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.


B2B and corporate PR and communications specialists, AMBITIOUS PR is celebrating the second year of achieving 50% year-on-year revenue growth.

Now, the agency is setting its sights on £1.65million revenue in 2023, securing its position as one of the largest independent PR agencies in the South West.

The agency’s expansion over the last year came from new retained clients including Acorn Property Group, Albert Goodman, BGF, Lifetime, Neighbourly and Truespeed. Growth also came from the agency’s existing client base expanding their remit.

To drive forward further development, AMBITIOUS is investing in marketing technology to deepen the insight they can provide to clients through data and analysis.

The agency will also be launching a dedicated digital PR offering and an end-to-end content strategy, creation, and marketing service.

Based on client demand for international PR support, AMBITIOUS has joined the IPRN (International Public Relations Network) – the international network for independent agencies. This will provide clients with access to a global network of PR agencies as well as driving new business and international knowledge transfer.

In the last year, AMBITIOUS owners Lis Anderson and Sarah Woodhouse have promoted four team members and have now created four new positions which will represent a 22 per cent growth in headcount, taking the agency to a 22-strong team.

Sandra Hodgson has been promoted to Finance Director, Joe Wright to Strategy Lead, Katy Barney to ESGLead and Joanne Wilson to Office Manager.

AMBITIOUS is now hiring for an associate director, senior PR consultant, PR executive, and bookkeeper. Working with UWE Bristol and The Strive Internship Programme, the agency is also committed to a comprehensive internship programme to support entry level talent.

The agency, which has experienced no staff attrition in the past three years, has invested in a competitive benefits package designed in consultation with employees and created to be industry leading.

Lis Anderson, Founder & Director, AMBITIOUS said: “Our growth has been fuelled by investing back in the business – investing in our employees through personal coaching and development, through our competitive salary and benefits package, through new hires, new software and new technology to constantly develop and move our business forward.”

Sarah Woodhouse, Director, AMBITIOUS said “Many of our recent new business wins have come from large companies based in the South West or companies with a regional office here, procuring the national, regional and sector PR and communications support they need on their doorstep.”

AMBITIOUS focuses on b2b and corporate PR in core sectors including technology, ESG, property and placemaking, professional services, financial services, education and skills, healthcare, and the public sector.

Core services include strategic planning and communications, media relations, digital PR, press office management, thought leadership campaigns, issues and crisis management, stakeholder mapping and engagement, employer brand communications and media training. Content services include content strategy, creation, and marketing.

Female-founded, owned, and run, AMBITIOUS celebrated its first decade in business in 2022.

Interested in working for or with AMBITIOUS? Please email Sarah or Lis at [email protected]

Whether you’re an employer looking to attract and retain the best talent, or a job seeker looking to negotiate a competitive salary, you’re in the right place. The Digital Tonic salary guide offers the latest salary information for Marketing, Digital and eCommerce roles in the South West. 

Get yours here. There’s no need to input your details in exchange for a copy – just hit the download button to get yours. 

The salary guide covers:


If you’re an employer, this guide will help you to make informed decisions about remuneration.

Job Seekers

And if you’re a job seeker, you’ll be able to better understand the market value of your skills and experience. Plus, it’s pretty interesting to see how your salary stacks up compared to others in your field. 

Independent brand consultancy, Mr B & Friends, has continued its run of recruitment with four new people in the Client Services team. The new additions will enable the team to be better structured for the continuing growth of the agency with more breadth across client accounts.

Maiara Fernandes has joined as Senior Account Manager. Maiara started her career working for a BTL agency in Brazil before moving to the UK. For the last six years she’s worked at an integrated agency, primarily on public sector accounts across a wide range of campaigns from internal comms to social activity. Maiara will be teaming up with Senior Account Director, Andy Kaye. Outside of work she’s kept busy by her bouncy Springer puppy and enjoying the great outdoors.

Hannah Reed has also joined as a Senior Account Manager, working alongside Senior Account Director, Joe Baptiste, for clients including The LEGO Group and Principality Building Society. Hannah has wide ranging experience from integrated comms to in-store to employer branding for global FMCG brands, including Wilkinson Sword, Ocean Spray and Spontex. As well as enjoying the pace of agency life, Hannah competes in Motorsport events on circuits around the UK, clocking up two championship titles among her achievements.

