Cheshire-based brand communications agency, 438 Marketing is marking its milestone 15th year by recruiting a new Head of Automotive to fuel further expansion in the sector.
With a hugely impressive automotive track-record, the 438 founding team has been working with motoring-related brands since even before it opened the agency’s famous blue door on Knutsford’s King Street in 2005. Now it is planning to drive further growth with the appointment of Stuart Royle who joins as Head of Automotive.
Stuart will support the business with its existing automotive clients including Isuzu, Subaru, Williams Motor Group (BMW, MINI, JLR) and Marshall (BMW, MINI, Audi, Mercedes) and help to propel ambitious growth plans to attract new agency partners looking to navigate the changing market. He brings more than 30 years’ experience leading campaigns for some of the world’s most iconic automotive brands, such as Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Bentley and Fiat, having held senior global positions for Leo Burnett Worldwide and BBDO Worldwide in Detroit.
Andy Whitmore, founding partner of 438, explains, “As the agency reaches its milestone 15th year, with the amount of experience Stuart brings to the position, adding to our team at this level will help to bolster the agency’s next phase of growth. He will lead our automotive team and further raise the bar in all areas of the agency’s service offering.
“The automotive industry is evolving faster than ever before and over the next ten years we are going to see a huge step change in the sector – from the planned phasing out of petrol and diesel models to further development of autonomous driving.
“Whilst the current landscape, against a backdrop of the pandemic, is tough right now – the future opportunities are extremely exciting. As an agile and nimble agency with a high calibre team of automotive marketing experts we’re best placed to lead this march.”
Talking about how the agency is growing in other areas and celebrating its 15th anniversary, 438 co-founder and managing director Paul Keen says, “As well as this key hire for our business, we are proud to be continuing to be growing other areas of the team and attracting significant clients to the agency. This year we have welcomed PepsiCo as a client partner and implemented large scale new campaigns for Willis Towers Watson, Element and Henkel – which was actually one of our very first clients back in 2005 and a pivotal part of our entry into the independent agency scene.
“Agility is a core value we’ve always been proud of, and in the current climate it’s becoming our strongest virtue. So many organisations needed to act quickly and smartly in light of how Covid-19 is impacting all markets, and we’re already helping clients to respond to this – from running huge global virtual events to creative, standout social campaigns.
“Appetite amongst big brands for the traditional agency model is in decline where brands need fast turnaround, reactive campaigns from marketing teams that can flex around their needs. With ever-growing pressure on budgets, there is a clear need to develop innovative campaigns that work smarter and harder for every penny, adding genuine value.”
Andy Whitmore added: “We’re extremely proud to be celebrating 15 years in business – and whilst we are celebrating this birthday virtually, we look forward to marking our sweet sixteenth next year surrounded by our colleagues and clients!
“2020 has been a challenging year for the industry as a whole but it has also provided an opportune time for us to reflect on our journey and the success that we have enjoyed over the past 15 years, as well as plan for the future.
“From the pioneering and gutsy work that we did for VIP e-cigarettes (which, incidentally, is the fourth most complained about ad of all time), to our latest hugely important PepsiCo project – which will change the fundamentals of the way the business operates internally – we are proud of the way that our work has worked to transform brands, big and small.”