Performance marketing agency Launch, based in Exeter and Bristol, won two accolades at the European Search Awards in Portugal last night (25 May).

The awards included Most Innovative PPC Campaign for Launch’s forward-thinking work with orangery designer and manufacturer, David Salisbury, and Best Small PPC Agency. The latter represents an especially significant achievement – not only for outdoing the stiff competition to take home the coveted prize, but doing so for a second consecutive year.

The event, held at the Pátio da Galé in Lisbon, represented a gathering of some of the biggest and brightest names in search marketing, with categories spanning sectors, campaigns and companies. To win on an international stage is no mean feat, but Launch stood out for its people-centric approach, which benefits both employees and clients alike.

The judges said of Launch: “We were impressed by Launch’s focus on the wellbeing of their team, which is a refreshing approach in this industry. Their commitment to creating a positive work culture, while also delivering great results for their clients, is truly impressive. Their results speak for themselves, and we are thrilled to see their hard work pay off.”

Jaye Cowle, Managing Director and Founder of Launch, said: “These award wins represent our team’s hard work and dedication to our clients. I’m so proud of each of them for the way they work, day in day out, to push the boundaries and find new and exciting ways to get our clients great results. Happy people do great work, and I hope to see more businesses making happiness a key metric of success.”

Istoria Group has today revealed the winner of its inaugural Micro Business Incubator Hub CompetitionSelf Agency, which was founded by Devon Lowndes with the aim of improving the lives of neurodivergent people in the Bristol area.

The idea behind the competition, launched in March 2023 on International Women’s Day, was to find a women-led micro business in the Bristol region to support by offering free office space over a six-month period at Istoria Group’s Paintworks offices; mentoring from the creative business group’s leadership team in business, financial management, PR and marketing, along with a raft of creative services, including a brand review by the group’s design agency Phoenix Wharf and a website build by its digital transformation experts Tiny Spark.

The competition was also supported by local organisations Babbasa and Black South West Network, ensuring news of the competition would reach groups who have traditionally been under-represented in business, whether because of class, gender, ethnicity, age or a participation-limiting condition.

We received a fantastic set of entries’, Sam Rowe, CEO of Istoria Group commented ‘and were inspired by the number of amazing women out there fighting for social progress and to diminish inequality. We picked four finalists, all of whom were highly deserving, but in the end it was Devon Lowndes who stood out because of the clarity of her vision, her commitment and ambition. I am quite sure that as well as helping Devon move forward, we will also learn a great deal ourselves in the process, with that knowledge also going on to benefit our agencies and our work across the board.’

‘I’m absolutely thrilled to have won’ Devon Lowndes commented, ‘especially having met the other great finalists at the announcement ceremony! For me, one of the best things about Istoria Group’s Incubator Hub programme is how accessible it was to apply for as a person with ADHD. I could tell at once it was a friendly and accessible organisation with a really open outlook. I know it’ll be an environment that offers trust and flexibility, as well as creative and business expertise. I can’t wait to be part of it!’

The competition was judged by:

Cecilia Thirlway, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol   

Matt Rogers, Head of Development at Babbasa      

Istoria Group CEO Sam Rowe and Istoria Group Chief Marketing Officer Lindie Kramers.


The four finalist companies and initiatives were:

Better Together (Online Safety)

Better Together’s Founder Angela Loveridge helps parents keep children safe online by signposting them towards practical tools, techniques and resources, facilitating safe spaces for those awkward safety conversations and coaching parents so they are empowered to respond, not react, in a way that will keep channels of communication open and permit constructive conversations. Angela’s innovation is to recognise that people have very different parenting styles, meaning safety guidelines need to be approached without judgment and aligned with the unique needs of their child or children.

Bristol Achieve

Bristol Achieve, founded by Hetty Brown, recognises that one of the biggest problems facing British schools is the gap between rich and poor and its subsequent effects on educational attainment and social mobility. This action-based business aims to increase the educational attainment and life opportunities of young adults with academic potential, so that they thrive in whichever life path they choose. Hetty and her team’s innovation is to promote peer mentoring and focus on essential life skills, as well as encouraging reading for pleasure, proven to improve academic achievement.

