LONDONGlobal brand communications agency Manifest has appointed Rowena Vithlani as its new UK managing director, as the agency ramps up its growth plans.

Having held senior roles at ad agencies BBH, AKQA, AnalogFolk, R/GA and most recently as managing partner at creative studio Uncommon, Vithlani’s appointment reflects Manifest’s continued push into branding, advertising and digital marketing as part of its creative offering.

Vithlani (pictured, second left) will become the operational lead in the UK and joins the regional leadership team alongside Manifest’s agency principals in the US, Nordics and Australia.

Longstanding UK managing partner Ali Maynard James (pictured, left) will support Vithlani in a new growth-focused role, overseeing the agency’s multi-brand clients, strategic partnerships and venture projects. Creative director Daisy Shepherd (second right) and associate director Emma Seddon (right) complete the new UK executive committee.

Vithlani said: “Manifest is carving a unique path; creating groundbreaking work across the creative spectrum and doing it in a way that reinvents how agencies operate. From technological innovation to corporate responsibility, this is a business that I believe represents the agency model of the future — and it’s a huge opportunity to be leading the charge in the UK.”

Manifest was founded in London, where Vithlani will be based, and alongside its second UK studio in Manchester, the agency has teams in New York, Los Angeles, Stockholm and Melbourne, operating a “24-hour creative cycle” for clients including Diageo, WWF and Reckitt.

Agency founder and global CEO Alex Myers said the ambition was for the UK business to contribute £10 million in annual revenues to the independent group by 2030; the agency’s UK revenue for 2023 was around £3.1 million.

“Manifest is approaching its 15th anniversary this autumn, and it’s been a wild ride. We’ve gone from a kitchen table to a global operation in that time, and as we look towards the next chapter we want to continue our growth both creatively and commercially. Rowena’s appointment is a huge part of that continued evolution in our UK business.”

He added: “We believe that by definition a campaign needs to be ‘for’ something, not just ‘about’ something. That’s how you build significance in culture, and at first it was only fast growth brands coming to us asking for that. Since Covid, we’ve seen an increasing appetite from mainstream global brands to build that genuine cultural connection — the landscape has shifted. That’s where a lot of our growth in the UK is coming from. The ‘disrupted’ brands are now moving quickly to evolve.”

Founded in 2009, Manifest has won awards for its work with brands including BrewDog, Samsung, Sony PlayStation, Pernod Ricard, NBC Universal and WWF. In March 2023, the group achieved B-Corp certification, and the agency has held the Blueprint diversity mark since 2020.

Last September, the agency appointed two non-executive directors, and in January it promoted Helen Kenny to become its first global chief operating officer.