Leadership

Find out more about our executive team at Carat Leeds.

Andrea Bagan

Andrea Bagan

Director | Carat Leeds

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Having joined the business in 2005, I initially worked within the broadcast team across all of our TV, Radio and Cinema campaigns. I then moved into a broader, client servicing role to gain a deeper understanding of other media channels outside of broadcast and became passionate about delivering integrated communication solutions for our clients.

Today I am fortunate enough to lead the Carat team in Leeds where our priority is delivering top class servicing to all of our clients, with their business objectives at the centre of everything we do.

Outside of the office I love to travel, spend time with my family, and I try to keep fit and active when I can. I also enjoy baking which always comes in handy for our office charity bake offs!

Erinne Parish

Erinne Parish

Director | Carat Leeds

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I have worked at Carat for just over ten years, starting in a Graduate position and working my way through the ranks to Director.  Over the years I have worked with a range of clients, primarily within the retail sector. My focus is within strategic comms planning and client service but I also have experience in buying and implementing most media channels and I still remain the office champion for OOH media.

Alongside my client facing role, I also work closely with Andrea Bagan on various office projects to ensure consistent ways of working and people management across the Carat office.

Away from work I love to travel and will try and utilise my annual leave to the full – although buying my first house has changed this slightly!  When I’m not travelling or doing up the house, I love to cook and entertain family and friends.

Mark Bull

Mark Bull

Buying Director | Trading

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Prior to joining the business I worked for a number of media agencies, across the UK, all of which gave me the experience of working with a diverse client portfolio including retail, telecoms, finance, leisure, entertainment and education brands.

The role of Buying Director involves working closely with the wider group and our Client Services Teams to define a trading infrastructure that better reflects todays media landscape. I work directly with client services to integrate new ways of delivering media campaigns that drive client value. This could encompass anything from Barter to Sponsorship, Digital to Cross Platform integrated solutions.

The ambition is to create a holistic buying function that is focused on delivering a competitive pricing edge, but that also achieves a market reputation for being highly professional, authoritative and innovative.

Away from the office my passions encompass The Bully Boys & wing pilot Mrs B. Northern Soul, John Smedley, Bass Weejuns, Pompey, SW France and perhaps a drop of red wine.

Scott Boyes

Scott Boyes

Planning Director | Carat Leeds

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I’ve been lucky enough to work in a variety of planning and strategic roles within media over the last decade. Starting my career with OMD, I’ve been with Carat since 2011 where I now work as Planning Director across a number of the agency’s accounts.

Over the years I’ve been able to help our clients navigate the increasingly complex media landscape and develop insight-driven communication strategies across such diverse sectors such as Retail, Finance, Apparel and FMCG. This has given me a breadth of experience and a great appreciation of the challenges so many businesses face, from the absolutely unique to the all-too-familiar…

Outside of work I enjoy the footie and exploring new places overseas (occasionally combining both), and have a healthy appreciation for good beer.

Laura Jennings

Laura Jennings

Business Development Director | Carat Leeds

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My role within the agency is ultimately to facilitate conversations and pitch processes with advertisers who are interested in working with us. Our client base in Leeds is national and our experience diverse, spanning a wide range of sectors from travel and leisure to retail, not for profit, finance and property brands. I have close working relationships with our other Carat offices in the UK as well as our digital performance brand iProspect to ensure that we are always able to offer clients the best media solution. Being part of the global Dentsu Aegis Network, I am also passionate about ensuring we unlock all the value this can bring to our own clients here in Leeds.

We are very used to clients asking us to challenge their current media strategy, reviewing their past campaigns or suggest innovative media solutions which will help them to achieve their wider media and marketing objectives. It is now becoming unusual if we are not asked to “think outside of the box” and do something differently, bringing innovation in to all of our planning and applying all the learnings and insights from across our network. Media convergence is now more important than ever and it is our role as our clients media agency to work as an extension their team to really understand the involvement and impact that digital media has on their customer journey.

No one day is ever the same and that’s the way I like it! I can be 100% immersed in a pitch one day, speaking to a potential new client the next, identifying who we would like to work with or attending events and networking. I also support out marketing function with the management of our external communications. Outside of work I’m a busy mum who enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, balanced with some me-time of course!

Laura Webb

Laura Webb

Head of TV | Carat Leeds

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Originally starting my career at Carat London, I joined the growing team in Leeds in 2013 bringing over 12 years of experience specialising in broadcast media. Having worked across a wide portfolio of brand and customer acquisition clients I have an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by businesses especially those operating in retail, travel & leisure, gambling, entertainment and charities.