Sassy Sisters Studio

Nicoleta Moldovan and Begumhan Girgin of Sassy Sisters Studio have founded a new creative agency offering graphic design services, advertising and marketing, motion graphics, packaging design, publications and typographic design. They are two hardworking women/mothers with diverse creative backgrounds, who switched careers, went back to university, and completed their education in order to follow their vision. At their studio, they produce meaningful designs for businesses, charities, and non-profits while prioritising sustainability and women’s empowerment.

Self Agency

Self Agency was founded by Devon Lowndes to improve the lives of neurodivergent people in the Bristol area. The CIC-registered (Community Interest Company) agency offers organisational neurodiversity cultural development and neurodivergent community building. Devon is on a mission to educate people about neurodiversity and to further her vision of everyone embracing every mind equally and realising the positive impact an all-inclusive environment can have on individuals, communities and businesses. Devon advises organisations on best practice and is working with Bristol City Council as their sole neurodiversity champion. Her vision is to make Bristol THE neurodiversity city in the UK.

Each year P+S hosts the South West Design + Digital Student Awards.

The Design Awards were launched by Roger Proctor MBE, Founder and Chairman of Proctor + Stevenson, as part of an ongoing campaign to tackle the way institutions approach design education. Roger wanted to give students the opportunity to stretch their creative talents beyond academia. He recognised the need for hands-on industry experience and commercial briefs. But he also noticed a frustrating lack of creative recognition outside of London, which is why he chose to celebrate talent specifically in the South West of England.

For final-year university students, the SWDDS Awards offer unparalleled opportunities – industry exposure, advice from an expert panel of judges, and valuable creative connections.

Last year Jessica Stiddard, a graphic design student from the University of Gloucestershire, was one of our top 10 finalists with 24 Karat Coffee – a sustainable and ethically sourced coffee branding project.

Jess has gone on to become Junior Creative at Dyson. We sat down with Jess to find out what she’s been up to since the South West Design + Digital Student Awards 2022.

So, how did you find out about the South West Design + Digital Student Awards?

As part of our course, one module included submitting our work to a design award. Our lecturer presented a selection of opportunities to choose from, and she had mentioned the South West Design + Digital Student Awards.

I had also heard about a previous graphic design student from the University of Gloucestershire who had won the SWDDS Awards and the opportunities that followed for her.

What project did you enter, and what category did that fall under?

I entered my third-year brand identity and packaging project for an ethical coffee brand 24 Karat Coffee, which was on a mission to make coffee better. The brief was set by Bulletproof – a design agency in London.

I entered it into the Graphic Design category, and the fact there is no brief meant I was able to enter work I had already completed, which made it a lot easier for me to enter the Design Awards alongside my university deadlines.

Since entering the Design Awards, what have you been up to?

After the awards, I graduated with a First Class Honours and had a one-month apprenticeship with Bristol agency Outlaw, where I worked alongside Emma Proven, winner of the 2019 South West Design + Digital Student Awards.

“…I have now been working at Dyson in Malmesbury for 4 months and I’m loving every minute…”

I then went on to work at Dyson as a Junior Creative. I had been in contact with Chris Roberts, Creative Director at Dyson and judge at the SWDDS Awards, who offered me the role. I have now been working at Dyson in Malmesbury for 4 months and I’m loving every minute.

That’s fantastic! Knowing what you know now, do you have any advice for people thinking about entering the South West Design + Digital Student Awards themselves?

My advice to someone entering the awards would be: just throw yourself into every opportunity you’re given. It can lead to amazing opportunities and achievements! If I hadn’t entered the awards, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It has opened many doors for me, including my internship with Outlaw and my full-time role at Dyson.

“…if I hadn’t entered the awards, I wouldn’t be where I am today…”

What was your overall experience with the Design Awards like?

