LONDON — Former Publicasity owner and MD Zoe Ward-Waring has joined independent comms agency Sunny Side Up as its first managing director.

Ward-Waring was at Publicasity for 21 years, rising from graduate trainee to become one of its owners and MD, building it to a 40-strong, £3.5m consumer PR agency. It was bought by Porta Communications (now SEC Newgate) in 2014 and Ward-Waring left the company in September 2018.

She joins Sunny Side Up (known as Well Hello until September 2019) to help grow the 12-strong agency, which was founded in 2016 by Nick Woods. Sunny Side Up works across corporate, trade, consumer, influencer and social, with clients in the health, nutrition/food, premium drinks, technology and property sectors, including Chapel Down, Bosch, Sanofi and British soft fruit growers’ conglomerate Berry Gardens.

Woods was previously WE Communications’ deputy general manager UK, head of consumer and creative director EMEA, and had also worked in senior consumer roles at Cirkle, MSL, Weber Shandwick and Porter Novelli.

Ward-Waring, who has been contracting, mentoring and working as a non-executive director since she finished her gardening leave last summer, told PRovoke Media: “I’ve known Nick for five years or so — at one point Publicasity and Cirkle were on every pitch list together. You find like-minded people in the industry, and we have a shared vision of what PR is and where is can do, so I’m really excited about getting stuck in and doing, rather than directing.

“It’s a strange time to be starting a new job, but there’s nothing like an independent agency for the dynamism, agility and speed at which you can work in this market.”

Woods said: “We’re over the moon to be able to bring Zoe’s talent, energy, knowledge and wisdom into the agency. She is admired across the industry, respected by clients and loved by teams, it’s a coup for us to sign her up.

“Bringing in senior talent isn’t easy. I wanted someone with the nous and experience to be able to deliver consumer PR growth, corporate PR growth and who also buys into and can help deliver against our vision. Zoe has it all.  Her experience across a range of sectors and types of brief, her comfort working with C-suite execs and her willingness to graft were all considerations. I also think the team will get lots from her both personally and professionally."