My responsibilities include managing the strategic planning and negotiation of broadcast activity for our clients and working closely with the client service leads to ensure a fully integrated approach to every brief. Transparency, measurement and excellence of service are key drivers of Carat’s aim to redefine media by thoroughly understanding our client’s business needs.

Outside of work my two main passions are travel and good food & wine. I try not to visit the same place twice, loving nothing more than a new adventure off the beaten track. Top of my current wish list is a trip to Argentina, complete with the finest steak and bottle of Malbec!

Kym Sexton

Kym Sexton

Associate Director | Carat Leeds

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I joined Carat Leeds in 2007 with 8 years industry experience working as a Senior Account Manager planning and buying media campaigns at a full service direct response agency. In that time, I had worked with a large selection of clients and market sectors including GHD, Lakeland Limited and The Royal Mint. My main focus was developing holistic, cross-platform media solutions for my clients to deliver the strongest return against media investment and their own individual KPIs. Working closely with internal Creative, Print & PR departments deepened my understanding of the role that media played within my clients overall marketing strategies.

I now enjoy the role of Associate Director at Carat and am responsible for the strategic development and management of my client’s media and marketing activities. I am involved with all stages of campaign development, delivery and analysis to ensure that campaigns are media neutral, seamlessly integrated across all channels and business areas and accountable which is what counts! During my time at Carat I’ve worked on a number of key accounts including Jet2.com, The View from The Shard, ATOC & RHS Gardens which as you can see has given me a focus on the Travel & Tourism sector. I had been very lucky to be involved in a number of launch campaigns including most recently the unveiling of the View from the Shard visitor attraction in 2013.

Outside of work I’m a mum to two year old Molly but still like to dust of my dancing shoes whenever possible!

El Long

El Long

Associate Director | Radio

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Having been with Carat for nearly 12 years, heading up the Broadcast Department for much of it, I currently work with the client services teams on the strategy, planning, quality and implementation of all radio airtime, promotions and sponsorship activity. My 19 years of media experience includes working for both media owners and media agencies and this has given me the advantage of a comprehensive understanding of the industry from both sides. Alongside my radio role I am also an Account Director across all media on 3 of the agencies key clients including Stepchange Debt Charity. I often assist with new business pitches within the agency too.

Away from work, being Mum to a 6 year old girl and a 2 ½ year old boy takes up most of my time. Other than that when time permits I love to shop, pamper myself and cook me and the other half a juicy steak with a nice glass of wine!

Christina Hawksworth

Christina Hawksworth

Associate Director | Carat Leeds

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During the ten years that I have been with Carat, my role has developed and grown in tandem with the agency. Starting my career within the Digital team, I was involved in the development, delivery and strategic thinking across all elements of our client’s digital campaigns. Working across everything from Brand and Performance Display, Paid Search and SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media and Mobile, I have had the invaluable experience in managing multiple multi-channel digital strategies across a wide range of clients and markets, ensuring that the most effective media solutions are utilised for individual requirements.

More recently I have moved into leading a Client Services team within Carat. I work strategically with all my clients, acting as one point of contact for all aspects of their media campaign strategy and planning, ensuring that our approach is innovative and effective, delivery is tight and output is of the highest standard. I also work closely with our reporting and analytics team to really understand the true impact of our activity against client’s business objectives. My experience spans a diverse range of clients from travel, retail and education brands to charities and property. This enables me to bring a wide range of experience and learning’s to each campaign. I pride myself on building strong and trusted relationships with my clients to ensure we achieve the very best results.

Outside of work I’m a country girl at heart, so you will usually find me at the stables, out walking the dog or enjoying a glass of wine in the Garden.

 

Kara Gibbons

Kara Gibbons

Associate Director | Carat Leeds

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After a 4 week work experience stint at Carat Leeds in my final year of my Media degree I immediately started work there 2 days after my final exam in 2008. I joined the broadcast team, planning and buying TV, radio and cinema on both a regional and national level. After 2 and a half years there I went on to specialise in TV, working at various northern agencies and gaining a wealth experience across both brand and DRTV clients. 3 years ago I returned to Carat Leeds and my role and interests have developed so that I now work across all offline media, focusing on delivering fully integrated campaigns for our clients.