My experience at the awards was great. I had an interview where I had to present my project and my portfolio to a judging panel, which meant my work was seen by some utterly amazing judges. Even though it could have been a nerve-wracking experience, they made me feel so comfortable.

The ceremony was also great. I got the opportunity to meet other creative students who had entered their work, as well as industry professionals that Proctor + Stevenson had invited. They gave me good advice for my first steps into the creative industry.

The South West Design + Digital Student Awards is back for 2023

Think you could be one of this year’s finalists?

If Jessica’s experience has inspired you to enter, what are you waiting for?

If you’re a third-year university student in the South West of England, get your best projects in Graphic Design, Digital Design and Motion and AR (Augmented Reality) ready.

Whether it is a bold new app, a dynamic branding campaign, or an artistic animation, we want to see it.

Find out more and enter now.

Bristol-based creative business collective Istoria Group has launched a competition to find a regional, women-owned Micro Business to support as part of its Incubator Hub programme, whereby Istoria Group houses and helps guide fledgling businesses during their initial period of development. The winner will be selected from applications received online, with the launch of the initiative timed to coincide with International Women’s Day 2023.

The lucky winning business will receive rent-free office space for up to four people for a 6-month period at Istoria Group’s Bristol Paintworks HQ, starting 1 June 2023, as well as a free website design and build, a brand critique/refresh and mentorship from the Group’s Chairwoman and Heads of Finance, Marketing and PR.

Lindie Kramers, Chief Marketing Officer for Istoria Group, commented: ‘As a women-owned SME, we’re actively seeking to support another female-founded business in our region. We want to be as inclusive as possible in our search for the right Micro Business and would particularly welcome applications from traditionally under-represented communities in business, whether by age, class or ethnicity, to help promote social mobility and counter current imbalances in opportunity and representation.’

To help target its search, Istoria Group is working with the support two established local organisations – Black South West Network (BSWN) and Babbasa – to help spread the word and make sure new of the competition offer reaches as diverse and inclusive an audience as possible in the region.

Sibusiso Tshabalala, Business Support Coordinator, Black South West Network, commented ‘If the Creative Industries were as socio-economically diverse as the wider economy, the sector could provide employment opportunities to an additional 263,200 working-class individuals. However, the lack of diversity in the industry remains a challenge. Fortunately, creative agencies like Istoria Group are working selflessly and consciously to diversify the industry. Initiatives like theirs are particularly crucial in areas like the South West, which lack representation in the creative sector. By supporting minority-led agencies, we can foster the growth of diverse creative content that is relevant and engaging to both the local community and beyond.’

Matt Rogers, Head of Development at Babbasa, added: ‘Many of the young people Babbasa supports are interested in entrepreneurship, and starting their own business is a key way for many young people to access an income that enables them to thrive. We’re pleased to support this fantastic opportunity.’

The winning applicant / business will be selected by a team of five judges:

Sam Rowe, CEO, Istoria Group
Lindie Kramers,
CMO, Istoria Group
Sibusiso Tshabalala,
Business Support Coordinator, BSWN
Matt Rogers, Head of Development, Babbasa
Cecilia Thirlway,
Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship,
Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Bristol

About The Incubator Hub:

The Incubator Hub idea arises out of Istoria Group’s dedication to start-up entrepreneurialism and business mentorship. The Incubator Hub was set up to house and help guide small businesses until they mature and, to date, Istoria Group has successfully helped to grow and ‘hatch’ two Incubator Hub companies: children’s book publishers i am a bookworm and innovation platform Solverboard, which was purchased in Summer 22 by AIM-listed technology and innovation experts Sopheon (and now rebranded as ‘Acclaim Ideas’) –

The focus on micro-businesses this time around was inspired by an article on the International Women’s Day’s 2022 website, which noted how often women have a particular gift for spotting opportunity-based gaps in the market for products and services, but how, through lack of capital – which is often generationally-available, gender-biased and slow to adapt to contemporary needs – women often start small, which makes micro-businesses a great area to focus on to aid and encourage new business growth.

