 12 agencies to pitch remotely for the work, including incumbent SEO and PPC agency, iProspect.

The Leeds, Manchester and London-based agency will manage all performance marketing areas as it aims to improve digital performance, and will be responsible for an annual media spend of £16m.

Martin Troughton, MD at Safestyle UK, said: “Journey Further stood out through a very competitive pitch process. We bought into their senior team’s client-side experience and their approach to multichannel integration. As part of the process, we asked ourselves whether we would want Journey Further working for our competitors, to which there was a resounding ‘no’.”

Strategy director at Journey Further, Dan Peden, said: “We are confident that by implementing a data-driven and commercially aware approach, and offering the team at Safestyle complete transparency over activity and measurement, we can deliver a step-change in their business performance.”

St Luke’s

Mail Newspapers has appointed St Luke’s as its lead creative agency following a remote pitch. The brief covers the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and digital subscription product Mail+.

St Luke’s remit will include the development of brand positioning and creation of all ATL communications. The agency has created the ‘Helping Hand’ campaign, focusing on the £10m raised by the Daily Mail and encouraging readers to donate PPE to the NHS and frontline workers.

Neil Henderson, CEO at St Luke’s, said, “We are thrilled to be asked to apply our specialist branding capability to one of the most potent brands in the UK. These are extraordinary times and it is the right time for the Mail to communicate its future positioning clearly and decisively.”

Mirius, HycolinThe PHA Group

The PHA Group has been appointed by cleaning and hygiene manufacturer Mirius, to develop its UK PR and social media strategy. 

The London-based PR agency was chosen to raise brand awareness and build consumer engagement for Mirius’ D2C brand, Hycolin, which has recently launched a new range of antiviral cleaning products.

Chris Richmond, head of marketing at Mirius, said: “The PHA Group impressed us with an integrated, long-term communications strategy for Hycolin that clearly outlined how they would meet our objectives for the brand. We’re looking forward to working with them to build the profile of Hycolin in the UK.”

Shelley Frosdick, group MD at The PHA Group, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Mirius and are looking forward to delivering an integrated communications strategy for Hycolin in the UK. With Mirius’ decades of expertise, and Hycolin’s powerful antiviral cleaning performance, there is a huge opportunity to make Hycolin a must-have for consumers across the nation.”


Creative agency Etch’d has received a six-figure investment from its client, Balashev Investment Group.

The cash injection from the group, founded by Thomas Balashev, will help the expansion of the marketing services agency’s headquarters in London, the hiring of more staff and the onboarding of new departments.

Lewis Hackney, founder of Etch’d, said: “This is a very exciting time for Etch’d and we’re delighted to have secured this investment, which will open new doors for us in both our domestic and international expansion. A client buying into our ethos and investing in the business is a real vote of confidence both in our performance to date and strategy moving forward. We look forward to continuing to work with Thomas closely, both as a client and an investor.”

Thomas Balashev, founder of Balashev Investment Group, said: “Our long term strategy is to invest into disruptive businesses and brands shaking up established industries. Lewis’ aspirations for international expansion across Europe, Asia and the Middle East similarly mirror mine. I am therefore hugely excited about the value I can bring as an investor, helping Lewis and Etch’d to fulfil their next stage of growth.”

Grey Europe

Technology brand Livinguard has selected Grey Europe to handle its global communications.

Grey Germany, Grey Consulting and Wildfire will be responsible for brand strategy and positioning, app development and delivery, communication strategy development for advertising, digital and social media.

The hygiene- and environment-focused brand appointed Grey Europe to help build its Protected by Livinguard platform. The brand’s aim is to become the leading global brand for hygiene and disinfection, starting with face masks, gloves and wipes by targeting both B2B and B2C audiences.

Sanjeev Swamy, founder and CEO of Livinguard said: “We’re excited to hit the ground running with Grey to further develop the Livinguard brand. ‘Protected by Livinguard’ will provide safety, security and sustainability, reaching far beyond the current pandemic.”

The new work will launch in Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Asia and the US in the autumn of 2020.


2020 Partner Awards

Selligent has named Acceleration, ONE Marketing and Reply the winners of the 2020 Partner Awards.