I’m currently an Associate Director across Hammerson and Fiskars which I love as although you could argue that they are all retail clients, they couldn’t be more varied. My week can involve anything from booking local media space and familiarising myself with local catchments for Hammerson, or working with the TV team to deliver highly targeted regional and national campaigns for Fiskars. I get to work closely with all offline and online teams and I’d say I learn something new every day. Delivering successful, innovative and efficient campaigns for our clients is something I’m really passionate about and I think it’s important to fully understand a client’s needs to enable us to offer the right solutions and in turn deliver the right results.

I try and make the most of my time outside of work and a work life balance is really important to me. I’ve recently taken up painting (though not very well), I go to Yoga 2-3 times a week and I volunteer at my local Brownies every Wednesday (who wouldn’t want to spend an hour and 15 minutes once a week with a load of rowdy 7-10 year old girls?!). Weekends revolve around seeing family and friends, and we love going on long walks to the various villages and pubs around us.

Lisa Gillingham

Lisa Gillingham

Associate Director | TV

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I joined the team in 2007 as a media assistant in the non-broadcast department. This enabled me to develop my media planning skills across all press, magazine and outdoor media formats. I then progressed to account management, working on a diverse client base that included FMCG, leisure and retail advertisers. My current role is within the broadcast team so I now have a thorough understanding of all offline media. We are responsible for planning, buying and monitoring TV campaigns both on a regional and national scale and my current clients include Brighthouse, Interflora, Samsonite, and Poundland.

Some interesting facts about me… I have a slight obsession with high top trainers and decent headphones! Love my large wine glasses and I also got bit by a dolphin once so they are not the friendliest animal on the planet after all!

Mike James

Mike James

Associate Director | Carat Leeds

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Having completed a degree in architecture (but with little confidence that any structure designed by my own fair hands would withstand more than a mild gust of wind) I found myself embarking on a career in media, and more specifically client services. Over the past decade I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a variety of wonderfully diverse clients, from budget supermarkets to luxury cars, business software solutions to train operating companies, truly no two days have been the same.

During my career to date I have worked in numerous agencies and also spent some time media owner side. I like to think these experiences have given me a balanced and considered view of the industry and our role within it. The markets that our clients operate in are becoming ever increasingly competitive as companies continue to adapt and broaden their customer offering in order to survive and thrive. The role of clients services has never been more important, acting as an extension of the marketing departments we serve. It’s essential we understand our client’s businesses and their objectives as well as they do, enabling us to deliver not only cutting edge, innovative media solutions, but tangible business results.

Outside of work I love nothing more than a wander in the woods followed by a pint in the pub. Camping is one of my favourite weekend activities, there is nothing quite like pitching your tent in the pouring rain, soaked to the bone after a day of walking in England’s finest weather. The feeling you get once you’re in that tent, finally out of the rain cannot be bought. It makes you appreciate the simple things in life!

Sam Oxley

Sam Oxley

Associate Director | Government Media Team

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Having worked brand side for the last 21 years, I’ve gained huge insights into the operations, buying, marketing and project management of food retail and manufacturing, where I was responsible for managing above the line media campaigns. Managing that process sparked my interest within the media industry, which is why I decided to make the choice to move across to the agency side of life.

At Carat I am responsible for the Government Media Team in the Leeds office – a dedicated team that works exclusively with Wider Public Sector Government clients to service all their media buying needs. As a new department within the Leeds team, we work closely with our colleagues in London, who manage the other part of the Government Media team.

Working with the Government means we get to work with many diverse clients. It spans from charities to city councils and the team have a special focus on helping clients to gain a real insight and focus on brand awareness to a wide and varied set of consumers.

I’m known by all my family and friends as Littlebird – it is true – good things do come in very small packages! I love cycling although more watching than doing these days! So much so that I was a Tour de France Tour-maker and have been to Paris five times to see my heroes Wiggo and Cav. My personal motto varies between work hard and play harder and get up earlier.

Jamie McGrath

Jamie McGrath

Head of Digital | Carat Leeds

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With over 10 years’ experience in digital I have first-hand experience of digital transformation across a variety of SME’s and household names in Financial Services, Retail, Home Improvement, FMCG, Legal and B2B sectors. During the last decade I’ve been able to help clients succeed through strategic digital planning, rooted in the latest consumer insight and behaviours.

I’m passionate about ensuring that the full customer journey is considered by integrating paid, owned and earned strategies all channels and devices.

My spare time is largely taken up by series after series of Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and playing hide and seek (for a bit of rest-bite) with my two young toddlers! Previously I used to enjoy taking part in Football, Boxing and Track Days, but this is now a fond distant memory.