Isobar UK & Ireland bolsters experience offering with new CEO role

Iain Valentine, managing partner of Whitespace, An Isobar Company, has been promoted to CEO of Isobar UK&I effective immediately.

The move further strengthens Isobar’s strategy to invest in creativity to complement its London-based world-class commerce and technology teams delivering experience-led transformation.

Valentine will work with the current Isobar leadership teams across London, Dublin and Edinburgh, as well as production teams in Sofia and Pune, and in partnership with Isobar’s teams across 45 markets worldwide.

The move is part of Dentsu Aegis’ creative line of business (LoB) strategy to deliver contemporary creative excellence in the UK, alongside dentsuMcGarrybowen and John Brown.

Valentine will report into James Morris, executive director creative LoB/entertainment & sport, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland.

Valentine has spent the last 15 years at Whitespace (recently renamed to ‘Whitespace, An Isobar Company) working his way up from the creative director position through to the role of managing partner. Under his management, he grew the agency into Scotland’s leading creative digital agency with a reputation for award-winning work and a healthy team culture. Whitespace was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network in 2018 and became an Isobar company earlier this year.

Valentine will be tasked with focusing on the evolution and growth of Isobar by bringing together the capability of the teams across the UK&I to deliver experience-led transformation powered by creativity.

This will build on the agency's current collaborative efforts, which have significantly contributed to the teams winning Campaign Innovation Network of the Year 2018.

The teams already regularly pitch and deliver client work together, specifically around innovation, experience and commerce, recently delivering an innovation programme for global blue-chip beauty brand. The Isobar UK team in London will continue to play a leading role in Isobar’s global commerce practice, currently delivering CX and commerce solutions for international brands and global marketing including Asda, adidas, Clarins and Shiseido.

Phillip Lockwood Holmes, managing partner of Whitespace - an Isobar company, and the current senior management team will continue to lead the agency.

Iain Valentine, CEO of Isobar UK&I, says: “Isobar is a brand I have long admired and I am incredibly excited and privileged to take on this role. Over the last 18 months I have been able to work more closely with the Isobar team and develop a better understanding of our combined capabilities across the UK and Ireland.

"Together and with the creative firepower across the Dentsu creative offering in the UK, our teams will deliver market-leading creative experience, innovation, technology and e-commerce products and services. I look forward to greater collaboration across our Isobar family to deliver the very best work and results for our clients. “

James Morris, Dentsu Aegis UK's executive director, creative/entertainment & sports, says: “Putting creative talent at the helm of Isobar in the UK & Ireland is an important step in its evolution and is demonstrative of Isobar’s mission to transform businesses, brands and people’s lives with the creative use of digital.

"We are now strongly positioned to grow the business and expand our capabilities with our clients to deliver on Isobar’s global offering: Experience-led transformation powered by creativity.”

Isobar’s creative leadership will be further strengthened as Simon Gill, chief experience officer EMEA will take on a joint role as chief creative officer for the Isobar UK & Ireland business. Joining Isobar from DigitasLBi in 2016, Gill was promoted in 2018 overseeing its most successful creative period to date.

Gill concludes: "I’ve very much enjoyed working with Iain, Phillip and the Whitespace team since they joined Dentsu Aegis Network in 2018. So it’s fantastic to take it a step further and become an official member of the wider Isobar UK & Ireland team.

"There is much potential within this group, as we deliver digital transformation powered by creativity to our clients at this pivotal time in the UK and Irish economies.”