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UNLIMITED acquired by Accenture Song

We are thrilled to announce that UNLIMITED has been acquired by Accenture. This acquisition marks a significant milestone in our journey, with a new future as part of Accenture Song.  After a period of sustained success, we are today joining the world’s largest tech-powered creative group.

Getting to know the Accenture Song team it has become clear we not only share the same vision for the future of marketing but have a shared passion for our people too. This acquisition brings an exciting opportunity to realise our longer-term ambitions for the agency as part of Accenture Song, and access a wealth of resources, insight, technology and the global network access that comes with the world’s largest tech powered creative group.

With our deep expertise in human understanding and our breadth of capabilities across comms, digital, marketing, insight and analytics, this acquisition enhances Accenture Song’s capabilities in driving marketing transformation and growth for our clients. 

We’re delighted to be all part of the Accenture Song family.

Click here for further details in our press release/to read what Campaign had to say

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Winning Minds Awards: March 2024

Welcome back from the Easter break! Before the long weekend, we celebrated this past month’s best work…

PR Minds – Matt J

“Matt has been so impressive over the past month, really stepping up on his account and wowing the clients.

He’s been a machine, taking a reviews programme and running with it, securing new reviews weekly and flagging hot off the press coverage to the client team. He’s developed excellent relationships with our core journalists and played a key role in managing invites and chatting with journos at the launch event last week.

Matt is a PR legend and impresses us every week with his proactivity, product knowledge and superb attitude. A Winning Mind for sure!”

Kaleidoscope Minds – Hannah G

I think there should be a special medal (or even Damehood) for a person who volunteers to give up their weekend + a few evenings to deliver a client presentation on a complex subject.

Hannah is that person.

Truly going above and beyond to deliver for a tricky client. Hannah is a design superstar!

Marketing Minds – Louisa B

Louisa just pulled it all off with the delivery of a client’s annual research report – their ‘hotly anticipated’ project for the year. The project landed on her with a huge level of expectation and Lou delivered. She used her super organisational skillz and managed the international & local clients, our colleagues at Walnut and our own team to keep the project ticking along, on time, and on budget. The feedback kept coming as the client praised Lou’s collaborative approach and willingness to steer the project from the helm and honestly it just wouldn’t have happened without her. ❤

GOAT – Kerri B

Kerri has only been here a month and has impressed literally everyone under the sun. She’s efficient, she’s organised, she’s a vibe and all in all just a total boss. Big fan.

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Why tech sponsorship can be a game-changer for women’s sport

The last year has been an almighty big one for women’s sports. Attendance records have been broken, coverage rights have been snapped up, and viewership figures are soaring faster than Chloe Kelly’s penalty kick that sent England to the World Cup quarter-final. (That was 111km/h to be precise, a speed faster than any single kick recorded in the 2022-2023 men’s Premier League season). 

The numbers speak for themselves. A Deloitte study predicts that in 2024, for the first time ever, women’s elite sports will generate a revenue that surpasses one billion dollars, 300% higher than its 2021 prediction. This exponential growth is despite women’s sport still only having a seventh of the media coverage that the men’s does. There’s huge untapped potential still to unlock in a sector that’s only just firing up.

This International Women’s Day, we take a look into why tech companies and women’s sports are the ultimate sponsorship power couple. 

Purposeful partnerships

Sports sponsorship offers a unique opportunity for brands. You’re not only associating your brand with a product, you’re associating it with a lifestyle, a community, and a legacy. That’s why the key to a successful partnership is one driven by a harmonious set of values, towards a mutual end goal. Fans want to see how sponsors are actively going to improve the sport and its surrounding community.

When it comes to women’s sport, while this responsibility gets greater, so does the potential reward. Viewing figures for women’s sport in the UK are soaring by 131% year-on-year. As the audiences continue to grow, brands have the opportunity to invest early in a market ready to boom. 

While it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of all this growth, women are far from competing on an even playing field. From Luis Rubiales planting an unsolicited kiss on Jenni Hermoso as she was about to lift the World Cup trophy, to Joey Barton’s misogynistic comments about female pundits, the past year has highlighted the amount of work still left to be done. 

