Developing their growth strategy, mustard implements major changes to their business structure.

Since 2009, the Bristol based creative recruitment agency mustard jobs has grown exponentially. As a result the business requires a fresh perspective to enable success during this time as they grow and scale the business. The intention of these roles is to prepare the business for onboarding more staff, increasing the sales aspect of the business and improving the operations to support this increase in business activity.

Promoted internally, these director level roles have produced an advanced progression route for high achieving members of staff.

Archie Harvey, previously an Associate Director, leading the XP division (Experiential, Events & Exhibitions Recruitment) has now been promoted to Sales Director. Having amplified the XP division’s output, he is perfectly placed to take on this new role, working with mustard’s Divisional Leaders to elevate the client and candidate experience, helping them to understand the best recruitment solution from the range of products that mustard provides.

“9 years ago I joined mustard off the back of working in the music festival industry with no previous experience in recruitment, so it’s personally an exciting period of time to be taking on the responsibility for business wide sales at mustard. We have a fantastic team of dedicated Manager’s and Consultants that I can work with to get us there, along with the freedom to implement our sales strategy and direction. At the moment, an ever changing market makes this a challenge but one I’m looking forward to continuing to tackle it!” – Archie Harvey, Sales Director.

At the forefront of mustard’s business operations, Joe Bungey has been placed as Operations Director. Having started his journey as a trainee recruitment consultant in the BE division; Joe worked his way up the business with skill, passion and determination. This new role will support all the departments of mustard and oversee management of the systems we use to provide the best possible service to both candidates and clients.

Keeping the people within the business happy is a crucial element to growing and scaling a business, therefore mustard have promoted Phil Boshier to Associate Director of People and Culture. This new role involves developing our existing sales staff but also managing our internal recruitment strategy, along with onboarding and training new starters. As a previous team leader to the ID division, Phil’s an expert in our culture and has gone above and beyond to support the mustard family.

“The whole team has worked super hard to grow and scale the business over the last few years, as a bigger business we can provide opportunity to capable and loyal members of the team. All 3 of these people add real value in their respective arena’s to help us push on further in a structured and organic way… exciting times!” – Peter Browne, Founding Director.


Originally posted on:

B2B PR is often overlooked by those considering a career in PR. B2C always seems so much more creative and alluring. But the truth is, B2B PR is more than just B2C PRs boring sister. In fact, B2B PR can be just as exciting, fast-paced and creative!

If you read our blog on the differences between B2B and B2C PR then you’ll know that while B2B public relations typically focuses on technical information and analytical data, emotion is still a key driving force when it comes to B2B campaigns.

In today’s blog, we’re explaining why that’s the case, and why B2B PR can be just as creative and boundary-pushing as B2C.

Cutting through the noise requires creativity

B2B audiences are bombarded with information every day, and so creative, emotionally resonant messaging is necessary to help a company stand out. By using unique and innovative PR strategies, businesses can capture the attention of decision-makers who may very well be jaded by the same-old marketing tactics. Fresh thinking is often what gets the best results.

People buy from people

People buy from people, not businesses, and so while yes, B2B PR does often target decision-makers within a company, it’s important to remember that those decision-makers are still people. By using emotion in B2B PR, companies humanize their brand and create better connections with their target audience. The result – greater brand loyalty and more meaningful business relationships.

Connect with a broader audience

Similarly, remember that businesses, now matter how big, are made up of lots of individual people. By creating messaging that resonates with individuals on an emotional level, B2B PR campaigns can broaden their reach and connect with a wider audience.

Drive engagement

Emotionally resonant messaging better drives engagement and increase the likelihood of your audience taking action. By creating content that inspires a response, businesses can encourage decision-makers to take the next step and move forward with a purchase or partnership.

Even though B2B PR is typically more technical and data-driven, creativity and emotion can play a critical role in creating effective campaigns that stand out, connect with decision-makers, and drive meaningful business outcomes.

To end, here are a couple of examples of B2B PR campaigns that really pushed creatively!

