Tag Archives: london

Stanford Professor to run Silicon Valley-inspired Masterclass for media agencies in London

In November, TLA will be hosting an exclusive Marketing Masterclass led by Stanford Business School Professor of Marketing Jonathan Levav.

Having met Jonathan at a week-long event held at Stanford earlier this year, we were immediately struck by the quality of his research and findings – particularly around his work with Silicon Valley, where he’s identified the patterns of innovation used by the most high-profile tech companies in the world.

To coincide with the launch of our brand new customer acquisition platform, we’re flying Jonathan over from California to share his insights and run a one-off idea generation workshop for media agencies and publishers on Monday 11 November (2pm-5pm) at London’s Soho House.

Once he’s unpicked the patterns of innovation used by the Valley’s best, attendees will get chance to put them into practice to generate ideas of their own. This is an event not to be missed!

A limited number of tickets are available, so please email [email protected] to express your interest in the event.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Levav is Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research focuses on understanding the judgments and choices of consumers by using tools from experimental psychology and behavioural economics. His studies into the contextual factors that influence people’s choices and judgments was the subject of his engaging TEDx talk.

Working with the university has also seen Jonathan work closely with Silicon Valley, where he has identified the repeatable patterns that being used world’s most innovative businesses to consistently produce great ideas. Contrary to the belief that it centres on outside-the-box thinking and a blank canvas, he found that consistent creativity requires a more structured, inside-the-box approach.

Jonathan received his PhD in marketing from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, and his A.B. in public and international affairs from Princeton University. He is the winner of the Hillel Einhorn Young Investigator Award, awarded biennially by the Society for Judgment and Decision-Making.

Media industry cycle from London to Brighton confirmed for 2020

Places are now available for Sea Change 2020, the UK advertising and media industry’s charity cycle from London to Brighton in aid of NABS.

Building on the huge success of the first event earlier this year, which raised more than £25,000 for the charity, we can confirm that the second ride will take place on 12 June 2020.

The event, which is open to teams and individuals working in the media, ad and tech industries, is funded entirely by TLA and event sponsors. As a result, 100% of entry fees and donations raised from participant will go directly to NABS.

Having welcomed more than 100 riders in June, representing the likes of Accenture, Mail Metro Media, PHD and Mediacom, we are anticipating an even bigger response for 2020 and have set an ambitious fundraising target of £30,000. For any company or individual that signs up before the end of November, an ‘early bird’ discount will be applied to their entry fee.

‘Bigger and better’

TLA CEO Anton Hanley said: “This year’s Sea Change for Mental Health brought together the biggest and brightest companies from the media, advertising and tech industries to raise a fantastic amount of money for NABS and helped the charity to continue supporting people dealing with issues relating to mental health and wellbeing. The people who took part loved the experience of riding alongside their colleagues from the same industry along one of the UK’s best cycling routes.

“We’re committed to making Sea Change 2020 even bigger and better than this year, bringing more of the industry together and setting a fundraising target that will make a huge difference for the charity and those it supports,” he added.

Charlie Parkin, fundraising director at NABS, commented on the announcement: “We are delighted that Sea Change 2020 has been announced. The Lead Agency did a brilliant job of uniting the UK media industry behind the important cause of mental health and wellbeing, and we’re excited by their plans for next year’s ride.”

Parkin was among the riders in June. Explaining her reason for taking part, she said: “As well as raising money for our fantastic team, I wanted to challenge myself. It is easy in everyday life to slip into the routine of going to the gym to do the same workouts or road run the same distance. The Sea Change London to Brighton ride offered me a chance to train in a different way, push myself towards a new goal and achieve this with people from my own industry.”

Teams and individuals can enter Sea Change 2020 for £275 per person (or £250 per person with the early bird discount).

To confirm a booking or register interest in the event, please visit the official Sea Change microsite. 

Celebrating women in tech and marketing (part one)

Women remain underrepresented in the UK tech industry. But what does that mean for those already there or starting their career?

