DUBAI — Former Asda’a BCW chief strategy officer Margaret Flanagan and consumer and healthcare lead Lisa King have launched their own independent agency, Tales & Heads.

With a combined 40 years of experience with global agencies in London and Dubai, the duo have set up the agency to focus on “strategic, insight-driven campaigns that are rooted in great ideas and work across platforms.”

Flanagan had been at Asda’a BCW in Dubai since 2009, having previously been director for the Gulf for Four Communications. King had been with the agency since 2016, after a decade at Hill + Knowlton in London and in-house as general manager of external communication at Tui UK & Ireland, leading on PR for its travel brands, including Thomson and First Choice.

The co-founders have worked with some of the region’s biggest companies and public sector organisations, across consumer brands, hospitality and destination marketing. The pair also have crisis and reputation recovery expertise, having advised businesses and governments in EMEA on issues such as terrorist attacks, natural and environmental disasters, product recalls, litigation, fake news and social media scandals.

Flanagan (pictured, right) said: “After decades with big firms, we wanted to start an agency where consultancy and creative storytelling go hand-in-hand. We saw a need among clients for trusted counsel coupled with the delivery of engaging and effective content. That’s why our focus is on ideas and initiatives that work across channels, create emotional impact and bring brands closer to their audiences.”

King (pictured, left) added: “Because we are a new agency, we are as agile as the digital world we live in. We thrive on real and virtual collaboration. With access to a global network developed over decades, we handpick artists, musicians, developers, anthropologists, activation specialists, product designers, data analysts and more to address our clients’ challenges in ways that are culturally relevant, human and memorable.”

In 2019, Flanagan was awarded a Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Fellowship for her contribution to the industry.