New Account Manager, Emmy Mitchell, joins us from ForrestBrown, where she worked in the marketing and then partnerships teams. With a host of transferrable skills, the team will benefit from Emmy’s client-side experience, as well as her understanding of the psychology of advertising. Emmy will work closely with Andy and Maiara on accounts including IHG and Plaidis. Away from work, Emmy has been making the most of post-Covid travel with trips to Thailand, Porto and Vietnam. With a passion for fitness, Emmy has already signed up to take on the Mighty Macmillan Hike with the Mr B & Friends team later this year.

Last but not least, Sunniegh Baker has joined as Senior Account Executive. Sunniegh impressed us while she was working client side and, when her role there came to an end, she was snapped up to work at the agency. She’s skilled at collaborating and keeping people organised, and is keen to be more involved in the process of ideation. Sunniegh will be working with Account Director, Liv Cox. With bags of positivity and a flair for fashion, Sunniegh has already slotted into the team perfectly.

Managing Partner, Ellie Wilson, says, “To enable us to deliver our company vision, which is centred around being the most valuable creative partner to our clients around the world, restructuring and strengthening our Client Services team was a key strategic move. I’m delighted to welcome these four bright and ambitious individuals to our Client Services team, their appointments will ensure that we continue to build and nurture strong partnerships with our clients whilst also delivering against our ambitious growth plans.”

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.

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!

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.

We’re lucky to have such a thriving creative economy in Bristol that’s jam packed with fresh perspectives and innovation. From creative entrepreneurs and startups, to long-standing cultural institutions. But against the backdrop of this buzzing creative ecosystem, lots of businesses in the region are struggling to attract the brilliant, and skilled people they need for their business to thrive. There’s no doubt that these people are out there! But grabbing their attention isn’t always easy. So, here are some practical steps you can take to get your business in front of the finest talent out there. 

Offer benefits that are truly worthwhile

Offering competitive compensation goes without saying, but to attract the cream-of-the-crop you need to offer additional perks. In the local market, it’s pretty standard to offer flexible working, snacks and drinks at the office, and social benefits, but you’ll need to go above and beyond this to really stand out. Lots of businesses in the South West offer perks like free gym memberships, access to mindfulness apps, or unlimited holiday, so it’s important to make sure your benefits are competitive. Don’t be tempted to simply offer the same benefits as your competitors though – it’s important to understand what your employees are really looking for and to pick perks that will matter to them. 

To find out whether your benefits are on-point, you need to:

Offering attractive benefits will keep your existing staff happy too and will help you to retain your best talent – so it’s win-win. 

Messaging matters in your job ads 

Meaningful messaging is super important when it comes to creating an attractive job ad. It can help you to convey your company’s culture, values, and mission, and ultimately capture the attention of the most passionate and talented people out there. To craft your core messaging, start by identifying the unique selling points of your company. What makes your business an inviting place to work? Is it your culture, your mission, your values, or your benefits? Once you’ve nailed this down, you need to create messaging that highlights these points in a compelling way.

Generally speaking, employees are looking for:

But remember to be honest

Messaging matters, but it’s always important to paint an honest picture. Not all jobs are sunshine and flowers every day so you need to be honest about the positives and potential negatives of the role from the outset. Being transparent about any challenges of the role can help you to attract the people who are most motivated to overcome these obstacles. For instance, lots of jobs in the creative industry are fast-paced and the workload can sometimes be intense. This is the perfect environment for lots of people, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t suit everyone. By being upfront about these things, you’ve got a much better chance of finding the best person for the job in the long run. 

Build an enjoyable candidate experience

If someone has a positive experience during your recruitment process, they’re more likely to snap up the job if you offer it. And they’ll probably tell their network about their great experience too. In fact, the majority of candidates will actively share how they feel about your company – whether it’s positive or negative – so it’s in your best interest to make sure they’re saying good things. Word gets out quickly in our community and news about positive experiences will soon spread. But news about poor candidate experience will spread even quicker, which could damage your reputation as an employer.

So, to keep your candidates happy, make sure that your recruitment process is slick, transparent, and most importantly – respectful. You need to communicate regularly, provide feedback after interviews, and keep applicants updated on the status of their application. Candidate experience is quite a juicy topic (in our opinion…) so for more detail, head over to the Digital Tonic blog on how to improve candidate experience

Create a compelling employer brand 

This topic deserves an article all to itself so we’ll cover it in more depth in another post. But in short, a strong employer brand can differentiate your business from competitors and make you stand out in the job market. To develop a compelling employer brand you need to start by defining your company’s unique value proposition. What is it that sets your business apart from others? Then you can highlight these differentiators in your job ads, website, and social media. Your existing employees can be your best brand ambassadors, so encouraging them to share their positive experiences can work wonders. 