Hectare’s Tudder – Tinder for Cows

Octopus Group, in partnership with Hectare, launched Tudder, a dating app designed for cattle, as part of a Valentine’s Day-centered PR and social media campaign. The app, which functions similarly to Tinder, allows users to swipe left or right on profiles of cows and bulls. When there is a match, a mooing sound is played, and the interested party is directed to the SellMyLivestock platform for more information. Hectare aimed to raise awareness about “livestock love” through this campaign. Alongside the app, personalized Valentine’s Day cards were sent to targeted journalists, and exclusive briefings were held with media contacts. A comprehensive social media campaign was also implemented.


Slack – “So yeah, we tried Slack…”

Slack leveraged the popularity of hit sitcoms such as The Office and Parks and Recreation by producing a humorous, mockumentary-style video advertisement to showcase the superiority of its platform over other professional communication tools.

The video linked below features Sandwich Video, an actual Slack customer, as they introduce the platform to their office. The video serves both as a testimonial-packed case study and a funny piece of media that entertains viewers.

World-renowned, Bristol-based product development consultancy Kinneir Dufort are proud to be running the Ethnic Diversity Excellence Programme (EDE) for a third year running.

To tackle the visible lack of diversity within the UK design industry, Kinneir Dufort’s EDE Programme offers an opportunity for three students from minority ethnic and heritage communities entering their third year of university to take part in a funded 8-week internship. 

Supported by an industry-wide EDE Council, with distinguished council members of minoritised ethnic backgrounds from AstraZenecaLettUs GrowNo7 CompanyFluoretiQ, Unilever and Reckitt, the programme offers three students in their final year an immersive opportunity to learn and develop within an industry environment. The successful applicants will also take part in school outreach programmes to help increase awareness of the design sector to help boost diversity in future generations of designers.

Along with 8 weeks of hands-on experience, mentoring and advice, the individuals will receive a £2,000 sponsorship along with £1,000 travel and accommodation expenses. This opportunity is open to all universities in the UK.

The driving force behind the programme, Sunny Panesar, Head of Portfolio Management at KD, is driven by the lack of ethnic diversity in the product development industry, and the need for change. Sunny says: “Having often been the only person of colour in the room throughout my career, the lack of ethnic diversity is striking, if we’re truly going to design a better world, we need to reflect the people we’re designing for.

“I understand how important it is for ethnic minority students to have this opportunity, firstly to make them aware of this incredible industry as a career option and then to help them overcome complex systemic barriers holding them back when trying to break into industry. Our goal is to level-up and give minoritised ethnic students an equal playing field. We want to offer interns a high-quality experience which is immersive and potentially life-changing; they will learn and develop within an exciting and unique environment with external mentoring from industry experts.

“The last two years have been a resounding success for KD, we have taken on full-time employees from the scheme and have a seen a vast improvement in all areas of diversity throughout the team. This year, we’re excited to launch the programme again and encourage students from around the UK to watch our webinar and submit their applications.”

Kinneir Dufort believe that they, and the wider innovation, design and product development industry need to do more to mirror the diversity of who we are designing for within the UK, and beyond.

Learn more about the application criteria, how to apply and the deadline here. If you would still like to learn more and see if this programme is for you, you can watch our recorded live Q&A with our EDE Council.

I’m very pleased to announce that we have officially joined the ranks of B Corps (a B Corporation is purpose-driven and creates benefits for all stakeholders, not just shareholders).

Avid Torchbox watchers will have seen this coming. As far back as June 2022 when I was already confident that we’d gain accreditation having finished the Impact Assessment, I wrote about why it had taken us a while to get on board and how the assessment was improving us. The wait since June was partly due to the B Corp queue, partly to the verification process (when a B Lab representative works with you to evidence your claims), and partly because changing our Articles of Association to encode our intent ‘to have a material positive impact on society and the environment’ took longer than it should have.

The assessment process has been really useful and I’ve no doubt that it’ll continue to make us a better business over time. The framework isn’t perfect – there are things that surprised me, for example, while it assesses fair pay, it doesn’t assess the gender pay gap – but it is strongly rooted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and certainly drives positive change in businesses, as it already has done in ours.

