VCCP co-founder joins Pitch as chair to expand agency's offer

Pitch Marketing Group has appointed Ian Priest, the co-founder of VCCP and former chair of ad industry body the IPA, as its first non-executive chair.

It follows the sports and consumer agency's rebranding from Pitch PR to Pitch Marketing Group in October, as part of a push to diversify its services.

Priest started his career at ad agencies IMP and HHCL, eventually rising to MD of the latter. In 2002 he founded the ad agency VCCP, which was sold to Chime Communications in 2005. He continued working at Chime until 2015, and in later years has worked for Chime Sports Marketing under its chair, Lord Coe.

He was also president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising from 2013-2015.

Priest is now CEO of global marketing executive search firm Grace Blue, and Pitch founder Henry Chappell said that this experience would be useful to the business, with Chappell saying recruitment of good talent was "one of the biggest challenges" for the 40-strong firm.

However, Chappell told PRWeek that the two main priorities for Priest would be helping the business to apply "planning and impact measurement from the marketing disciplines" to Pitch's work, and helping it expand further beyond its core PR proposition.

"We believe that he will greatly help us to develop our proposition as an integrated marketing agency, particularly in regards to wider consumer work beyond sport & entertainment," he said.

Founded in 2002, Pitch has worked for clients including Asics, BT, Channel 4, NBA and TAG Heuer, among others.

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