Details of Offer:

Istoria Group is offering the competition-winning business free and self-contained office space on the mezzanine level of its Bristol Paintworks HQ for 1-4 people, with dedicated toilets and access to all shared office facilities, from a kitchen to bookable meeting rooms, as well as free electricity and WiFi, for a six-month period from 1 June – 30 November 2023.

Istoria Group is additionally offering mentorship and in-house creative services as follows:

How to Apply:

Applicants can be a business in any market and at any stage of early growth, as long as female-founded and based in Bristol or the South-West region.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 19 April 2023 and the simple application form can be found at:

Istoria Group, which last year became a B Corp, says applicants should ideally share at least some of its corporate values, which include the EPIC values (entrepreneurial, personable, intelligent and collaborative), as well as standing for the inclusive and ethical treatment of staff; innovation in business; a strong commitment to sustainability and creative re-use and a commitment to the local Bristol region and economy.

What is a Micro Business?

In the UK, a micro business is defined by Companies House as a business of 1-9 employees, with turnover of less than £632,000 and £316,000 or less on its balance sheet.


This month we have been working on our usual mix of branding and digital creative production and working hard on our retail clients’ Christmas marketing campaigns, which certainly kept us busy at the end of last year!


We worked alongside the creative young minds of Bristol City College, where students created a range of unique and innovative products from a brief we provided. We were so impressed with the quality of work produced and the creative ideas that came from the students this year; you can read more about the project below!

The Fanatic Digital Marketing team was nominated and had the honour of attending the UK Search Awards 2022! More about the event can be found under the Digital heading below.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming Sean to the Fanatic family this month. See how he’s settling in, in his Q&A further down!

What’s new in the Design team?


This is the second year we have been working with the City of Bristol College Graphic Design department to help their students gain the experience of being briefed and then presenting their work within a commercial environment. This year we set a brief to create the branding and packaging for a line of English Alcoholic drinks, specifically Wine, Mead, Cider to a spirit, influenced by our work with Lyme Bay Winery. We also spent some time with the students, who are studying for an HND, in a workshop talking about their ideas halfway through the 2-month project process.

We were presented with a great variety of ideas, including the brand Humble, presented by Sabrina, with a clear concept dating back to the idea of Mead being sent from the heavens for the humble worker. Tying in the fact that the drink is a honey base, and illustrations of worker bees, completed a great brand story.

Gia presented a Cider concept based on the English skyline, using heritage fighter planes hand-painted illustrations and bold, clean colour schemes to execute three strikings can designs.

See what the Development team have been up to.

In recent times, many of our Umbraco projects have included the creation or updating of websites to .NET Core. As the latest releases of Umbraco require .NET Core, this implementation of .NET brings about significant changes to the code’s syntax and structure. Our development team is constantly learning, using new techniques and researching the latest ways of coding to keep our technologies at the forefront of the industry. During Umbraco migrations, especially with our bespoke coded apps that run alongside our Umbraco websites, there has been a lot of R&D going into this area recently.

One instance had our developer, Phil, struggling to find a solution. After trying Google, stack overflow and our usual resources, he was unsuccessful in finding the answers he needed. Instead of continuing to search, Phil turned to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an unlikely but helpful ally. This AI tool has learned from an impressive amount of data online and can provide answers and clarity on even the most specific requests. After posing his question to the AI, Phil received two different solutions to the problem, each accompanied by an explanation of how the function would work. It was truly impressive.

We find the ChatGPT raises the bar of what we can expect from a search when AI is used; most impressively, the ChatGPT can actually give opinions as it has included a forum and social chat within its learning source materials. Cool, but scary stuff!

The latest from the Digital Marketing team


The UK Search Awards celebrates the expertise, talent and achievements of the search industry and has been running for over a decade. It is regarded as the premiere celebration of SEO, PPC and content marketing in the UK, and this year Fanatic had the honour of being nominated in 4 categories!