This makes women’s sport sponsorship inherently purpose driven. And with purpose being a territory which 65% of UK sports fans say they want to see more of, brands have the opportunity to not only see a return on investment, but to establish themselves as a part of the movement towards gender equality. 

A winning team 

What was once tobacco, then beer, then gambling, the major players in sports sponsorship have not only been targeted at male audiences, but their industries have always felt disconnected from the high performance of elite sports. Whether it’s shaving 0.1 seconds off your lap time in motorsport or adding an extra 0.1 metres to your golf swing, sport today is all about micro-improvements. From wearable technology to track performance, to data analytics tools to find those micro-improvements, a huge amount of innovation goes on behind the scenes.

That’s why tech is the most natural sponsor of sports we’ve seen. And for the women’s game, it has the potential to play a pivotal role in fast-tracking progress towards equality.

Advancing the game

Due to years of under-investment and a shortage of research, female athletes can often lack the support they need to excel at the rate of their male counterparts. While the male game sees the highest levels of innovation implemented behind the scenes, there is still a distinct lack of technological improvements in women-specific equipment and apparel. 

Take women’s football as an example, at one point last season, 25% of the 2022 Ballon d’Or nominees were sidelined with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Research released last year revealed how the use of unsuitable football kit could increase the chances of this injury. When it comes to a boot, a woman’s foot differs in shape and size to a man’s, and an average lighter body weight affects the length of studs required. While boots have long been advertised for women, they haven’t been designed for their bodies.

Showing how tech can support women on the field, as Official Insights Partner to the 2023 Women’s Six Nations, Sage introduced the Smart Ball. Utilising Sage’s unique access to insights, it offers players, coaches, commentators and supporters valuable data and insights into the game. Crucially, it has been specifically developed and adjusted for the women’s games to take into account the differences between the male and female player. Not only does it work towards advancing the sport, but it positions Sage as a market leader in data and insights. 

Bringing fans closer to the action

SPORT Unlimited’s ‘The Female Fan Opportunity’ report found that while half of women in the UK identify as a sports fan, 31% said they weren’t familiar with women’s teams, players or competitions. A crucial element of engaging these fans is providing consistent coverage. 

In football, only 2% of print and 6% of television football news mentions in the UK are dedicated to the women’s game, compared to 98% and 94% achieved by the men’s game respectively, highlighting the ground still to be made up to enable fans to fully connect with women’s sport. 

But while the broadcast world plays catch up, tech can lead the charge by providing the tools and platforms needed to connect fans to the sport. Whether it’s through social media activations, live-streaming, or more bespoke digital campaigns.

Through its partnership with The FA, the Google Pixel has launched an initiative to increase the quantity and quality of women’s football coverage, inspiring fans, young and old, to get involved with the sport. Creators and presenters will work together to tell the stories of women in football from unique perspectives. From the professional level to grassroots football, creators will use the Google Pixel to capture powerful moments surrounding the sport.

It’s a great example of how the product can be the hero of the story, connecting fans to the action and driving womens sport forward.

Finding new audiences 

While at the core of every purpose-driven sponsorship should be the mission at hand, brands can simultaneously benefit from the partnership. As audiences grow, brands affiliated can get more share of voice among supporters and amplify their brand visibility on a global scale.

A great example of this is Adobe becoming the title sponsor and tech supplier of the Women’s FA Cup. Through the partnership, all 460 teams that participate in the competition will gain access to Adobe Express, an all-in-one content creation application that makes it easy to create social media and brand content. The hope is that the technology will make it easier for teams to engage fans and increase awareness on digital channels, driving attendance and participation. 

With the Adobe name and branding featured across the tournament’s channels, Adobe will be in the living rooms of everyone tuning in, and front of mind for all audiences engaging digitally. The partnership landed great coverage not only in sports press but national too, promoting the purpose behind the sponsorship and creating positive sentiment around the brand.

Women’s sport needs technology as a partner to power it towards the mission of equal funding and equal coverage. For tech brands looking to amplify their product while driving purpose, there is truly a momentous opportunity in front of them. 

