UK media consultancy ID Comms launches stateside

02 November 2018

ID Comms, a British headquartered consultancy specialising in media and advertising, has announced it will launch a new office in New York. The move comes after a succession of major contracts with brands including Mars, Puma and GSK in the US.

Launching operations in the US represents a major hurdle for UK-based consultancies looking to reach the next stage in growth. While it can prove costly and logistically challenging, however, the potential benefits which access to the world’s largest consulting economy can yield represents a tantalising incentive for the majority of new firms in Britain.

The latest firm to take the plunge across the Atlantic is ID Comms, a UK-based media and advertising consultancy. The group is set to open a dedicated  outpost in New York City, which will serve US-based chief marketing officers, media directors and procurement executives. The office in one of the world’s leading financial hubs will be led by co-founder Tom Denford, who will assume the position of North America chief executive.

UK media consultancy ID Comms launches stateside

ID Comms specialises in assisting the world’s leading advertisers with the ideas, knowledge and networking opportunities which can give marketers an edge on a crowded industry in the digital age. Following ID Comms’ handling of a number of global and North American media reviews, which saw the company advise for LVMH, Mars, HSBC, Puma and GSK in 2018 alone and led to a combined media investment of more than $1 billion in the US, the firm has decided that now is the time to set up shop stateside.

Denford has relocated from ID Comms’ London base, and is currently recruiting media experts to work in the New York office, offering advertisers media auditing, capability assessments, agency pitches, agency relationship management and agency performance evaluations. At the same time, fellow ID Comms co-founder David Indo – a former Media Director at Nike – will remain in the UK to take on the role of group chief executive.

Denford said of the new US launch, “The US is the world’s most important media market and I am excited by the interest shown in ID Comms and the demand from major advertisers for our specialist consulting services. A lot of progress has been made to upgrade media thinking in the US, notably by the ANA, and we look forward to working with US marketing leaders to ensure they gain competitive advantage from media.”

Indo added, “The North American market provides us with an incredible opportunity not only to grow our business geographically by establishing an operation in New York, but also to innovate and evolve our offering in line with the demands and challenges of some of the most ambitious advertisers in the world.”

Related: US companies take advantage of weak pound to buy UK firms.


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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”