There has been some negative criticism of B Corp, notably the FT article from February this year which raised issues including a couple of big ones for me:

Nestlé has a dubious record on human rights (I started boycotting Nestlé products as a student due to the baby milk scandal) and as the Fair World Project says, Nespresso’s single-use coffee is hardly a ‘force for good’.

I did feel like the B Impact Assessment was more focused on how you do business rather than what you do. You can get points for having a positive impact through your business purpose, but I don’t think you lose points if you have a negative impact. And, if you can still get to the magic 80 by doing well in other pillars, that explains some surprising B Corps. That said, you do have to commit to being a force for good, which was the “changing our Articles of Association to encode our intent to have a material positive impact on society and the environment’ bit that I mentioned earlier.

Apparently, things are gonna get better, particularly the single pillar loophole. According to Includability:

B Corp is planning changes in standards from next year, which will force B Corps to be more transparent about where they are around 10 specific topics – including fair wages, diversity and inclusion, human rights, action on climate change and risk standards – to resolve the issue around companies being able to rapidly meet the minimum points requirements in a single area.

We’re fans of Doughnut Economics, and as an employee-owned business, we’re excited that Kate Raworth believes that employee ownership can be a ‘powerful starting point’ to help redesign business. In the FT article, Erinch Sahan of the Doughnut Economics Action Lab says of B Corp:

“What they do really well is creating a community of business people passionate about sustainability,” adds Sahan. “When you tell everyone you’re now a B Corp . . . people expect that you really do prioritise people and planet. But that’s not necessarily the case.”

However, as we graduate as a B Corp, I think it’s important to focus on the bit before Erinch’s ‘but’. From the process we’ve been through, the B Corps I’ve met and the events I’ve been to, it feels like we are joining a club of business with energy and ambition to be a force for good. I thank B Lab for that and encourage them to continue in their mission to ‘not stop until all business is a force for good’.

A score of 80 qualifies a company for B Corp Certification (Nespresso scored 84.3). The median score for ordinary businesses who have done the assessment is 50.9. Torchbox achieved a B Corp score of 114.5. The focus is now on improving our score next time, so I want to end with a hat tip to a couple of friends who are giving us something to aim at, Wholegrain Digital who scored 122.1 (they were early adopters and have been assessed three times already, they’ve also made Best for the World lists four times) and our recruitment friends at Adlib in Bristol who recently re-certified with an incredible 130.3, nice one!

Becoming a member of Bristol Creative Industries brings many benefits. We regularly add new opportunities so here is a guide to the latest benefits you can enjoy by signing up. We’ll keep this post regularly updated.

Join Bristol Creative Industries from only £4.50 a month.

Appear in the member directory

Showcase your best work and attract new clients with a company profile in the Bristol Creative Industries member directory. The directory receives lots of visits every month from people looking for services from creative businesses.

Bristol Creative Industries membership

Self-publish content

Got some business advice or news to share? As a Bristol Creative Industries member you can self-publish content on our website and it will appear on your member profile. We upgrade great content to the newsfeed and include four posts in our monthly email newsletter.

To get an idea of the content topics that do well, here are the top 20 posts by members in 2022.

Bristol Creative Industries member Jessica Morgan from Carnsight Communications discussed the benefits of posting content in this interview.

Advertise jobs on the BCI jobs board

The Bristol Creative Industries jobs board attracts thousands of job hunters every month. As part of your membership, you can post unlimited free job adverts, saving you on average £3,500 per candidate.

Piers Tincknell, co-founder of Atomic Smash, is one of BCI’s longest serving members and he told us in a member profile interview how he regularly uses the jobs board to recruit new employees.

Attend members’ lunches

BCI’s monthly members’ lunches are a perfect opportunity for members to catch up with fellow members and the BCI team.

Everyone has a slot of up to three minutes to tell the others a little about who they are and what they do and share any news and/or challenges. You don’t need to fill the full three minutes. We usually find some common themes emerge to discuss over the course of the session.  It’s all very informal with no need to stand up and present slides.

The events are free to attend for members. They are a mix of in person and virtual events. The in person sessions are at The Square Club in Bristol and include a free buffet lunch.

Check the events section of details of the next lunches.

Big thanks to everyone who joined the recent BCI Members’ Lunch.

Great to see you all and thankyou to @SquareClifton for hosting us.

