Agency roundup: Open Communications; idhl; Ponderosa; and more

Ian Forster

FDM Document Solutions has appointed PR and communications agency, Open Communications, as its preferred PR, content management and marketing communications partner.

FDM Document Solutions provides inbound and outbound document solutions for public and private sector organisations, reducing the cost of digital services, printing, mailing and postage.

Leeds-based Open Comms will manage all PR, communications and social media for the business, providing traditional PR services alongside social media management and multimedia content to be used across channels.

In doing so, the agency plans to increase engagement and build greater brand awareness for the company, as it continues to expand the number of public sector organisations it works with.

Sales and marketing director of FDM Document Solutions, Ian Forster, said: “From the moment we met with the team at Open Comms, we had a rapport.

“That makes such a big difference when you plan to work so closely with an agency, particularly as comms is a fundamental part of our business strategy.

“We are thrilled to have Open Communications as an extension of our team, and we look forward to building our relationship and to delivering some amazing work together.”

Director of Open Communications, Lindsey Davies, added: “As a leading provider of document solutions in the UK, FDM are a great business, and we are so pleased to have been chosen as preferred PR partner.

“Becoming an extension of the team, we look forward to supporting FDM with its ambitions to become the UK’s leading supplier of outbound and inbound communications to Local Authorities and the wider public sector.”


Dan Taylor and Katie Duance

National digital agency, idhl, has bolstered its senior team further with the hire of several senior industry experts.

idhl, which specialises in performance media, e-commerce, web development, data and email marketing, has hired Katie Duance as marketing director.

Duance brings more than 15 years’ experience working for global organisations and previously worked at Dentsu UK&I for eight years, where she most recently held the position of UK marketing director.

The newly created marketing director role at idhl will see Duance join the Senior Leadership Team to build brand equity and engage with national and international clients through targeted strategic engagement models.

Dan Taylor has been appointed as commercial director, while Ben Unwin takes on the role of business development director.

Both join from performance marketing technology provider Wunderkind.

Taylor has more than 12 years’ of senior commercial and sales experience in the digital marketing space working with major brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Dior.

He will focus on building commercial relationships globally. Meanwhile Unwin has a strong EMEA background in the performance marketing industry, with particular knowledge of fashion and retail, and will be supporting Taylor in these efforts.

idhl currently employs around 400 people across its London, Leeds, Harrogate, Manchester and Newcastle offices.

It is in the process of bringing brands WMG, Ingenuity Digital, Equation, Statement, NetConstruct, Pinpoint, Ampersand and Conesso under its main title.

Fostr, which idhl acquired in 2021, will remain in situ due to its specialisms in fashion, beauty and luxury sectors.

Ben Wood, CEO at idhl, said: “Katie, Dan and Ben are all extremely well regarded and highly skilled in their respective fields and I’m pleased to welcome them to the idhl team as we continue to build momentum and grow our service lines to help clients accelerate growth in the digital economy.

“By bolstering our London presence and strengthening our leadership teams we know that we can deliver exceptional results for our clients and offer the very best careers for our people.”

Ben Unwin

Duance added: “This is a really exciting time to be joining idhl, ahead of a full brand consolidation and expansion into the US.

“I have been impressed by the knowledge, passion and expertise across the business and I am looking forward to helping amplify the work of idhl further.”

idhl recently reported a strong financial performance in its latest accounts for the year ending December 31 2023, in which it secured revenues of £37.8m – up 2% on the previous year.

This growth was driven by several new client wins including Costa and Church and Dwight.

idhl, previously known as idhl Group, also retained established clients such as Hammonds and Leeds United FC.


Leeds-based brand and communications agency, Ponderosa, has developed an integrated marketing campaign to increase awareness of the 80 plus worldwide destinations accessible from Leeds Bradford Airport. (LBA)

The agency created the “Ey up World” campaign to highlight more than 80 destinations to travellers, who may be unaware of the flight options right on their doorstep.

It has developed a campaign that appeals to multiple audience profiles, including family, groups and convenient getaways.

The campaign has been rolled out across multiple out-of-home channels and is supported by YouTube, social media and travel agents.

Ponderosa CEO, Richard Midgley, said: “Insight suggests that although there are over four million Yorkshire travellers using LBA, many are choosing alternative airports because they aren’t aware of the range of destinations on offer from LBA.

“The strapline ‘Ey up World’ allowed us to have some fun, bring the destinations to life and create a sense of ease and freedom to travel from the comfort of Yorkshire’s airport.

“Working with the team at LBA on its first out-of-home awareness campaign has been a pleasure and we look forward to seeing the campaign rolled out throughout the summer.”

John Cunliffe, commercial and strategy director at LBA, said: “Ponderosa has understood our brand, our target audience and tackled the insight head on, coming up with some brilliant ideas for our first ever above the line awareness campaign, to bring to life our range of more than 80 destinations.

“Through the ‘Ey up World’ campaign, the series of creatives deliver stand-out colour and vibrancy to ensure more people become aware of the range of world-wide destinations we offer right from the heart of Yorkshire, at Leeds Bradford Airport.”


Leeds-based independent marketing services group, Audience Collective, has confirmed the merger of its existing agency, Unicom and recently acquired Adgen.

Acquired by Audience Collective in May 2024, Adgen is a specialist media planning and buying agency, working with higher education institutions.

Also operating in the higher education space is Unicom, a digital marketing and media agency which was founded by Audience Collective in 2020.

The two specialist agencies will merge to one, operating from offices in Leamington Spa and Swansea under the Adgen brand.

The team of 30 strong, will bring their joint experience together to help clients connect with students through strategic and creative marketing campaigns.

Group MD at Audience Collective, Verity Brown said, “The strategic decision to merge the agencies forms part of Audience Collective’s mission to further bolster our delivery capabilities through highly specialist teams.

“Both agencies bring something unique and valuable to the higher education sector, yet have an aligned approach when it comes to client centricity.”

Tom Dyer, managing director at Adgen, said: “The merger is an exciting opportunity for us to bring our combined experience together.

“Our digital skillset including PPC, social, programmatic and lead generation in the sector has been strengthened, giving us more buying power and a better return on investment for clients.“

Former associate director at Unicom and newly appointed associate director at Adgen, Emma Price, added: “We’re looking forward to bringing new ways of working together to ensure we continue to deliver campaigns that break the mould and generate measurable results.

“We’re stronger together and will continue to provide the higher education sector with a highly specialist and strategic approach to media planning and buying.”