We know that finding the best fit for your team can be a challenge but there are some seriously talented, and incredible people out there! Don’t overlook external recruitment if you need help and remember that persistence pays off, so don’t give up. If you tackle the above challenges, you’ll massively increase your chances of attracting the most capable people – good luck!

Independent brand consultancy, Mr B & Friends, have welcomed a trio of new creative hires, adding depth to the growing team. Helen Garley has joined as Design Director, Dave Warfield as Middleweight Copywriter and Megan Fry as Junior Designer. Their creative firepower will bolster the team as the agency heads into a busy period, with exciting briefs from InterContinental Hotels Group, The LEGO Group and Persimmon Plc all in progress.

Design Director, Helen, is well known to Mr B & Friends having previously impressed the team over the years on a freelance basis. Helen started her career in London, where she initially worked for large retail and in-store agencies before focusing on brand. Adept at working with organisations of all sizes, Helen enjoys seeing how brand can help a company to grow and transform. Having worked independently for a number of years, Helen is excited to be part of an agency team again and says her previous experience of the culture at Mr B & Friends confirmed it would be a good fit.

Middleweight Copywriter, Dave Warfield, joins the creative team with plenty of agency know-how across brands big and small. Having worked at two established outfits in the South West, Dave has crafted copy for brands spanning from global heavyweights like Coca-Cola, Unilever and P&G to challenger outfits such as Gipsy Hill and Garden Gourmet. As an ideas-first creative, Dave is looking forward to being involved in projects from the outset with the design team. Aside from the variety of clients and projects on offer, Dave was impressed by The Friends Pact and the hybrid set up that allows him to work more from home in Wales alongside his dog Amigo.

Last but not least, Megan Fry, has joined as Junior Designer. Meg was championed by a friend of the agency and seemed a natural fit for the role. Since graduating from Falmouth University during the pandemic Meg has learned the ropes at a couple of boutique agencies before joining the Mr B & Friends team. With a super positive attitude, she’s already joined in with the Play Team, DE&I Team and the Friends of the Community groups, supporting connections both in the agency and in the local area.

Creative Director, Kate Gorringe, says, “The past 12 months have seen the busiest time in our agency history, so we’ve been heavily focused on boosting the talent in the creative team. I’m delighted to welcome three new people who all bring something new – Meg joins us a junior designer who’s work shows exceptional promise in the brand space. Dave, our new creative copywriter, is an ad man straight out of central casting – we’re really looking forward to him pushing us beyond our comfort zones. And finally Helen – a creative with 20 years ‘experience and a long track record of freelancing with us has finally been convinced to take a full-time role as Design Director to show us all what great creative leadership looks like.”

A couple of years ago I was asked for profiling tool recommendations by a client wanting to invest their team.  I’d had several profiles done throughout my career and my experience of them had been mixed.  Whilst the reports always resonated with me, the emphasis was on personality rather than behaviour, and I found that after the initial session where everyone compared themselves to each other and shared their thoughts, the reports were often so complicated that very little, if anything was put into practice.

I then came across Colour-me profiling. C-me focuses on behaviours rather than personalities, using a common language which is non-judgemental and recognises that everyone is a unique blend, vs. trying to put them into a box.  This felt like a much more inclusive approach to me, so I investigated further and ultimately became accredited so I could use it with my clients.

What benefits have I experienced working with C-me?

And the biggest benefit for me is that you can put it into practice immediately.  It has helped me learn to flex my own behaviour and communication style, and work more effectively with others.

In a world where we’re facing ongoing challenges as an industry, my belief is that we need to celebrate our differences and find ways to learn from each other so that we can build exceptional relationships and continue to do brilliant work.

So can behavioural profiling help us build better relationships, higher performance and more inclusive cultures?  My answer is a resounding yes, as long as you put it into practice and continue to, whether it’s for communication, running meetings, problem-solving, hiring new team members or creating your next 3 year vision.

If you want to find out more about C-me and what my report and workshop offering, or are simply intrigued, give me a shout.