The women’s game is finally getting the hype it deserves, and if you disagree, then I think I’d have to quote the wise Mary Earps…

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Our Soho home & LGBTQ+ history

At the end of 2023, we moved our offices back into the centre of Soho, the undisputed heart of London’s LGBTQ+ scene. As February is LGBTQ+ History Month, our DE&I committee thought it was important to pay homage to the space where we are lucky enough to reside – and, in doing so, we discovered a fascinating history underlying ‘queer spaces’ as a whole. 

What is LGBTQ+ History Month? 

Unlike Pride, LGBTQ+ history month is primarily focused on education, rather than celebration. It’s an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, alongside the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

As an area, Soho holds an incredible history. However, as we looked to understand more about the area of our agency base, we found that many of the dedicated queer spaces were disappearing at an alarming rate – proving, more than ever, why it’s important to educate ourselves about the histories surrounding us.

Coming Out Of The Closet 

The first iteration of a queer space was more metaphorical than literal, given the term ‘the closet’. ‘The closet’ was a space in which all queer people were placed, either by themselves or by others. Its significance was so high that, in the late sixties when the Gay Liberation movement launched itself onto the streets of New York, they did so with the slogan “Out of the Closets and Into the Streets”. Their activism helped establish public queer spaces as the community refused to be hidden away and began demanding visibility and safe places to meet. 

In the beginning, queer spaces largely took the form of nightclubs. Newly out of the closest and still largely shunned by society, queer communities flourished there, something which photographer Wolfgang Tillman said was “testing the limits of what societies deem acceptable.” However, this visibility was often accompanied by violence, the most notable being the Stonewall Riot in 1969

Soho Today, and the Threat of Erasure 

Over in the UK, Soho’s reputation began even earlier, as far back as the early 1900s when the police would carry out raids and investigations. Homosexuality was illegal, and Soho was often critiqued as “a rendezvous for sexual perverts”. 

In 2024, things are undoubtedly much different. Now, many queer identities are protected by law, but anti-queer sentiment still runs deep within parts of society, and despite Soho’s fun-loving reputation, we found that many of its queer spaces are facing potential closure. 

Since 2021, 58% of LGBTQ+ nightclubs have been forced to close, some for financial reasons, but many of them due to the threat of violence. The latest victim of this is G-A-Y Late, a Soho staple, which has been forced to close due to attacks on both staff and attendees. 

Queer Solidarity at Work 

Anti-queer violence has one aim – to erase. For many in the community, it is an unfortunate but expected part of the queer experience. But it shouldn’t be. We, as an agency, are committed to doing our part to protect the LGTBQ+ community. We believe that it is all of our responsibilities to take action, understanding history and ensuring that it doesn’t repeat. 

To that end, this February we’ll be sharing educational resources with our team, and getting out and about in the Soho area to take advantage of the incredible history in the places around us. 

If you’re on the hunt for things to do in the City, check out this handy guide. And, the next time you find yourself in the Soho area – take a look around and appreciate the colourful and eclectic mix of places surrounding you. Then come and visit us on Lexington Street. We’d love to invite you into our space. 

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Winning Minds Awards: February 2024

It’s time to celebrate this month’s standouts, who took Feb by storm with some incredible work to take home the prize.

GOAT – Sarah and Vicky

Sarah and Vicky make operations look easy. They are often having to herd centipedes to get diaries in order – you could liken it to glueing down ducks’ feet to get them into a row – and yet they manage it every time. We’d be a mess without them. 

PR Minds – Callan

Callan deserves all the praise for his amazing media relations and all-round PR prowess this month. There were incredible results from some news hijacking that scored top coverage and made the client very happy. Great work!

Kaleidoscope Minds – Lucy

Lucy is a creative dream to work with. She’s organised to a T and super collaborative, always coming up with great ideas. Not only that, but she stays agile and can-do in the face of rapid turnarounds and creates “literally perfect” copy – client services’ words, not mine! It’s a shame I couldn’t ask her to write this nomination (I’m sure the grammar would be better…) 

Marketing Minds – Jo M

Jo has played a significant role in the turnaround of a major account, and the recent increase in revenue is evidence of her hard work. She’s a worthy winner, and we’re all thrilled to have her. 