Being nominated for the Best low budget campaign, Best local campaign, Best use of search – Health and Best use of search – Travel / Leisure was a huge honour. Despite not winning any awards this time around, it was great to see the work we are doing getting the recognition it deserves. Our teams have worked hard to create some amazing campaigns, websites, designs and much more over the years and to see Fanatic nominated in so many categories was a lovely way to finish 2022.


  • How have you found life at Fanatic so far?

It’s been great so far, I’ve been made to feel very welcome. After working in a remote rural location for a couple of years, it’s nice to be back in the hustle and bustle of the city!

  • What were you doing before Fanatic, and what made you get into Digital Marketing?

I have spent the last ten years doing digital marketing in-house for e-commerce websites selling all kinds of products, ranging from swimwear to organic foods!

  • What made you choose Fanatic?

During my interviews, it was clear that Fanatic have a culture of going the extra mile (and a bit further) for their clients, which really appealed to me. I’m glad to have joined such a passionate, creative and driven team.

  • What have you enjoyed most so far?

I’m enjoying being in the studio in Bristol, there’s a great atmosphere about the place and the team are all so friendly!

  • What are you looking forward to learning more about?

I’m looking forward to working closely with everyone across all of the teams. It’s already clear that there is a huge wealth of knowledge in the company. I’d like to pick up some new tips on design and development while continuing to increase my digital marketing knowledge.

  • What’s an interesting fact about you?

In my free time, I love to be creative! Design and illustration are two hobbies I enjoy; I also print some of my designs onto merchandise which I sell on Etsy.

We are delighted to have won the Best Use of Search B2B and Most Innovative PPC Campaign at the UK Search Awards 2022 UK.  

The UK Search Awards took place at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London this month, November 30. The evening is the premiere annual event for the digital industry in the UK, celebrating the best of SEO, PPC and content marketing across the country. 

The two awards were in recognition of our work driving global revenue for an ISO consultancy firm based in the UK. It follows hot on the heels of Launch winning PPC Campaign of the Year for the same client at the UK Agency Awards in October. 

The judges said: “The Launch campaign had a great innovative approach with value-based bidding. They had clear, ambitious targets which were all achieved. Overall, an impressive and successful campaign.” 

Jaye Cowle, Founder and Managing Director of Launch, was delighted with the award: “Our mission is to be the happiest performance agency. I believe that happy people do great work, and by empowering our team to do their best, we continue to get impressive results for our clients.”  

See the full list of winners on the UK Search Awards 2022 website here. 

Square Works has been awarded the title of Best Co-Working in Bristol at this year’s Bristol Property Awards!

The award was announced at a glamorous event at Ashton Gate on Friday 25th November attended by some of our team. Head of Community Kevin Vowles was there to collect our trophy: “We are delighted to win from such a very strong field – we were up against some great co-working spaces in Bristol so we’re really honoured to walk away with a win! This award is such a huge boost to all of our team who have worked so hard to make Square Works such a special and successful workspace.”

At Square Works, our aim is to build a genuine community that encourages members to collaborate, co-operate and co-inspire. That’s why our events calendar is packed with opportunities for our network of 700 members to connect, network and inspire one another.

Since 2019, Square Works has become the byword for luxurious serviced offices and co-working in Bristol. We’ve grown exponentially to meet the needs of our members, now boasting a community of over 700 at a growth rate of over 60% in the last year alone.

We started with the aim of building a community where professionals could work, network, relax and socialise in an environment that offered the very best – from an exciting events calendar to a light and airy workspace that members can truly enjoy.

Due to Square Works’ popularity – and the business successes of many of our members, we need to expand further, which is why we’re thrilled to be opening the doors of 19 Berkeley Square later this month. This fully restored Georgian townhouse promises to become Bristol’s most desirable office space – just watch our animated flythrough for a hint of what’s to come.

Fly-through of 19 Berkeley Square

For more info on our exciting new expansion or to book a tour, contact Kevin and the team.

Looking for meeting room hire in Bristol? As well as being a coworking space, Square Works also has meeting rooms and conference space available for hire. Find out more on our dedicated meeting room hire page.

