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January 28, 2009

Iris appointments confirm drive for growth

Despite the downturn, integrated marketing agency Iris has revealed its aggressive expansion plans with two key appointments.

Marketing industry heavyweight Paul Bainsfair joins in role of chief executive for Europe, while the agency’s live marketing arm, Iris Experience, has appointed Charlotte Soussan as brand entertainment director of its London office.

Iris claims Bainsfair’s appointment underpins its strategy of “establishing itself as the agency network model for the future”, adding: “The agency will have an emphasis on client centricity by putting integration and innovation at the heart of their output.”

The move comes at the start of an aggressive expansion drive, which has seen Iris launch new offices in Paris, Amsterdam and Munich in January 2009. The ambitious growth plans across Europe follow an increase in work from the agency’s clients, including Sony Ericsson, Shell, ING and Adidas.

Commenting on Bainsfair’s appointment, Ian Millner, joint chief executive of iris Worldwide, said: “Paul has done it all in a distinguished career and has an incredible mix of skills and experience that will benefit our clients and our people. He will add a level of knowledge, professionalism and discipline to our strong can-do culture, which is defined by our pace, our lack of boundaries, and our ability to build trusting and valuable partnerships with clients. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Meanwhile, Bainsfair said: “I believe that iris is unusually well placed to meet the challenges presented to clients in these recessionary times. I can’t wait to get started and play my part in establishing iris as a force to be reckoned with in 2009.”

Iris Experience’s new recruit Soussan brings with her a wealth of expertise in building entertainment-based marketing programmes, having worked for the past 10 years as a senior marketer in the music and broadcast media industry.

She will focus on developing brand content strategy, creating bespoke programming concepts, liaising with broadcasters and negotiating effective distribution rights for the agency’s client list, including clients, such as Sony Ericsson, PlayStation and adidas.

Charlotte Soussan: The new face at Iris Experience

Soussan was also head of marketing at groundbreaking radio station Xfm for seven years, and in her time there, helped double its audience and turn it into one of the strongest media brands in the UK, with live events and brand extensions.

Commenting on the appointment, Henry Scotland, managing director at Iris Experience, said: “We have been searching for some time to find the right person to help drive our brand content offering forward. While it is clearly a massive opportunity for today’s brands, there is still a lot of mediocrity and similarity in how it is being executed. Charlotte’s experience gives her a unique point of view and ability to be able to create solutions that offer real value and reach to our clients.”

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