Agency roundup: Boutique; CreativeRace; Umpf; and more

UK skincare specialists SkinGym has appointed channel marketing agency Boutique to spearhead its SEO strategy and drive sustained organic visibility and growth.

With a big focus on Environ, one of the retailer’s most popular stocked skincare brands, the Leeds-based agency will aim to increase online sales, enhance SEO performance over competitors and provide strategic social media consultancy.

SkinGym is led by skincare expert, Katherine Taylor who is an expert in healthy skin and creating skincare programmes that help improve lines, wrinkles, dry skin and  conditions such as eczema and acne.

Having worked as a therapist and skincare trainer for the last 15 years, her priority is driving the ecommerce side of the business to maximise sales of its treatments and products.

She said: “As an online skincare retailer with ambitious growth plans, we’re delighted to be working with Boutique to help drive forward our search marketing strategy in an increasingly competitive market.

“The agency demonstrated to us strong technical expertise and the team have vast experience growing ecommerce brands across a broad range of sectors. It’s the perfect fit.”

Managing director of the agency, Simon Bollon, added: “SEO is a channel in high demand and the results we’re generating for clients is testament to that.

“We’re looking forward to working with Katherine and the team and are confident our strategic, performance-led approach will be pivotal in driving accelerating organic business growth.”


Rob Shaw

Crown Paints has appointed independent marketing agency CreativeRace, following a competitive multi-agency pitch in 2020.

The agency will support Crown with its future plans by leading its retail strategy and store design projects, starting imminently.

CreativeRace CEO, Rob Shaw, said: “We look forward to leveraging CreativeRace’s extensive experience in retail brand design and strategy to deliver some inspiring projects that will really captivate their audience.”

The agency is based in Leeds, and works on national integrated campaigns for clients including ASDA, Greggs, NFUM and Planet-U.


Adrian Johnson

Umpf, a Leeds-based integrated agency, will open a new office in London next month.

Established in 2009, the agency will increase its headcount from nine to 15 full-time staff by June on the back of new business wins and organic client growth.

Founder and MD, Adrian Johnson, said: “The last year has been a tale of two halves. In April, with the pandemic setting in and three of our nine permanent staff on furlough, the future looked uncertain at best.

“By the end of last year, despite some clients still on pause, business picked up and since January we have been stretched, fuelled by organic growth.

“We’ve undoubtedly benefited from being able to offer a range of services – consumer PR, social, influencer, paid, plus our creative Studio – which has enabled us to offer more to existing clients.

“We will open a new office in London initially with two full-time staff, recruited from the south, supported by myself and the team in Leeds. In Cardiff, we’re probably looking at freelance support or a part-time role.

“I know a lot of agencies have suffered and some haven’t survived this last year, so it’s not the time to be celebrating, but I’m as excited and optimistic about this next chapter as I was when Umpf opened 11 years ago.”

Umpf’s clients include Belling, Harrison Spinks, Keepmoat Homes, Landsec, Morphy Richards, the NHS, Stoves and The Travel Network Group.


Aubergine co-founders Emma Gardner and Verity Clarke

PR agency Aubergine has been chosen to handle the consumer PR in 2021 for The Duppy Share, a UK premium rum company.

With rum predicted to continue its rise as a drinks trend, The Duppy Share says it wanted a PR agency that would secure it traction in the consumer media with product placement and a head-turning campaign for summer.

Based in London, The Duppy Share’s products include The Duppy Share Spiced, a blend of aged rums with pineapple, kola nut and ten Caribbean spices and The Duppy Share Aged, a blend sourced from two of the most prestigious distilleries in the world in Jamaica and Barbados.

Aubergine, a Leeds-based virtual PR consultancy specialising in the food, drink and tech is planning a creative campaign for summer with the theme of ‘shine’ firmly in the spotlight.

Jack Orr-Ewing, the rum producer’s CEO, said: “Rum is set to be big news in 2021, especially with lockdown easing and people being able to get a little more in the party spirit.

“So we wanted an agency we could trust that has a track record in developing creative media campaigns that get results. We’re confident Aubergine is that agency.”

Aubergine co-founder, Verity Clarke, said: “We’ve been looking to add a rum brand to our books for a while now, so we were very excited to win the PR brief for The Duppy Share.

“We’re enjoying getting stuck in pitching their unique products to the media and are busy working on a campaign for the summer that we’re confident will turn heads.”