Bristol-based direct marketing agency Flourish has been recognised for its email marketing achievements at this year’s national Performance Marketing World Awards.

The awards were held at The Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane in London and Flourish scooped the Email Marketing award for their work with well-known consumer electronics brand, Samsung. They were one of 22 winners out of more than 90 shortlisted finalists, alongside other award-winning entries including the likes of Asda, Specsavers, Boots, Primark and M&S.

Robin Langford from PMW wrote: “The victors reflect outstanding work across a number of product sectors, alongside awards for the best people, agencies, innovations and teams.”

Flourish also has an office in Dubai and a long-standing relationship with the Samsung Gulf team. They were asked to work on the launch of the Galaxy S22 Series across several regions and in multiple languages. The team assisted with the planning and implementation of a communications strategy that helped Samsung to achieve a high number of pre-orders, and exceeded results from their previous launches of similar devices.

Ian Reeves, Managing Director at Flourish, said: “2022 has been a fantastic year for Flourish, and we are extremely proud to top it off by winning an award that celebrates the game-changing results possible when data, technology and people come together to create customer orientated journeys. This award is credit to the whole team at Flourish and their dedication to pushing boundaries in CRM.”

The campaign has also received recognition by industry body and an internal Samsung marketing award for the campaign with the best use of segmentation.


You can find out more about Flourish via the website.

McCann Bristol has created an emotive new brand campaign for St Austell Brewery and its flagship brand, Tribute, to reflect the pride, passion, and independence they both share with the local Cornish community.

‘The independent ale from the independent people,’ campaign pays Tribute to stand-out Cornish people who embody independence. The first phase of the new campaign features three strong and intimate photographic portraits – revealed only by the hands.

Cornish fisherman, Philip, Penzance-based local female rugby team founder, Cozette, and Cornwall-born musician, Mark all feature in the first phase of the campaign, which will be rolled out across both point of sale and advertising on billboards and digital channels, as well as featuring on the brand’s lorry livery in the coming months.

Laura McKay, head of marketing – beer and brands, St Austell Brewery, comments:

“Tribute is all about the people that make it. And for us, that’s drawing inspiration from our location and Cornish folk. In an honest and authentic way, through the new campaign photography, we’re celebrating the best of Cornish people and shining a spotlight on the hands that hold onto their passions.

“The new emotive advertising aims to create a stronger connection with Tribute’s target audience, communicating the importance we place on independence, endeavor, and achievement – characteristics reflected in both the brand and Cornwall itself. The spirit of independence is what makes Tribute unique.”

Zane Radcliffe, Executive Creative Director at McCann Bristol, said: “We’re as proud of this debut campaign for St.Austell as the Cornish are of their independence. We’ve captured that spirit in a series of striking and contemporary portraits of the hands that connect them to their individual passions and to the ale they prize so strongly.”

The campaign creative was shot by photographer Alex Telfer who boasts accolades including the International Photography Awards’ highly acclaimed ‘Photographer of the Year’.

Last month, the 2022 UK’s Best Workplaces™ in Tech list was launched by Great Place to Work® UK, recognising saintnicks among 140 ranked organisations.

What this recognition confirms about saintnicks:

saintnicks CEO Fraser Bradshaw commented, “Having received recognition as a UK Great Place to Work earlier this year, we are delighted to now receive this recognition for the diverse culture and mix of our capabilities within the agency. Every agency needs to invest in culture alongside its products and services if they are going to produce truly great work. We are looking forward to another strong year in 2023.”

As Benedict Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place to Work® UK, explains:

“Now in its fifth year, our 2022 list showcases the largest collection of Best WorkplacesTM in Tech that the UK has ever recognised.

These results are based on what employees working in the technology industry have anonymously reported to us about their workplace experience. In a fast and ever-evolving industry, these organisations are at the forefront of ensuring employees have the right environment to thrive, they are focused on providing positive work experiences, they value diversity, differences and better ways of doing things and, importantly, are investing in effective leadership to ensure continuous growth.

A huge congratulations to saintnicks for making one of our most prestigious lists.”