I get the impression that the marketing community are currently somehow under the impression that the only UK cities producing decent work are London and Manchester. And that really winds me up.
Not only because as a Leeds-based planner there’s an implication that I’m coasting along in the second division, but because I know for a fact that there’s some amazing work and ideas coming out of Leeds. Take Bloom, they’ve an entire room full of post-grad mathematicians helping to build cutting-edge bespoke listening and ROI tools for their clients. Or Golley Retail, FPP, Gratterpalm, Live & Breathe and Savvy, five of the country’s leading Shopper Marketing agencies, all with client lists to kill for – and they’re billing these big clients seven figure sums, not just producing the odd piece of PoS.
Propaganda basically invented and co-own global make-up brand Illamasqua (my mate did the Planning on their perfume launch) while other agencies boast nods from POPAI, the MCA, IPA, IPM, IPR, MRS and DMA. One even had a BAFTA nomination and there are a scary number of freelancers knocking about who have yellow pencils on their mantelpieces. The Leeds scene might be a bit low profile and you’ll rarely read about us in Campaign, but we’re doing some cracking work.
And if that’s the case for the city I know best, there’s a fair chance that you could say the same for Edinburgh or Birmingham.