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Laurence Parkes announced Alliance of Independent Agencies Co-chair

Laurence Parkes, CEO, announced as Co-chair of Alliance of Independent Agencies

Alliance of Independent Agencies


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant and negative impact on the creative agency sector, with as much as a 44% (£19 billion) reduction in turnover and projected job losses of 26% (49,000). Independents make up ~90% of the agencies in the creative sector which contributes over £43billion to the economy.

As income, jobs, ways of working, and client-agency relationships are reimagined as a result of COVID-19’s impact, it is integral the independent agency sector has a clear and action-focused voice. Until now, the sector has not had a united voice to promote its collective interests and pro-actively lobby policymakers in client-related industry bodies and the Government; the Alliance of Independent Agencies stands to change this.

As MAAG evolves to Alliance of Independent Agencies, it has appointed Matt Sullivan Managing Director, created a Members’ Board, and introduced a triumvirate of co-chairs to drive the agenda of its eight action groups.

The Alliance will respond to the impact of COVID-19 with change-driving activities

  • Lobbying for government support, such as safeguarding jobs, through independent agency representation as members of The Advertising Association and Federation of Small Business.

  • Providing independent agencies wider access to valuable resources, building on collaborations with other agency collectives. To date, these include Pimento, TheNetworkOne and Agencynomics.

  • Empowering independent agencies to more successfully navigate procurement (in an increasingly competitive marketplace) through key educational partnerships.

As the incoming Managing Director, Matt Sullivan will spearhead this change. Formerly US Vice President at The Drum & Head of the Drum Network, and prior to that, Managing Director of the DMA’s International ECHO Awards, Sullivan has extensive experience championing agencies.

In addition to his appointment, the Alliance welcomes its inaugural triumvirate of co-chairs including, Ruth Kieran (CEO, Cirkle), Dino Myers-Lamptey (Founder, The Barber Shop), and Laurence Parkes (CEO, Rufus Leonard). The co-chairs are primarily responsible for distilling the input of the Alliance’s eight action groups (in the arenas of Purpose, People, and Performance) into one united voice.

Matt Sullivan says, “Across my work with agencies of all sizes and disciplines over the last 10 years, the biggest shift has been the desire to collaborate more – especially within the independent community. This will be the key factor behind the success of the Alliance of Independent Agencies. The Alliance is bringing an amazing mix of agencies together, plus support and access to other networks; a level of collaboration that is unusual with the backdrop of competitive membership fees. It feels like the last piece of the puzzle is to unite everybody that works for or alongside independent agencies to create something bigger and more impactful. With all the talent, great work, and increased confidence, I think we can be very ambitious with what we can achieve together. Exciting times.”

The Alliance seeks to unite the thousands of independent agencies, their leaders and everyone that works in the community to make meaningful change. Independent agencies can join the Alliance of Independent Agencies with their first month of membership free, here:

If you want to discuss any of the topics covered in more detail or find out how we can help you deliver a meaningful difference to your customers, please get in touch.

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