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Adopting AI in marketing? Agencies are the answer

As we move past the so-called GenAI ‘debate’, marketers are now tackling the next big question: how to adopt AI. They’re looking to bring AI into their marketing organisations, into their teams, augmented into their processes, and with an ultimate view to moving into AI-assisted effectiveness. 

Agencies are a vital partner for brands on this journey. Deep subject matter experts who understand every part of the marketing operating model, combined with agility, flexibility, consultancy, and the technical chops to enable AI contextually. 

We’re not the Big Four (where things could get over-engineered!), we’re hands-on experts and we know how to rally around a vision and an objective to find a way to deliver. Good agencies have been focused on RPA and automation efficiency for some time. We make sure to invest in future technologies, including AI, to make sure we continue to add value to our clients. As such, AI isn’t new to us, it’s maybe just newer for our client brands.

Whilst many marketing teams will have experimented with GenAI -plugging a prompt or two into ChatGPT, or generating that killer Midjourney slide deck front cover – unlocking the true potential for GenAI requires a considered approach to short-term gains, a vision for what we could achieve, and the roadmap to get there. 

Agencies are perfectly placed 

There are so many reasons why I believe agencies are the perfect partner for the marketing AI journey, here are my top six:

Start small to get started

Agencies are a great proxy for building automation and AI into the way marketing teams already work – we’re used to being briefed on the exact things you need your GenAI tools to understand, plus we know the intricacies of your brand, your tone of voice, and your brand guidelines. We can stand-up your tools, and onboard your team so they’re able to get involved and begin to test and learn. 

Take stakeholders on the journey

As communications experts, agencies are hardwired to bring the business case into focus. Equally adept at crafting the right messages, lines against enquiry for even the most ardent of AI-naysayers, we have the first-party knowledge and the comms know-how to support marketers with internal conversations from briefing the C-suite to onboarding the team.

Planning and strategy are our core strengths

Agencies are constantly involved in rigorous insight gathering, data crunching and strategy development . We are masters at breaking down the objective, framing it in context of the micro and macro environment, assessing risk and opportunity to plot what it takes for the course ahead, and we thrive when there’s a big audacious goal. All we need is a direction. Flexibility is also inherent, agencies are masters of pivoting in-flight, so we’re just as adept at evolving the plan as it unfolds.

Innovative by nature

Agency life is all about delivering today, but planning for tomorrow – we don’t even recognise innovation as something beyond the day to day, it’s just what we do. Martech and related tools are fundamental to how we work – always thinking digital-first and spotting every opportunity for efficiency is second nature. Your agency team will be highly proficient at learning fast, with the initiative to gain knowledge and capability for progression. GenAI is just a tool, but agencies have the inclination to find new ways to apply it.

A decade of digital transformation

For those of us long in the tooth of B2B marketing and comms, we’ve seen our fair share of digital transformation being delivered by and through our clients. We’ve understood the tech, the tools, the services, and we’ve interviewed and shared many, many customer success stories in the process. We get it. We understand the potential for AI in a business context, we understand the technology, and we know how to use it!

Competitors? No, we’re custodians 

The question within our clients’ organisations, with the arrival of artificial writers, designers and planners, is “do we need an agency to support us?” It’s OK, we totally get that – and it’s a valid question to have. We believe the onus is on agencies to support clients in adoption and innovation with AI and automation – what’s good for your business, is good for ours – and we are still first and foremost in the business of delivering value and service to support your goals. What changes is how we work, and how we work together. 

What’s also evident is that GenAI can’t do everything an agency would do. There’s a lot of middle ground where robots can’t be a straight switch for human capacity, creativity, relationship building or problem-solving. 

For our part, we have teams who write, design and create on behalf of brands, trained to use AI tools, and to find new ways to be efficient, all transparently and in collaboration with our clients.

Doing things differently is in our DNA, and we’re excited to be part of this disruption in the agency model. It’s my firm belief that agencies have an integral role in the fabric of brand marketing and comms; we’ll be the custodians of GenAI, pushing it forwards in the pursuit of ever greater B2B effectiveness, which in the end benefits us all.


Interested? Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you embed GenAI in your day-to-day comms and marketing.

