Ex-MHP man Robb joins adland chiefs for new agency with 'whole world brand view'

Former Engine MHP head of financial services Mike Robb has teamed up with senior figures from adland to launch a "brand strategy and communications agency" billed as bringing together advertising, marketing and PR.

Mike Robb and Nick Ford-Young have launched a new agency, Bold White Space.
Mike Robb and Nick Ford-Young have launched a new agency, Bold White Space.

As PRWeek revealed in February, Robb is co-founding the new venture alongside Nick Ford-Young, former MD of brand strategy and content agency Studio Black Tomato.

Details of the agency have been released, including the name - Bold White Space - and the identity of the chairman: Simon Sherwood, former chairman and global CEO of BBH.

According to the agency, the business has raised a "significant six-figure investment", all from private individuals including those with backgrounds in PR, advertising and technology. Some of the investors are part of the launch team.

The team includes strategy lead Mike Nicholson, who previously led planning at MullenLowe, VCCP, Ogilvy Action and Diageo; and Adam Griffin, former creative at ad agencies including Leo Burnett and JWT, who will oversee the creative function.

In addition, Katie Sogorski and Rachel Mason, who together have worked at PR agencies M&C Saatchi PR, Freuds and Porter Novelli, will provide senior PR and comms experience.

The agency has also established an advisory panel of six senior executives from across the industry, including John Veichmanis, former CMO at Farfetch; Natasha Ighodaro, former digital strategy director at JWT; Mark Davies, former MD of corporate affairs at Betfair; Zaza Biddu, former VP at H+K; and Mark Hemingway, former head of communications at HSBC.

Bold White Space launches with four clients across four different industries, including health app ONKO and green energy firm Tepeo. The other two clients have not been named.

Bold White Space calls its methodology "Whole World Brand View". The agency stated: "This unique model is based on the premise that only by making the constant loop of 14 specific consideration areas unite can truly effective strategy, creative, content, and communications be delivered. This approach not only drives outstanding work: it ensures the most efficient communications programme possible. By being able to analyse and pinpoint ROI across all these areas, the agency focuses creativity and spend more effectively, maximising value for a client."

Robb, who takes the role of managing director at Bold White Space, said: “The world is suddenly a different place, where we live amidst the biggest economic shock since the Second World War. We strongly believed the marketing and communications industry was unfit for the next generation of business before this crisis, and we believe it more than ever now.

“The businesses of tomorrow needs a more targeted, versatile and efficient model than exists in the market today. But for this to become a reality, we believed a new agency was required, built from the ground-up with the culture, structure and blend of technology required to create a model that delivers for that next generation. We will be that agency.”

Sherwood said: “Exceptional strategy and creative should not just be available to the world’s biggest brands. Technology and a new way of thinking means that what was once exclusive to those with bottomless budgets is now accessible to ambitious brands looking to accelerate growth and market position. I’m delighted to be a part of this exciting story.”

Robb started his comms career in the US, working on political campaign teams for senators as well as the presidential candidate Bob Graham.

Back in the UK, he worked as the comms lead for Betfair and was later an executive director for Cicero Group before joining MHP, where he restructured the agency’s financial services practice.

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