The awards recognise digital marketing partnership excellence among Selligent partners.

Bruno Boussion, SVP of Sales, Europe at Selligent, said: “Acceleration, ONE Marketing and Reply have demonstrated strong advocacy for our platform and we are grateful for the ongoing collaboration. We commend all three partners for the way they have invested resources into becoming experts in our solution.”

The partnership with Acceleration spanned territories in both the UK and North America, ONE Marketing enabled Selligent to expand in the Danish market, and Reply enabled Selligent’s development in multiple markets, especially Italy.

CEO of Selligent, Karthik Kripapuri, said: “With this year’s summit postponed due to the global health crisis, we still wanted to celebrate our awards nominees and winners virtually for their incredible work and our combined achievements in the last year. Congratulations to all our honourees, and thank you for your continued partnership.”

Collaborative Pencil Winners

Design and Art Direction (D&AD) has announced that the Pencil winners of its Collaborative category were Turner Duckworth and Dentsu Inc.

The category looks at long-term relationships between clients and their design, advertising and/or production companies, and the work they have done together.

Turner Duckworth and Miller Lite won in the Creative Agency category. They first became partners in 2014, and since then have seen a 5% year-over-year decline halted, a shift in consumer perception and received more than 25 awards.

Bruce Duckworth, chief creative officer and CEO of Turner Duckworth, said: “Thank you D&AD, it’s so rewarding for the team to win this award. They have tirelessly delivered creative excellence for the brand time after time. And also for our client too, who has backed us and believed in our work for the last six years.”

Dentsu Inc.’s ongoing nine-year campaign with the East Japan Railway Company, ‘Get Back, Tohoku’, won the Design Agency Category. Launched after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the campaign presents trains as heroic figures that unite communities.

Yoshihiro Yagi, creative director at Dentsu Inc., said: “The decade-long ‘Get Back, Tohoku’ is a campaign that well represents the company’s mission. It has continued a conversation with the local people and has continued to send messages to say that they are there for them. It has been a great honour for Dentsu to play a small part in this mission.”

HC Media Group

Essex-based digital marketing agency HC Media Group, led by commercial director Christopher Clowes, recently won ‘Best Digital Marketing Agency – Essex’ and ‘Client Service Excellence’ at the Media Innovator Awards.

The business, founded two years ago, is now valued at more than £1M. Clowes has appointed Emily Fairminer as Marketing Manager, and former company apprentice, Lexie Gower, as head of organic marketing.


Public relations and communications agency, MARCO, won ‘Best Consultancy of the Year in Southern Europe’ at the SABRE Awards.

The 2020 SABRE Awards for Agency of the Year recognise the main public relations consultancies in the region. The shortlist across all categories includes approximately 400 campaigns from across EMEA, and highlights the main successes in terms of brand, reputation and engagement.

The Spanish agency was also nominated for their campaigns for clients Subway, B The Travel Brand and TaxDown, in the Digital Campaign, Travel & Tourism and Iberia categories. 

Didier Lagae, founder and CEO of MARCO, said: “This recognition is a great motivation to continue reaping great results with exceptional clients. Especially after the past few months that have been a major challenge! MARCO has always been on the side of its clients, accompanying them with optimal crisis management, powerful virtual events and digital engagement campaigns.”


B2B creative agency True was given the Creative Agency of the Year award at the US-based ANA Business Marketing NYC Global Ace Awards.

The judges said: “Great is great; no other rules apply for this category. This award is given to the agency whose totality of work in the past year rose above. Budgets and channels are not the thing here – it’s about the consistent level of breakthrough and rise-above creativity. If you kick B2B creative ass, get the cred!”

The London-based agency, founded in 2012, also won Best B2B2C Campaign, Best Social Media Campaign and Best Content Marketing Multiple Piece Program/Campaign for its ROCKWOOL: 7 Strengths of Stone Test Series.

The campaign involved a series of extreme video demonstrations, which gained 1.8m page engagements, 5.5 million Facebook impressions and a 326% increase in unique website visits over three months.