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2024 is all about brand building

2023 was a year defined by economic uncertainty, ChatGPT and the iconic Barbenheimer. 

That was in no small part due to the efforts of marketers. They jumped on the hype in a way we haven’t seen before – I mean, a real life Barbie Dream House – wow?!

But even as marketers look to 2024, the ripple effect of these trends is far from over. The rapid evolution of Generative AI coupled with economic and geopolitical instability will shape the year ahead, as we’ve outlined in our 2024 Trends Report.

For marketers, it means an ever-changing landscape – one that’s becoming increasingly hard to plan for over the long term, and here’s why…

Gen AI is transforming the internet

Since the stratospheric rise of ChatGPT at the back end of 2022, which saw it reach 100 million users just two months after launch, businesses have been dedicated to testing the capabilities of this technology, resulting in a surge of ‘synthetic content’ in 2023.

(Synthetic content is anything that is either partially or completely created by AI.)

As we move on from the test phase, we’ll see Generative AI embedded into business solutions en masse. It won’t be long before Microsoft’s CoPilot technology transforms how we all use Office tools, enabling the creation of synthetic content at unprecedented speeds by users of all stripes. In fact, Nina Shick, author of Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse predicts that by 2025, 90% of online content will be created using AI.

But, the unification of AI in search will shape how we navigate the web as much as what we see. It’s no longer a transactional relationship, but a hyper-personalised experience serving web users with carefully cultivated responses.

Brands and consumers are clashing

The last couple of years have been financially challenging for businesses. Economic headwinds and inflation have stunted growth, forcing brands to deprioritise the customer.

Despite nearly a decade of customer-first strategies, the tides are turning. Shrinkflation, skimpflation and worsening product quality mean customers are seeing diminishing value from businesses. And unfortunately, it’s not going down well: 48% of the global public find ‘shrinkflation’ unacceptable.

The fact is, as value is being eroded, customer loyalty is dwindling. 

One area we’ve seen this is social media. Across platforms there is a familiar pattern, according to journalist Cory Doctorow: “First, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves.”

For more trends – download the full report 

What does this mean for brands?

  1. It’s going to be even more challenging to get your messages heard by the right audiences. As the web becomes crowded with synthetic content and consumers become savvy with AI-enabled search, it will be harder for customers to organically find you
  1. The ability to spin up content in real time, means we will enter an era of hyper relevance. Marketers will have to be more reactive than ever before, but must be mindful of staying true to their brand
  1. AI has created a trust paradox. While the uptake has been huge, 52% of people are nervous about AI-based products and services. It will be increasingly difficult to understand what’s real and what’s synthetic and which sources they can trust. Generating trust will be increasingly important
  1. Customers won’t remain loyal when they feel they are losing out, so be mindful of strategies designed to pull back budget as they may well have the opposite effect

What can businesses do to plan for the future?

Invest in building your brand. As economic uncertainty persists and technology is set to transform the web as we know it, having a strong brand is key to solving these challenges. 

Building a strong brand creates additional value outside of your product and service offering – we see this all the time in the consumer world with high-end fashion brands, but the same applies for B2B. Having a good reputation puts your likelihood of weathering the technology storm a cut above the rest. 

It’s also essential in building trust with clients and cutting through in a crowded landscape. Consider the effect on a brand like Google. As one of the established names synonymous with innovation and cutting-edge technology, it is more likely to win the trust of any business or client wanting to transform with AI. 

In short, when misinformation and disinformation are rife, customers will lean towards the brands they know. And in 2024, this is particularly true, as the pool of individuals involved in making a purchase decision internally has expanded. You aren’t just marketing to direct clients, but the CFO, CEO and COO now. 

Want to prepare for the year ahead? For more information on the above trends, and even more, download our 2024 Trends Report now.

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Winning Minds Awards: January 2024

Happy new year! We’ve kicked off 2024 with some amazing work from our B2B team. Congratulations to this month’s award winners!

PR Minds – Fiona

I wanted to nominate Fiona, for her work leading the charge on our LNER deer story outreach. It deserves a big scream and shout!

