Campaign’s Media Week 30 Under 30 2023 List, in partnership with Hearst UK, includes4 of our incredible OMD talent from OMD UK and MG OMD.
OMD UK’s Business Partner Alexis Firoozieh, MG OMD’s Client Account Director, Ellie Howard, Programmatic Business Director, Nick Runciman, and Head of Social Advertising, Reiss Ballard, all made the Media Week’ 30 Under 30 list.
To view those featured, read the full write ups below:
Alexis Firoozieh turned down a place at university in favour of taking on a digital apprenticeship at Starcom, did a short stint in the beauty industry and then returned to the world of media as personal assistant at OMD UK, where she has since progressed to business partner. This was a newly created role that positioned her as a partner and advisor to the agency’s most senior leadership team.
Firoozieh is responsible for providing insight and opinions which shape the direction of the agency and help make some of its most important initiatives happen, impacting culture, strategy and marketing. She has steered employee resource groups forward, helping to establish social clubs, training mental health first-aiders and educating agency employees around multicultural events.
Within her business partner role, she is focusing on nurturing up-and-coming talent, attracting, inspiring and lifting up the next generation of leaders. She is also passionate about raising the profile of ‘business support’ and ‘executive assistant’ roles, believing that these are rarely given the prominence and recognition they deserve in the industry.
Judges said: “This is exactly the kind of talent and hard work that should be recognised with 30 under 30.”
A rigorous data-driven approach to media planning has seen Ellie Howard taste success several times over in the last year. She led the most-awarded campaign at the 2022 Media Week Awards – the “Ring my bell” partnership with Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – and organised the biggest charity event the industry has seen.
The Media Trust Climate Charity Challenge galvanized hundreds of MG OMD employees to provide £400k worth of pro-bono strategic communications solutions for 30 environmental charities. Howard is currently working on an agency training manual that challenges employees to think about how responsible and sustainable advertising can unlock competitive advantage for clients, proving how carbon-neutral planning can reap results in terms of media effectiveness and ROI.
Outside of work, Howard is head of MG OMD’s Disability & Neurodiversity Taskforce and has campaigned to improve agency awareness, lobbied to change agency recruitment, and ensured MG OMD became the first agency within Omnicom to achieve government-accredited Disability Confident Employer status.
Judges said “Howard shows great achievements in her day-to-day role and outside and is very impressive”.
Nick Runciman joined MG OMD a year ago and has redesigned the team structure based on everyone’s strengths and individual client needs. Many of the new roles within the team were entry-level, and Runciman implemented a fair and unbiased interview process, such as ‘blind’ first-stage interviews and consistency in questioning.
New joiners were hired from a range of backgrounds and the MG programmatic team is now one of the most diverse within the agency, particularly from a multicultural perspective.
Runciman developed the programmatic arm of the ‘Digital Maturity Framework’ at MG OMD, a detailed system of measurement to understand each client’s digital development. This has been implemented across a range of clients, with innovative tests and workstreams rolled out as a result. Runciman is also working on a major project to redefine programmatic planning processes for more traditional and emerging media channels.
Judges said Runciman has “great new ideas for recruitment and process in one of the hardest channels to recruit for”.
Reiss Ballard joined MG OMD as account manager in 2018 and was promoted to head of paid social in 2022. In this role, he looks after a growing team of 40 specialists, sizeable billings and 27 clients.
While taking on this role, Ballard identified a skills gap in his junior team with regards to time and project management, as well as a lack of understanding of social buying processes. Working remotely during the pandemic had made it challenging to address, especially with a high volume of client work and high churn.
To address this, he developed a structured training programme to upskill team members and empower them to better manage the outputs of their teams. This has resulted in more transparency and rigour around processes, with the team empowered to manage their time effectively.
Judges commended Ballard’s understanding of the role of a manager/leader and ensuring clarity and support for his team. They said: “Lockdown and the ‘new working world’ has been a difficult period to manage, but this shows a reactive understanding of how to not only manage but progress during a turbulent time.”