Maja Pawinska Sims 09 Sep 2020 // 3:03PM GMT
LONDON — Consumer brand agency Wild Card and its West Country spin-off, Wild West, are merging into one business under the Wild Card name, with Wild West managing director Georgie Upton becoming MD of the combined agency.
Wild Card, which focuses on food and drink and luxury lifestyle clients, was set up by Kate Wild 20 years ago. Upton (pictured) joined the London agency in 2002 and became the head of Wild West in 2009. As part of the restructure, Richard Medley is stepping down from his current role as managing director of Wild Card to take on a part-time role as creative and strategy director.
Upton told PRovoke Media: “I’m based down in Truro, and was making fortnightly visits to London and was regularly in Bristol, so Zoom has made this job doable. We were increasingly working across offices before lockdown, and having a united team is a good thing.”
She said that the restructuring was partly down to the pressures of Covid-19 on the sectors the company works with: “The challenge was that the main part of Wild West’s business was leisure and tourism and a lot of those clients went on pause. With that we had to make some difficult decisions and let a couple of individuals go, while London needed additional support to move forward.”
Upton said the new role was “an epic opportunity,” particularly as she is planning to expand the B-Corp process she started with her Wild West team last year to the rest of the 20-strong combined agency: “Embarking on the B-Corp journey changed my working life and our team dynamic. I’m committed to it, and passionate about bringing a focus on purpose, people and planet as well as profit to the agency and our consumer clients.”
The new structure brings consumer brand work at the agencies – based in London, Truro in Cornwall and Bristol – into one division headed up by director Sophie Langridge, with clients including Tetley, Yeo Valley, Highland Spring, New York Bakery, Ginsters, Dickinson & Morris pork pies, Rodda’s clotted cream and Manilife nut butter.
As well as her new expanded MD role, Upton will head up the leisure and lifestyle division, including Cornish destinations such as Watergate Bay, Tresco Island, Bodmin Jail Hotel and The Nare luxury hotel, as well as brands including Evergreen Garden Care.
Upton added that she wanted to grow the business across the triangle of offices: “When you’re just in London you can become narrow in your approach. Coming out of London was an incredible moment and opened my eyes to so much great creativity, talent and brands creating change and with a different way of looking at the world.”