The next lunch is a virtual one on 5 Oct: with an in-person event on 10 Nov:

— Bristol Creative Industries (@Bristol_CI) September 20, 2022

Discounts for keynotes and workshops

Our flagship keynote events and workshops feature world class speakers sharing their expertise. It’s a unique opportunity to access valuable insights for growing your business. Bristol Creative Industries members receive a ticket discount.

Keen an eye on the events section for the latest events. You can also sign up to the monthly BCI Bulletin to be notified of events.

Attend and host Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call is a member exclusive live webinar that takes place every other Friday at 8.30-9am. The content is delivered by members for members.

Attending the free event gives you access to valuable insights from your fellow members and if you host a Wake Up Call, you can share your expertise and attract potential new clients.

See details for upcoming Wake Up Call events in our events section.

If you’re a BCI member and you’d liked to deliver a presentation on a topic of your choice during Wake Up Call, email Sian Pitman.

Join outdoor networking events

The regular BCI Walk & Talk networking sessions are for a group of 12 people who are keen to don their walking boots and explore the stunning countryside around Bristol and Bath.

It’s a great opportunity for members to make some new connections whilst getting some much needed fresh air!

The next Walk & Talk is on 12 May at 9.30am. Sign up here.

Bristol Creative Industries Walk & Talk outdoor networking

Attend exclusive roundtables

We host regular roundtables for agency leaders to discuss strategic challenges. These events are vital for us to hear from the member community about the key issues you are facing and how we can help. A roundtable on funding led to us creating this popular and regularly updated guide to the latest finance on offer to creative businesses.

If you are interested in getting involved with future roundtables, email Sian Pitman.

Other benefits

We regularly deliver other benefits.

We are currently providing free legal surgeries with business lawyer Rebecca Steer.

Discounts on workspace, hotels and more

Reductions on co-working spaces, meeting rooms, hotel accommodation, a recruitment strategy review and a coffee subscription are just some of the many discounts and offers we’ve negotiated for members.

Join Bristol Creative Industries from only £4.50 a month.

If you have any questions about membership, email Alli Nicholas

Offering employees benefits in kind (or BIKs for those in the biz) is a great way for businesses to provide their employees and/or directors with additional perks or incentives. However, these benefits do have tax implications, starting with P11Ds. So, what exactly is a P11D form and what do you need to know?

What are P11Ds?

P11d forms are used in the UK to annually report certain expenses and benefits paid or made available to directors and employees.
P11Ds are for employers to disclose information about taxable benefits to HMRC that haven’t been included on the payroll.

The form requests details of things like:

P11D tax is calculated depending on the benefit involved, and there are different rules for different types of benefits. However, they are all designed to arrive at an amount that is treated as earnings and taxed in the same order as earnings.

Are business expenses a ‘benefit in kind’?

Payments made to an employee or director to reimburse expenses don’t count as a benefit in kind. So, as an example, an employee is reimbursed for parking costs when travelling on company business. This wouldn’t count as a BIK.

However, sticking with the travel theme, if the company gives the employee an interest-free loan to buy a season parking pass, this should go down as a benefit in kind. This is a payment from the business that directly benefits the employee.

Why do you need to pay tax on benefits in kind?

Receiving benefits in kind from your employer effectively increases the value of what you receive from the business as an employee or director. Basically, these benefits have a cash value (and they benefit you personally, rather than the business) so HMRC needs to know about them.

Do P11Ds affect National Insurance contributions?

The P11D form allows employers to identify and report any expenses or benefits not payrolled, and pay the tax and NIC over to HMRC. This is done by completing the accompanying form P11D(b).


Who pays P11D tax?

If you have any taxable benefits listed in the payroll, you’ll have already paid tax through PAYE. Beneficial loans and any benefits listed on your P11D will have to be included on your Self-Assessment Tax Return.

If you don’t have a self-assessment to complete, HMRC will make an adjustment to your tax code, in order to collect tax through your salary.

Employers have to pay Class 1A NIC on non-payrolled benefits disclosed on P11Ds.

When do P11Ds need to be completed?