There are small signs of progress with the topic becoming front-and-centre for some of the sectors’ biggest companies and an increasing number of female founders and directors being highlighted across business and social media. But it remains an industry that could do more – and needs to do more – to attract, welcome, retrain and progress female professionals.

At TLA, we proudly have a female-to-male split that is above the industry average. But we recognise there is a long way to go to achieve true balance across the business – particularly at a senior level. One of the ways we want to do this is to celebrate the women who work at TLA via our blog and social media channels.

We believe their journeys are worth sharing, particularly with women who might be considering a role or career in the tech or marketing industry. That’s why we arranged an all-female, all-TLA roundtable this month to better understand their experiences.

Taking part in the discussion were marketers Rachel Hellon and Amara Molloy; developers Danielle Smith and Shannon Miller; Miki Parr from the data insights team; account managers Amy Smith, Irina Ashakanova and Zoe Hamilton; project manager Emily Abbey; and Kathy Fleming, Laurie Bloor, Alison Eustace and Abigail Hanson from the quality and compliance department. Their time with TLA and, indeed within the tech industry, ranges from a few months to more than a decade.

Industry preconceptions

We started by asking what preconceptions they each held prior to joining the industry. The overriding and unsurprising view was that it was “male-dominated,” with Danielle highlighting that she was one of only five women on her university course out of 200 people.

Likewise, Shannon and Rachel highlighted that they were the first and only women in their department for a year before others joined. Rachel said: “In IT at high school, you would be one of only a few girls in the class. But you don’t get a true read on the industry until you join it.”

Emily had a similar view. But reassuringly added that she “hadn’t appreciated how strongly the industry is now advocating the empowerment of women”. Meanwhile, Miki admitted that preconceptions of male dominance led to concerns over whether she could make her mark in the industry but added that “once I decided it was what I wanted to do, I wasn’t going to let that stop me.”

Dominance may have been the word chosen to encapsulate preconceptions, but it may not be the right word. The numbers undoubtedly show men outnumber women, but as Amara pointed out, “the women at TLA more than hold their own” within the workplace and play an crucial role in the success we achieve.

Female role models in tech

It’s often cited that one of the challenges for the industry is the lack of profile for female business leaders, and therefore role models, for young women about to embark on careers in tech and marketing.

Not everyone in our group could name a female business leader, for example, but among those mentioned were Jacqueline De Rocas of Tech UK (Alison), information commissioner Elizabeth Denham (Kathy) and Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington (Emily).

It was Miki’s response, however, that offered the most comprehensive example, highlighting the inspiration and legacy of Grace Hopper.

“Grace was born in New York in 1906 and from a young age was interested in how things work. She got her PhD from Yale in Mathematics and was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer. She popularised the term “debugging” when a moth got stuck in a relay within the computer and she commented on getting the thing out. (Fun fact: You can actually see that moth in a museum in America!)

“She also came up with the computer language COBOL. When she coined the idea, her male counterparts told her it wouldn’t work because “…computers can’t speak English…”. She proved them wrong!

USS Hopper

Miki continued: “During WWII, Grace Hopper tried to join the Navy but was rejected because she was too small. But later joined the Navy Reserves and worked her way through the ranks to Rear Admiral.

“She retired from the Navy when she was 60 but was frequently invited to return. She officially stopped all her Naval responsibilities when she was 79, making her the oldest person to ever be in the Navy. She even has a Naval ship named after her – USS Hopper!

She is a true inspiration and one of the reasons I studied Mathematics at university.”

We’ll bring you more insight and, hopefully, inspiration in the next instalment of our women in tech series over the coming weeks. Follow our LinkedIn page for the latest updates.

Accenture Interactive signs up as lead sponsor for NABS cycle from London to Brighton

We are delighted to confirm that Accenture Interactive  has signed up as lead sponsor for the inaugural Sea Change for Mental Health cycle from London to Brighton in aid of NABS.

The deal will see Accenture Interactive feature on the official cycling jerseys being worn by all riders and have a strong presence on key promotional materials throughout the event. The global business will also be represented by a team of cyclists taking part in the 63-mile journey.