This story ended up going live in the last week before we broke off before Christmas, which is a horrible week to be doing a big media push anyway, let alone doing it single-handedly. 

Despite these challenges, there is absolutely no stopping the media machine that is Fi. This queen took complete control and secured some OUTSTANDING national print/online hits with publications like the BBC, the Independent, the Mirror, and the Express. AND it doesn’t stop there, she even got an LNER spokesperson a broadcast slot on Sky News on CHRISTMAS EVE! 

We are working with LNER to raise the profile of their digital innovation stories, and for one of their tech projects to get this much coverage with such high profile titles was outstanding – our client was absolutely delighted with the results, and it was all thanks to Fiona’s hard work. 

Marketing Minds – Jo

Jo is such an incredible asset to the team. With some recent leavers she’s had so much to deal with on her own, and I can see how hard it must have been at times. However, standards haven’t dropped. I don’t know how she does it.

Kaleidoscope Minds – Dave

Dave is my nomination based on an excellent delivery of the Rockwell Automation ROKStudios work to date. He has so far managed a 100% clean sheet on client approval at first draft. Dave has also received excellent feedback from the senior client at Rockwell:

“Those guys are just awesome they nail it every time.”

“Dave just gets it, he is making it easy for us.”

Greatest Of All Time – Sam

We all know Sam is extremely good at the day job – amazing, unlikely, off-the-wall ideas that really work, combined with totally ingenious copy. But this shout out is because Sam always goes way, way above and beyond that. Many won’t know that Sam acts as an office manager for our Winnersh Triangle team, somehow fitting in all those responsibilities around her copy and concepting jobs. I only know the breadth of tasks she takes on from the expenses claims for biros, paper and office furniture I occasionally see. And then there’s all the ad hoc stuff Sam does to drive forward a brilliant culture. Loads of people are involved in the Flash Fiction group, where people respond to a brief with short stories, poems and other creative ideas. Plus we received this feedback only the other day:

“Sam is a one-off and is the very definition of a Winning Mind.”

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The Unlimited B2B 2024 Trends Report

2023 was a tough year for businesses and consumers. 

Economic headwinds and the geopolitical climate gave rise to a lot of uncertainty, but the evolution of new technologies unlocked creativity and inspired innovation. 

As we embark on the next year, trends will move at an unprecedented pace and drive change across the workplace, business, technology and sustainability. 

To help you understand what 2024 has in store, we’ve analysed industry research, poured over the reports and pulled owned insights, to build a list of trends that will be important to your business and consumers. 

The report covers:

  • How workplace empathy and digital nomadism are reducing employee churn, meaning we’ll likely see what experts are calling ‘The Big Stay’
  • The changing face of the internet, as driven by AI and why this might inspire a digital detox for many
  • A shift in the customer/business relationship as value diminishes due to economic uncertainty
  • The role finance has to play in realising sustainability initiatives

Download the report here. 

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Roger Nelson: 28.04.1951 –  24.12.2023

Lucy Mayo, Board Director, Nelson Bostock Group: I was deeply saddened to learn that Roger Nelson, co-founder of Nelson Bostock Communications died on Christmas Eve 2023.

I was lucky to start my PR career at Nelson Bostock, joining the ‘family’ in 1996 with Roger Nelson and Martin Bostock at the helm.  As the fourteenth member, it really was a second family for me.  Martin and Roger created a wonderful supportive environment where we were able to learn our craft across a varied mix of clients, from Sega to Stoves, Videotron to Virgin Games, Bacardi to the BBC, and of course Canon and Toshiba, who remain clients today.  We were trusted and given opportunities to progress quickly, but always under the inspirational guidance and mentorship from them both.  We also laughed a lot! Closing the office to go out for birthday lunches and enjoying many a night in the Sun In Splendour opposite our office in Portobello Mews.

In 2003, Nelson Bostock became part of Creston PLC and is now part of UNLIMITED.  The agency has continued to evolve. Today, we are an important part of the UK’s leading conversion agency and we harness the power of our Human Understanding Lab to deliver exceptional work for our clients.

However, the unique culture of Nelson Bostock has remained with lifetime friendships forged at work. This is testament to the environment that Roger and Martin first created and their legacy lives on in many of us.

