Agency roundup: Altitude; Spike; Other Things; and more

Altitude, the dedicated PR brand of Yorkshire-based communications agency, Counter Context, is celebrating its second anniversary with the hire of senior PR practitioner, Olivia Gourlay.

She joins Altitude as account director and brings a wealth of consumer PR experience across retail, food and drink, entertainment, health, and lifestyle, having worked at top agencies in both London and Australia including M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy and Fleishmann Hillard.

Clients she has worked with include Merlin Entertainments, HMV, TK Maxx, Channel 4, Universal Pictures, Unilever and Premier Inn, as well as independent brands including Café Pod and Artisan Coffee School.

Gourlay will bolster the core team headed by Jane Whitham alongside Adam Reeves-Brown, Rachel Measures and Max Haley.

In two years, Altitude has grown from two to five permanent team members and offers PR, media relations, strategic communications, crisis management, training, and social media services.

Clients include Henry Boot Construction, Mattress Online, education provider RNN Group, Barnsley Council including The Glass Works, Barnsley Museums, St Luke’s – Sheffield’s Hospice, care home group Milewood and property developer Zunikh.

Gourlay said: “By joining Altitude I have fulfilled a life-long ambition to bring my skills to the thriving city of Sheffield, where I live.

“I’m very much enjoying supporting both national and regional businesses, particularly within the retail, cultural and charitable sectors, which is where my passion lies.”

Altitude operates nationally but is based in Sheffield.

Whitham added: “Olivia has an excellent track record and is a significant addition to our team. She brings experience gained at the highest level with the world’s biggest brands. These are very exciting times for Altitude.”


Leeds-based digital marketing agency, Spike, has been appointed by iron supplement specialists Active Iron, following a competitive pitch.

It will be responsible for developing the full digital strategy for Active Iron, managing organic search, digital PR and outreach services to support the brand’s growth and help establish it as the pre-eminent provider of iron supplements in the UK, Ireland and US markets.

The partnership aims to embody the brand’s purpose: “Empowering women to embrace the energy from within.”

Campaigns will focus on breaking down the stigma behind key women’s health issues, including periods and perimenopause, and promoting products that address crucial, unmet clinical needs.

Claire Lynch, head of marketing at Active Iron, said: “Based on our research, we discovered 43% of women turn to online search engines for information on menstrual symptoms, including tiredness and fatigue.

“Recognising this, we sought an agency partner with a proven record in implementing effective digital marketing strategies, crucial for elevating brand profiles in key regions.

“Spike’s outstanding expertise in digital strategy and marketing campaigns impressed us, but their deep engagement with our brand’s purpose of empowering women to embrace the ‘energy from within’ really stood out.

“We’re excited to work together, as we aim to make the Active Iron product range available to more female customers throughout the US, UK and Ireland than ever before.”

Spike’s director, Rob Powell, said: “Working on such a positive brand that is focused on supporting women’s health is such a privilege for the team here.

“We’re keen to provide them with the tools to realise their ambition to become the number one iron supplement provider and can’t wait to get more involved with the team at Active Iron to create some exciting opportunities together.”


Other Things, a Leeds-based full service creative agency focused on the gaming and entertainment industries, has added to its ranks by bringing in Social Chain’s former head of gaming, Brett Claxton.

He joins the marketing team, headed by Jayne Robinson, and has already been involved in numerous projects the company is working on.

He said: “I’m thrilled to join Other Things and become a part of this super-talented team.

“I’ve been a fan of the company’s work for a while and it’s great to now be a part of it. I feel that the work we do is up there with the best.

“I’ve already had the chance to be involved with some superb things in the short time I’ve been here and I’m excited to see what else we do this year.” 

He brings with him over a decade of experience in the creative industries, which included over five years working in the world of social, and more, at Social Chain as part of its gaming team.

There he worked in Creative and Partnerships and Brand Management roles before becoming head of gaming.

Following his time at Social Chain, he has provided freelance social media consultation and strategy and also worked for the strategy team at Heaven Media as a Creative Strategist. 

Matt Hitchcock, MD and co-founder of Other Things, said: “Brett makes a very exciting addition to our team.

“He’s a lifelong gamer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of video games, and his social media and marketing skills give us a massive boost in those areas.

“This year we celebrate five years of business as Other Things, and with Brett now on the squad we have a core team that’s second to none.” 

Jayne Robinson, marketing director at Other Things, said: “Having had over 1,000 applicants for this role in less than a week, it’s fair to say we interviewed a lot of amazing, talented people.

“Ultimately, Brett stood out for his authentic passion for all things geek culture and mixed skill set that will help power up our agency. We’re really excited to see what we can create together in the coming months.”


Nev Ridley

Leeds-based integrated agency, ilk has been appointed by UK bathroom retailer Sanctuary Bathrooms to implement its Digital PR and Social Media activities.

Sanctuary Bathrooms is an independent and family-run leading bathroom business based in Leeds, operating both online and with a traditional bricks-and-mortar showroom.

It has recently undertaken a period of growth including expanding its warehouse, also in Leeds.

Following a competitive process reviewing marketing activity, ilk has been appointed to execute digital PR campaigns, press office, and support with ongoing content, as well as run creative social and paid campaigns both to support PR activity, and as standalone campaigns.

Nev Ridley, managing director at ilk Agency, said: “As an integrated agency, we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to broaden our scope of clients across our service offerings.

“We were incredibly excited by Sanctuary Bathrooms’ brief to run their Digital PR activity and thrilled that we were able to support them with additional Social and Paid work.

“We’re proud to support Sanctuary Bathrooms and look forward to working with them to successfully support and deliver their PR, content marketing, and social strategies.”

Mark Fullilove, digital marketing manager at Sanctuary Bathrooms, added: “We felt that we were at a real cross-roads in our marketing given how the landscape is changing all the time.

“As such, we were keen to exploit some of significant and positive results we have seen with the launch of our new website by equally capitalising on existing, and growing, marketing channels to enhance our business growth already achieved in recent years.

“We were very selective about the type of agency we were looking to work with and, after diligently researching agencies from a variety of backgrounds and expertise, and knowing that the bathroom market is incredibly competitive, ilk was the one that stood out with their cross-channel approach to help drive our business forward.”