Sea Change, which takes place on Friday 7 June, is being organised by The Lead Agency (TLA) and aims to raise £25,000 for NABS – the charity that helps people who work in the media and advertising industry to thrive.

100 media professionals representing some of the UK’s biggest media agencies, ad agencies and publishers will be taking part in the NABS cycle.  Joining Accenture Interactive and TLA on the route will be riders from PHD, Mediacom, Blue449, Jungle Creations, Mail Metro Media, Dennis Publishing and Haymarket.

Anton Hanley, founder at TLA, said: “For an organisation of Accenture Interactive’s size and stature to sign up as lead sponsor is a great indication of what we’re hoping to achieve with the Sea Change event. As well as being a fun and memorable experience for the 100 riders, the funds raised for NABS will have a genuine impact for people who work in the media and advertising industry.”

To claim one of the last remaining places on the ride and join the likes of Accenture Interactive, PHD and Mediacom, visit the Sea Change Website.

Media industry cycle from London to Brighton aims to raise £25,000 for NABS

Would you like to be part of a 63-mile cycle from London to Brighton in aid of media and advertising charity NABS?

On Friday 7 June, 100 representatives from the UK’s biggest media agencies and publishers will line up side-by-side to support and promote good mental health and wellbeing within our industry.

Sea Change for Mental Health is a shared mission, led by TLA, to raise more than £25,000 for NABS in 2019 through fundraising activity. Mental health affects 1 in 4 people, so we wanted to create an event whereby people can have a positive impact on the people they work closely to.

The London to Brighton cycle, which will be led by a professional support team, is open to teams and individuals of all fitness and ability levels. TLA will fund all riders taking part, so that 100% of the proceeds from their entry fees go directly to NABS.

Upon arrival in Brighton, there will also be medals for everyone and an exclusive after-party with music, food and a free-bar!

We’ve already received team sign-ups from Mail Metro, PHD, Haymarket, NABS and, of course, TLA. If you’d like to join us in making this a special event, head over to the charity microsite today and register your interest.


TLA developers visit Google for PWA training

Last month, two developers from The Lead Agency were invited to Google’s London offices to take part in an instructor-led training course on progressive web apps (PWA).

PWAs, for those unfamiliar with the term, refers to open and cross-browser technology that provides enhanced user experiences on mobile. It does this by providing native-app qualities in web applications that are, to quote Google, “reliable, fast and engaging”.

As an important part of what we do is building technology to engage with consumers and support them through their buying journey, this was a great opportunity to learn more about this emerging technology.

Enhancing the user experience

Our engineering duo of Stephen Pammenter and Martin Donegan gained a lot from the two-day programme and were able to identify potential ways the tech could be used to enhance the user experiences we create for our clients’ future customers.

We’ll bring you more on this in 2018. But for now, we’ll leave you with the photos from their visit.


If you’d like to discuss PWAs or any of the other tech we build at The Lead Agency, contact the team.

TLA sponsors Media Rocks charity concert

The Lead Agency was among the proud sponsors of the first Media Rocks concert last night, which took place at Omeara in London last night.

The event was held in aid of MS Trust and organised by data activation company Captify. Billed as a Battle of the Media Bands, the sold-out event featured talented musicians who work in the advertising, media and digital industry.

Media Rocks winner

The line-up included acts from Maxus Global, Manning Gottlieb, Harvest Digital, MEC, Total Media and OnlineMediaExperts. While musical styles ranged from old school hip hop to alternative indie rock to metal.

The winning band

The judging panel featured Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, Radio X DJ Maz Tappuni and Captify’s own Dom Joseph, who was once a professional drummer. After much deliberation, they declared Total Media’s band Phelanto & the Vials the winner.

It was a brilliant event for an important charity, so well done to the Captify team, to the bands who took part, to everyone who bought tickets and our fellow sponsors.