HMRC’s PAYE Online Service is used to report P11Ds and P11D(b) forms. They must be completed by July 6th after the end of the tax year (which is April 5th).

Launched in 2018, Studio Floc is the brainchild of our founder Florence Cassell. Armed with a loyal iMac and a vision to design for good, she started the journey that we’re now on as a growing (and currently fully female) team – supporting great people doing great things in the world through effective and beautiful design. 

We’ve taken the time out of our regular routine to learn from her experience and be encouraged by a real life, real time example of a female business owner.

What inspired you to set up your own agency? 

Hello everyone – Florence here! Great question – two key things come to mind. Firstly, my experience of starting out as a designer was a tough one. Most of the agencies I worked in created harsh and very isolating environments. I’m grateful because I did learn a lot in those early days but I believed it was possible to have an encouraging and honouring studio culture whilst still achieving excellence. This inspired me to start Studio Floc. My aim is to create a place where my team and I work hard and efficiently whilst also encouraging and supporting one another.

And then secondly, I’m passionate about playing my part in making the world a better place and love to use design as a tool to do that. Last year we had the privilege of rebranding Love Your Neighbour, an incredible charity who are committed to helping people overcome pressing social challenges by tackling the root causes of poverty through crisis support, debt advice, employment training and community care. We’ve been able to give them a visual language to communicate their message effectively in order to impact more lives. So good. I appreciate that we’re only one agency empowering a select handful of clients but imagine the world we’d live in if everyone played their part. 

What has been your biggest challenge as a female founder?

When I was about to start Studio Floc back in 2018, only 16% of founders in the UK were female. I was surrounded by and learned from men. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from those guys and many of which I still turn to for advice and are supportive in all I do. The presence of men has never been the issue, it has been the lack of women to encourage, trail-blaze and to be inspired by that has made the journey more difficult.

What has been your biggest learning point as a female founder?

I continue to lead the business that I feel called to run even though historically (and sometimes discouragingly) the odds aren’t stacked in my favour. Oh and the other thing is that Imposter Syndrome is a bitch. It has taken me a while but I’m still improving my ability to differentiate the helpful, guiding voice in my head from the unhelpful, self-doubting one. If you’ve got the tools there in front of you but need that extra push of confidence, just be bold and go for it. 

I would highly recommend checking out Craig Groeschel’s book ‘Winning the war in your mind’ if this is something you struggle with.

Do you have any advice for women starting out in business?

Three key things – firstly, surround yourself with a support network of friends/mentors who will encourage you on the journey. Secondly, never stop learning. And thirdly, in my experience, more often than not, people respond to expertise delivered with confidence, not gender. 

‬Driven by purpose‭, ‬we use creativity to enable the makers‭, ‬equip the innovators and empower the world-changers‭. ‬We specialise in branding‭, ‬print and digital design‭.‬

Have questions for our founder? Looking for help with branding, print or digital design work? Let’s chat! Get in touch at [email protected]

Almost all UK agency owners worry about their business, with 14% feeling anxious every day.

That’s the finding of The Wow Company’s 2023 BenchPress reports, the largest survey of independent agency owners in the UK.

It found that 99% of all agency owners worry about their business, with 60% of those running agencies with £1m+ turnover and 70% under £1m feeling worried or anxious at least once a month. For both groups, 14% get anxious every day.

Agency owners shoulder a lot of responsibility & can sometimes feel anxious about their businesses. For all the highs, there are inevitably going to be some lows to navigate. Where do you sit among these figures taken from our new BenchPress report? More:

— The Wow Company (@thewowcompany) April 13, 2023

The top concerns that keep founders awake at night were team, new business and clients for £1m+ businesses and new business, cash flow and clients for firms turning over under £1m.

When it comes to work/life balance, 7% of owners of agencies under £1m and 5% of those £1m+ said they do not have one at all.

The report said you’re 50% less likely to worry about your business if you have a healthy work/life balance, so it urged founders to work on getting one.

How agency owners maintain a healthy work/life balance:

how agency owners maintain healthy work life balance

Read advice on mental health and wellbeing:

Confidence levels fall

In another finding from the reports, confidence among UK agency owners at the start of this year dropped close to levels seen during the height of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Since 2012, the study has tracked how confident agency owners feel about the year ahead by giving a rating out of 100. Above 50, owners feel confident and below 50, they expect this year to be worse than last year.

