"It represents a new agency model" - Dentsu Aegis launches digital ‘marketing for good’ agency staffed by diverse youth

Dentsu Aegis Network has put its money where its mouth is in the diversity debate to launch fortysix, a digital agency that will be entirely staffed by young people from diverse backgrounds.

The agency, which will become a division of Dentsu Aegis in the UK from June, has been formed in partnership with Freeformers, a digital transformation business that mentors a young person for every commercial project it runs.

The diversity debate has raged for some time in the industry, equally the topic of marketing for good and the need to get younger talent (dare we say ‘millennial’) involved in the business at a higher level. While fortysix manages to take opportunity in three industry zeitgeists, it represents investment from Dentsu Aegis and is an action on diversity that many in the industry have been calling for.

Leading the agency will be a former Freeformers mentee Lewie Allen, who became a lead trainer and ambassador for the business, supported by a board of industry and non-industry experts and chaired by Dentsu Aegis Network UK and Ireland CEO Tracy De Groose. De Groose, who has been a leader in the debate around diversity in the industry, conceived the idea in collaboration with Freeformers.

De Groose, said: “Winning in the digital economy is about speed, bravery and innovation born from diverse perspectives and new ways of working. The power of fortysix is that it has these attributes in its DNA – it represents a new agency model created for the good of our clients, talent, the industry and society at large.”

According to Denstu Aegis the output of the agency will be carried out at speed. The name fortysix, was chosen because it is the number of human chromosomes, which Dentsu Aegis wants to reference the people-centred spirit of the agency. It also said the concept was created in 46 days.

Dentsu Aegis revealed the new agency at Advertising Week Europe in London today. For more content on the event, see our dedicated Advertising Week Europe hub.

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Charlotte McEleny

Charlotte McEleny is The Drum's Asia Editor, charged with finding all the interesting industry news and insights from the Asia Pacific region. During her year in Asia, she's covered topics as wide ranging as industry overwork to artificial intelligence, and interviewed top CMOs such as Alibaba's Chris Tung, and world famous creatives such as Rankin.

Based in Singapore, she travels the region regularly, attending and presenting at many top events, such as Spikes, Ad Week Asia and Innovfest.

Prior to her role as Asia Editor, she spent 10 years working across the London marketing trade magazines, even picking up an award for Best Digital Team at the PPA Digital Awards during her spell as digital editor at Marketing.

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