TLA chosen for International Business Festival launch campaign

We have been chosen as one of three UK businesses to feature in the launch campaign – including a short film – for next year’s International Business Festival.

The film was shown at an exclusive launch event held in London last night, which was attended by the Duke of Cambridge. Prince William was officially confirmed as the festival’s patron for 2018.

International Business Festival launch

We were chosen alongside production company Zut Media (which also shot the film) and biologics organisation Absynth to be the faces of the launch campaign as the organisers look to build excitement and interest for the 16-day festival.

Ambition, innovation and growth

The promotional film, which we’ll share with you soon, will appear across a wide range of media leading up to the event. It tells each company’s story of ambition, innovation and growth as well as discussing our hopes and aspirations for the International Business Festival.

Our founder and CEO Anton Hanley was interviewed for the film and was in London for last night’s launch. Speaking to The Business Tribune about TLA’s involvement, he said: “Prince William was really interested in the company and asked whether we were using AI within our platform, so I explained about our chatbots we use to speak to customers online,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting any of the attention that’s come with being part of the Festival’s campaign so it was a surprise when I arrived here, picked up a leaflet about the Festival and saw myself on the front.

“It’s been a really good evening and it’s nice to be from a Liverpool business with ambitions to grow and being aligned with a major Liverpool event that also has ambitions overseas.”

Prince William International Business Festival IBF

‘Ingenuity, drive and commitment’

The Duke took to the stage last night to discuss his decision to support the festival.

“I am pleased to announce my patronage of the 2018 International Business Festival; an event held in Liverpool on behalf of Britain, bringing together business people from around the world,” the Duke said.

“The UK’s prosperity relies on its wealth of innovative and ambitious small and medium-sized businesses. Whenever I have had the chance to meet the people who run such enterprises, I have been struck by their ingenuity, drive and commitment. They demonstrate the best qualities of our national character.”

The International Business Festival takes place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool between 12-28 June 2018.

New starters join TLA’s London team

Following our recent growth in Liverpool, we’re delighted to announce two new arrivals in our London office.

TLA London
Frankie (left) and Irina (right) join the team.

Frankie Sartori has joined the business as head of sales for our higher education business The Study Network.

She joins from global education media provider TES, where she managed media agency partnerships. Her remit at The Study Network will be to build relationships with universities, other higher education providers and publishing partners.

Our CEO Anton Hanley said: “Frankie is an important addition to The Study Network team. Her experience and contacts will be a great asset as we look to grow the brand and forge new partnerships within the industry.”

Joining Frankie in London is account manager Irina Ashakhanova, who joins us straight off the back of graduating her English Literature degree from Bristol University.

Irina will be working on the automotive team, helping to manage relationships with car manufacturers and their agency partners.

We are recruiting for a number of digital jobs in London as well as our head office in Liverpool. Check out our latest vacancies.

TLA signs up to three-part challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support

We love a physical challenge at The Lead Agency, especially when there’s a worthy cause we can help in the process.

That’s why we’ve committed to a three-part endurance challenge between September and November to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan are on a mission to reach and inprove the lives of everyone living with cancer and to inspire millions of others to do the same. To play our part in helping their cause, members of the TLA team will be cycling from London to Liverpool (our two UK offices) before running in both the Manchester Half Marathon and the full New York Marathon. We hope to raise at least £5,000 for the charity.

Why this challenge?

As a technology business, a lot of our day is spent in the office. But we do lots to keep ourselves fit and healthy including weekly personal training sessions, squash games, five-a-side football, gym memberships and a cycle-to-work scheme. It was important that we found a change – or in this case three – that would push us physically but encourage different members of the team to get involved. That’s exactly what the TLA Triple Challenge provides!

Key dates
  • 7th, 8th and 9th September – London to Liverpool cycle
  • 15th October – Manchester Half Marathon
  • 5th November – TCS New York Marathon

We know there are a lot of worthy causes out there, so any donation you can make would greatly appreciated by all at TLA. Thank you.

Donate to the TLA Triple Challenge via our JustGiving page today!