The new report shows confidence in January 2023 was at 66, compared to 74 in 2022 which was the highest level since 2017.

In January 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the score was 71 and in July 2020 it was 60.

As well as the issues around wellbeing described above, BenchPress said the fall in confidence is also driven by:

Growth: 71% of agencies under £1m and 79% of £1m+ grew in 2022, but growth wasn’t as strong as in previous years. Those that grew fee income by 26%+ dropped from 39% (under £1m) and 43% (£1m+) in 2021 to 26% (under £1m) and 27% (£1m+) in 2022.

Remuneration: Those earning over £50,000 per year dropped from 58% to 52%, while those earning more than £100,000 fell from 53% to 46%.

Profit: For agencies with under £1m turnover, average gross profit reduced to 36%, an 8% fall from the previous year. For agencies with £1m+ revenue, average gross profit has reduced to 40%, a 4% fall from 2021.

Purpose remains important

Despite the UK’s economic challenges, the report showed that having a purpose continues to be important for agencies.

It found that 24% of owners of agencies under £1m and 28% of £1m+ firms said building a business that has a positive impact on the world was their top priority.

[Online event for Bristol Creative Industries members on 19 May: Six steps to supercharge sustainability in your business]

[Read advice on business as a force for good and how to become a B Corp here]

The top ways agencies make a difference include:

The full BenchPress reports are jam-packed with lots more data plus advice on overcoming the key challenges and how to boost your agency. Download the reports here

We’re delighted to share that Unfold have taken on organising the Smart Cookies meetup group, started by the wonderful Nic & Nat Alpi, previously of Cookies HQ.

Smart Cookies is a quarterly meetup group of over 1,000 entrepreneurs, involved in the Bristol creative and digital industries, passionate about design, development and marketing.

We want to continue the events in the same spirit and ethos as our predecessors, promoting collaboration between disciplines so we can devise better solutions for all aspects of the creative process.

Each meetup will feature either individual speakers or an expert panel, where discussion will centre around a set theme related to building and growing digital ventures.

Whether you’re a tech professional, an entrepreneur, freelancer or student, there will be something for you. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, make connections and join a community of smart cookies.

Come along and be inspired or – if you’d like to share your own experiences – why not contact us about becoming a speaker?

We are excited to announce the official launch of HeyFlow.

HeyFlow is here to help businesses understand the female workforce better, equipping managers with the confidence, practical skills and knowledge that will reduce absenteeism and increase the retention and attraction of women, at all stages of their career.

It is widely recognised that women are leaving the workforce, absenteeism is increasing and there are significant skills shortages across multiple industries in the UK. The link between absenteeism, attraction and retention of women in the workplace directly links to the understanding the impact of female reproductive health in the workplace.

That’s where HeyFlow comes in. An insight-driven data surveying and L&D tool that empowers businesses to build a truly inclusive company by understanding the impact of female reproductive health in the workplace, identifying and implementing management development opportunities and policy advancement.

With the combined expertise of the Founder of not-for-profit MotherBoard, Sophie Creese, Nick Dean, CEO of ADLIB / B Corp Ambassador, and Sabrina Walls, Marketing Director of ADLIB / Marketing Lead of MotherBoard, the Co-Founders of HeyFlow have intricate knowledge of how purpose, understanding and knowledge can drive positive change for businesses, driving significantly improved retention, attraction and absenteeism levels.

HeyFlow has been created to provide a solution for all businesses. From a management introduction to the female reproductive cycle and its potential impact in the workplace, through detailed employee surveying and coaching on periods, pregnancy, maternity and menopause (amongst much more).

HeyFlow provides unrivalled insight into a company’s female workforce and provides understanding of the gap between feeling and policy. Through our insight surveying we provide clear actionable solutions and offer consultancy and training to upskill employees to better support their teams.

Our starting product focuses on cisgender females, our roadmap progresses into a much wider employee community where there is an essential need to understand underrepresented people.

We’re looking forward to being part of a solution that is much needed by businesses and women alike.