Albion brings in Steve Henry and John Farrell as agency prepares to play on the world stage

Albion London, the UK?s fast-growing independent agency, is gearing up to expand globally and is bringing in two star names to join its board as non-executive directors.

John Farrell, who was responsible for all of Publicis Groupe?s specialised agencies and marketing services worldwide will become Albion?s non-executive chairman, working with agency CEO Jason Goodman and the board.

Steve Henry, the award-winning joint-founder of HHCL, is joining as non-executive director to mentor Albion?s creative director Nick Darken and his team and help take the agency?s creative output to a new level.

They will join a high-powered non-executive board that already includes serial internet entrepreneur, founder of Lovefilm and Index Ventures Partner Saul Klein and former Mindshare CEO Mandy Pooler, who is part of the senior management team at WPP?s Kantar division.

Together the two new appointments are a sign of Albion?s ambition and determination to move from being a hotshot digital-centric London shop with a reputation for working with zeitgeist entrepreneurial brands to being a world class creative communications player with a broader base of international clients. The agency will remain independent.

The agency?s clients now include: Absolute Radio, Air New Zealand, Betfair, BlackBerry, Caf?direct,, Discovery Channel, ebay, Famous Grouse, Gumtree, Innocent, Remington, Skype. Reported agency income in 2008 was ?6m.

Agency founder Goodman commented: ?Since we launched in 2002, we?ve built a reputation for innovative, integrated, digitally-led advertising for clients who themselves are new and entrepreneurial. We are driven by this core entrepreneurial spirit, but the time has come to raise our game and challenge ourselves and push on to a bigger stage. John and Steve joining are the most visible early parts of this strategy. We have pulled off not one, but two coups and I have to pinch myself to check that they have actually agreed to join.?

Henry said: "Various agencies have approached me over the last year, and I've had fun meeting some brilliant people. But I got very excited by the potential at Albion, because I can see a clear role with a hugely talented team. I'm really looking forward to working with Nick Darken and all the other partners, too. They're focused, ambitious and I just enjoy being in the same room as them."

Farrell added: ?The challenge of working with Jason Goodman and the team at Albion was too good to resist. The agency was established to define the future agency model, it now wants to be larger, more international and, by design, fully-integrated across disciplines. I can see exactly where they want to go and I?m pleased if they want to borrow my experience to help get there.?

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