Agency roundup: Black Lab; idhl; Pavement; and more

Digital marketing specialist, Black Lab, has been appointed to provide a suite of services for Richmond Motor Group (RMG) to help increase inbound sales enquiries to the business and solidify its position as a leading name in automotive sales.

Otley-based Black Lab will provide SEO support, paid social media expertise and PPC (pay per click) services, which will help to increase RMG’s digital visibility and authority, during the customer acquisition process.

Following an initial detailed audit of RMG’s digital footprint, the agency developed a strategy designed to maximise impact and drive clear results for RMG’s 16 dealerships, located in the south of England, from Surrey to Southampton.

James Starkey, founder and director at Black Lab, said: “Our business has a strong track record in the automotive sales sector, and we’re very pleased to have been appointed to assist RMG with the next phase of their growth.

“This relationship signals another success for our business in supporting the automotive industry with digital marketing solutions that deliver results in this fiercely competitive sector.

“Our team have already been working closely with the RMG to continue the digital transformation of their business.”

Alistair Lankester, head of marketing and communications at Richmond Motor Group, said: “We’ve been very impressed with Black Lab’s approach and are pleased to be working with a team of specialists but also people that understand our sector.

“They have slotted into our team well and our regular meetings are helping us create change and move our digital presence forward to ensure we continue to give our customers the best experience online as they’ve come to expect in our showrooms.”

The agency’s work will be designed to improve business efficiency, especially during the lead-generation phase of the sales process.


Harrogate-headquartered digital agency, idhl, has appointed Sam Ogrizovic as director of international to launch the firm’s first office in the US.

Ogrizovic will establish and grow the New York office for idhl as part of the agency’s growth plans.

The agency specialises in performance media, e-commerce, web development, data and email marketing to help brands and businesses achieve accelerated growth in the digital economy.

It was established in Harrogate in 2000 and now operates nationally across the UK with offices in London, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle – employing more than 400 people. The agency delivered revenues of nearly £38m in the financial year ended December 31 2022.

Ogrizovic will hire a team of digital experts in the coming months, with the New York office due to open in summer 2024.

He joins the team having previously worked for idhl as business development director from 2013 to 2017, specialising in sectors including retail, travel and financial services.

He has extensive experience in sales, recruitment and business development and returns to the agency after founding his own business, So Sales, in 2017.

Ogrizovic said: “Digital ad spend in the US is the highest per head globally and it’s continuing to grow at pace.

“idhl has a very strong IP which, coupled with the huge opportunity in the US territory, shapes this as a pivotal moment for the future expansion of the agency.

“I’m an entrepreneurial person and there are few occasions in your career which allow you to work with a business you know well to launch a new territory from scratch.

“Knowing that I have the strong engine and reputation of idhl behind me is a huge advantage and I cannot wait to get going.”

idhl currently works with more than 450 clients in the UK across a range of sectors including financial services, professional services, industrials, luxury and fashion.

Ben Wood, CEO, said: “Sam is the perfect candidate to spearhead our US office launch, his tenacity and ability to form really strong relationships with clients as we deliver fantastic results for them is second to none.

“This is an extremely exciting time of growth for idhl, the potential to roll-out our products and services to the US market is huge.

“We are proud to work with some of the UK’s most ambitious brands and businesses. Now is the right time to expand our capability to clients in the US who are equally hungry for explosive growth through well executed digital strategies.”

Owned by Bridgepoint since 2021, idhl intends to consolidate nine brands across its group as part of its growth strategy this year.


Brand communications agency, Pavement, has confirmed that Jan Gardner has joined as strategy partner.

The Sheffield-based agency was founded in 2020 by David Wood and John Simpson. Since then it has provided services from brand identity to TV commercials for clients such as Swift and Sheffield Hallam University.

It has also developed a specialist place branding offer, delivering and executing brand strategy, identity and marketing projects.

Gardner left Jaywing in 2020 after 20 years to set up her own business, offering consultancy and fractional CMO services.

Her clients and projects have ranged across brand and marketing strategy from global B2B data science specialist Ekimetrics and credit risk software specialist Paragon, to D2C fintech start-up ilumoni.

Wood said: “I’ve known Jan since my previous agency, Iris, was acquired by Jaywing in 2012.

“She brings a highly complementary dynamic to Pavement. Over the last 18 months, we’ve worked together on over 10 clients and, increasingly, have been pitching together – and winning.

“When we set Pavement up, John and I were clear we wanted to get back to being much closer to client work than our recent careers had afforded.

“Jan has a similar outlook, liking nothing better than getting her sleeves rolled up to deliver for clients. Even though I’ve known and worked with Jan for years, such as on delivering  Jaywing’s RIBA award-winning HQ, she never stops surprising me with her capabilities.”

Gardner added, “David and I have continued to gravitate towards each other over the past couple of years and essentially, we’ve come to the point where it makes zero sense to continue building separate businesses.

“It’s been brilliant getting to know the wider team at Pavement too. John is an exceptional creative with a highly impressive portfolio to match David’s.

“Both have grown and sold successful agencies and won numerous coveted accolades, such as D&AD Pencils, Cannes and Roses awards.

“Even in our increasingly AI-rich world, there is still no substitute for a considered eye for design or the emotional sense of what works.”

Gardner brings her current clients to Pavement and joins as a shareholder and director.


Leeds-headquartered creative communications agency, Hatch, has been appointed by bathroom supplier, Frontline Bathrooms, to manage the brand’s 2024 PR strategy.

The agency, which specialises PR, content, social media and activation, will work with the bathroom distributor to improve its share of voice, build its profile in the trade space, and drive brand and product awareness amongst key consumer audiences.

Frontline Bathrooms has more than 6,000 products showcased in its bi-annual catalogues. Operating from its headquarters in Featherstone the business will soon be celebrating its 35th year of trading.

Helen Simpson, performance and development director at Hatch, said: “Lifestyle PR is what we do best here at Hatch.

“Not only do we have fantastic relationships with homes and interiors media, our always-on approach means we leave no stone unturned for our clients.

“We believe we are the perfect partner to help propel Frontline Bathrooms in 2024 and help the business reach its wider marketing and PR objectives.”

Hayley Bowman, head of marketing at Frontline Bathrooms, added: “It’s so exciting to be working with a creative PR agency like Hatch.

“It’s a really important time for our business as we prepare to expand our much-loved Aqua range, continue to grow and develop our operations, and enhance our product portfolio further.”