I am delighted to share with you a tribute to Roger, written by Martin Bostock. 

Roger Nelson (L), with co-founder Martin Bostock (R).

A Tribute to Roger Nelson from Martin Bostock

Roger was my closest friend for 48 years, and my business partner for 25 of those years.

He was a giant of a man in many ways, a true force of nature and a totally brilliant PR professional.

We met in 1975 when I was working behind the bar of El Vino, the legendary Fleet Street watering hole beloved of journalists, lawyers and PR people.

One day, into the sea of sober black, grey and navy suits strode a young man in a bright blue seersucker jacket, sporting an elegant cream fedora.  In a mid-Atlantic twang, he asked me for a Negroni; a cocktail I had never even heard of (El Vino only sold wine and spirits). Because I rather liked his cheeky approach and his very different appearance, I knocked up an approximation of his preferred tipple under his direction. And so began a very special friendship.

Roger was a typical native New Yorker – a German-Jewish, Polish-American, Puerto Rican, Creole Indian Swede! Born in Manhattan, he moved to Europe with his family in 1965, first to Germany then finally settling in London.

After university, he tried his hand at various jobs including journalism before deciding on PR – an industry which perfectly suited his creative brain, his witty charm, his complete fearlessness and his belief that anything can be achieved if you want it badly enough.

Two years after we met in El Vino he helped me get my first PR job – as an account assistant in the agency where he was already working. We worked hard (and played harder) until eventually we both left – me to pursue other agency and in-house roles and he to set up as an independent PR consultant.  Over an agreeable lunch in 1987 we agreed to join forces and Nelson Bostock Communications was born.

With neither external investment nor anything resembling a business plan, we opened for business with a single client (American Express) on a project basis.  Based in a wonderful loft in Notting Hill Gate’s Portobello Road, our prime goal was to stay in business from day one (August 1st) until Christmas.  We made it by the skin of our teeth, though we did actually head home for turkey knowing that we had no confirmed income at all for the following year.

And yet…. the rest really is history. We won a lot of fabulous clients (and a few horrific ones); hired a lot of wonderful, brilliant people; had a huge amount of fun and laughs and endured a certain amount of pain.  That’s PR for you!

All of us who have worked – or still work – at Nelson Bostock owe a huge debt to Roger. His role in winning and retaining many of our biggest clients (some of which are still with the agency) cannot be overstated. His ability to dream up the ‘big idea’ is the stuff of legend amongst those who worked with him (“let’s project a Sega logo onto the planet Saturn”). His quick-fire wit (almost as fast as his crazy driving) charmed many a client into signing up or agreeing a fee increase.

He also had a true passion for technology which helped set us on the path to success. Remember that the agency began in the analogue age.  No internet or email.  No smartphones. Just a fax machine and a portable AMSTRAD word processor. It was Roger who dragged us kicking and screaming (me in particular) into the digital age, driving investment into networked computing, email and all that followed. This proved highly relevant when the internet began to change forever the way clients did business. Not many PR agencies in the 1990s and early 2000s were comfortable in the digital space, but thanks to Roger, we were. And it made a huge difference to the agency’s success.

Taking risks was a fundamental part of Roger’s make up. Whether it was setting up new ventures (Things With Wings and Fever to name but two) or jumping on a plane to Moscow to pitch for a crazy Russian mobile phone business, he was never happier than when trying something new and scary – especially true of speedy cars.

Roger and I shared a firm belief that we should always try to hire people smarter and better at PR than ourselves, and we worked hard to keep them happy. Roger’s commitment to morale-boosting sessions in the pub after a pitch, or just for fun, was the stuff of legend. As for the company awaydays and Christmas parties – best draw a veil over some of those.

After the successful sale of Nelson Bostock to Creston PLC in 2003, Roger decided to embark on a new adventure; back to his native New York with his wife, Sally and their twin daughters, Atlanta and Miranda.  He and Sally loved to travel around the USA, and explored huge swathes of his home country.

Our loss was America’s gain.

An irreplaceable man in so many ways, he will be sorely missed.

Roger Nelson (R), with Martin Bostock (L) in around 1990.