Cos Mingides, founding partner of True, said: “We’re incredibly humbled and honoured to be named Creative Agency of the Year over some of the best B2B agencies in the world for whom we have so much respect and admiration. This is a very special moment for the team and great reward for their endless and often obsessive creative spirit – I couldn’t be prouder of them.

The 40th annual ANA Global Ace Awards was held virtually for the first time this year, instead of at Forbes on Fifth Avenue, New York City.


ChicagoHuble Digital

Digital marketing and business consultancy, Huble Digital Group, has begun the next phase of its international expansion into North America.

Huble Digital, Inc. opened for business in Chicago, Illinois, on July 1, 2020. The agency also has bases in London, Singapore, Munich and Cape Town.

CEO of Huble Digital, Bob Dearsley, said: “Expanding into North America was the natural next step in our mission to provide world-class digital strategies for HubSpot users across the globe.”

Trading as Huble Digital Inc. in the USA, the group provides international digital business and marketing consultancy for large and mid-market enterprises.

Daryn Smith, CSO at Huble Digital, said: “Scaling the Huble Digital brands into the USA market extends our international reach and allows us to continue assisting medium to large organisations and, in particular, those with a global footprint, with our specialists, and our on-the-ground support.”



Consumer intelligence platform provider Toluna has unveiled its new corporate brand identity, marking the company’s 20-year anniversary.

Toluna also celebrated becoming the principal brand and holding company of Harris Interactive and KuRunData. Effective from July 20, 2020, former principal brand ITWP was sunset from use.

Michele Morelli, senior VP of global marketing strategy for Toluna, said: “Our new brand identity shows that Toluna is driving toward the future.  Toluna has always been recognized as a disrupter in the market research industry, and this brand furthers that legacy and identifies us as modern and innovative while decidedly human.”

Frédéric-Charles Petit, CEO of Toluna, said: “The days of unscalable research projects taking weeks and months to complete are over. Research now needs to move at the speed of business decision-making so our clients can access real insights in real-time. As we move into the future, Toluna will continue to offer our clients the most agile and innovative services that empower them to select the customised technology-driven resources and global community they need to power their critical business projects.”

Training Course Launches

New Blood Academy

The seventh annual New Blood Academy, with creative transformation company WPP, will take place online via Zoom, Slack and the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) website between September 7 and 18, 2020.

Led by global leaders in advertising and design, the two-week digital programme of talks, workshops and practical tasks aims to bridge the gap between education and industry.

The event is aimed at All Pencil Winners from the 2020 New Blood Awards, Ones to Watch, Alumni of New Blood Shift in London and New York, and anyone interested in a career in commercial activity.

Winners of the Yellow, White and Black Pencils at the New Blood Awards will be able to access all areas of the Academy, including live talks and workshops, group work, portfolio reviews, 1:1 mentoring and a collaborative live client brief. 

Winners of the Graphite and Wood Pencils, Ones to Watch and New Blood Shift alumni will be able to avail of all live talks and Q&As, tools and learning resources.

The wider New Blood audience will have access to pre-recorded talks and workshops from the Academy.

Chairman at D&AD, Tim Lindsay, said: “Thanks to our long-term partnership with WPP, our inspiring programme of talks, workshops and practical tasks will help forge lasting connections between fresh creatives and the industry and prepare them for entering the creative arena as it undergoes immense change.”

Mark Read, CEO at WPP, said: “WPP and D&AD have always shared a commitment to build a diverse talent pipeline, and our redesign of the New Blood Academy will go even further to provide a professional network and platform that educates, inspires and stimulates the next generation of creative thinkers.”

Free learning platform for education and skills training,, has launched its GDPR course in new languages.

The course was originally launched in English, and is now available in 18 European languages.

Alison published its popular course on understanding GDPR to help businesses correctly interpret GDPR and to implement the necessary measures to protect their customers’ data.

Alison CEO and founder, Mike Feerick, said: “GDPR is about protecting the privacy rights of the people of Europe as European citizens, not just within their own country but anywhere within the bloc’s borders. It also serves as the leading standard across the globe and for anyone doing business with the EU.” 

The course is now available in: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

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