Today, Brand Advance Group, announces that Deborah Gbadamosi will take over from Christopher Kenna as European CEO
Brand Advance Group of Companies, publisher of Included Magazine, was established by founder Christopher Kenna in 2018. And at the company’s inception, it was the first dedicated global diversity media network: helping agencies and brands reach diverse demographics at scale with authenticity through minority media, technology and consultancy & insights.
Brand Advance Group now provides global clients with a full 360 service for reaching minority or underrepresented consumers, helping brands and agencies break the 10% growth barrier with access to new and growing communities and their spend.
However, this month, Kenna stepped down as CEO in the UK and Europe, allowing him to take over in North America. Speaking of the move, Kenna says, “2022 was a fantastic year for us with our revenue and new client billings rising from $5m to $16m, and a forecast of $28m in client billings by the end of 2023. This is fantastic news not just for us as a business, but also for our network of minority-owned and operated partners globally. Additionally, the growth also comes with a need for me to develop personally as a founder, striving to become a leader who can drive growth in global teams. And, Deborah Gbadamosi joining our team is a large part of this growth. Being someone I have admired within the industry for a long time, I hope to learn from Deborah’s amazing experience and qualities. My full-time move to NYC to lead our North American operations could not have been possible without the knowledge that EMEA was being left in such capable hands. I look forward to the year ahead and developing both personally and long side our fantastic team.”
Deborah Gbadamosi is a global media leader with over 20 years of experience developing and implementing digital strategies for FMCG, automotive, finance and tech brands, including previously working as the Global Agency Director at Microsoft and Executive Director at OMD EMEA.
Speaking over her new position, Gbadamosi says, “I’m beyond delighted to join Brand Advance Group and lead the next chapter of growth. Christopher and his team have built an incredible business rooted in inclusion, not just in their planning of media and creative but also in the way they operate, hire, partner and behave. I plan on bringing my experience in nurturing a strong performing team and understanding of client needs to continue shaping and defining Brand Advance Group.”
She continues, “The aim is to keep our business at the forefront of change. I’ve had the pleasure of working with progressive media leaders as well as forward-thinking clients and partners who embraced the need for systemic change. It has positively impacted how we approach inclusive audiences, brand safety, representation and measurable outcomes. I’m keen to keep collaborating with these open-minded humans because we still have a long way to go. With Chris in the US and me in the UK, we’ll ensure Brand Advance Group continues to challenge the status quo, forge new partnerships and bring about widespread diverse and inclusive advertising solutions and practices.”
In the 12 months leading up to Gbadamosi’s appointment, Brand Advance Group of Companies has expanded from the UK to France, Germany, India, Canada and the US. Excitingly, the 2021 to 2022 year-on-year Growth was 330%, with a forecast for 300% growth in 2023.
BA Creative, a subsidiary of Brand Advance Group, has also had a fantastic year since its launch in 2022, seeing new client billings of $10m+ and the global growth of the BA Creative, BA Films and BA Influencer teams.
Additionally, Brand Advance Group’s data and insights companies DECiA and Cultural Intelligence chase continued to innovate and provide clients with access to global insights, media planning and buying and strategy tools specifically aimed at increasing agency teams’ access to minority communities for their clients.
In 2023 and beyond, Brand Advance Group of Companies will continue to thrive, incite change and ensure the media industry hears our voices.
5 Ways People With Disabilities Can Propel Your Business Brand to Success
In the fast-paced and diverse business landscape of today, inclusivity holds the key to extraordinary achievements, going beyond being just a buzzword. By embracing diversity and harnessing the talents of individuals with disabilities, you have the opportunity to witness a remarkable transformation in your business brand, setting it apart from the competition.
Below are five ways people with disabilities can become powerful catalysts for skyrocketing your business brand:
1. Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: People with disabilities bring a unique perspective to problem-solving and innovation. Their diverse experiences and adaptive thinking can lead to groundbreaking ideas that resonate with a broader audience, elevating your brand to new heights.
2. Cultivating Enhanced Customer Empathy: Employing individuals with disabilities fosters a deeper understanding of your customers’ diverse needs and preferences. This empathy fuels the development of products and services catering to a wider range of individuals, thereby boosting customer loyalty and enhancing your brand’s reputation.
3. Crafting Inclusive Marketing Campaigns: With a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities, creating authentic and inclusive marketing campaigns becomes second nature. Representation matters, and consumers connect more profoundly with a brand that embraces diversity and reflects the real world.
4. Nurturing an Empowering Workplace Culture: Embracing diversity cultivates a positive workplace culture that encourages teamwork, respect, and open-mindedness. This welcoming environment attracts top talent, boosts employee morale, reduces turnover, and ultimately leads to increased productivity and overall success.
5. Making a Positive Social Impact: Actively promoting inclusivity and providing equal opportunities positions your business as a force for positive social change. Modern consumers appreciate brands that align with their values, and your commitment to empowering people with disabilities will garner genuine support and unwavering loyalty.
Integrating people with disabilities into your workforce is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic decision that can propel your business brand to unprecedented heights. By leveraging their unique talents and perspectives, you have the potential to cultivate a brand that stands out, deeply connects with customers, and makes a meaningful contribution to a more inclusive society.
Hansal Emmanuel: Defying Odds as a Disabled Basketball Star
Hansel Enmanuel is a true embodiment of inspiration, defying all odds to excel. Not only is he a viral internet star, college student, and immigrant to the United States, but he also stands out as a Division I college basketball player, achieving all of this with only one arm.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Enmanuel faced a life-changing accident at the age of six, resulting in the loss of his left arm. Despite this setback, he refused to let it define him and discovered his passion for basketball. Moving to the United States at 16, with limited knowledge of English, presented another challenge, but he tackled it with unwavering determination.
As a tall and gifted athlete, Enmanuel’s talent for dunking caught attention during his high school days at the Life Christian Academy in Florida. His internet fame skyrocketed, amassing over 4 million followers on Instagram and TikTok combined.
Though highly accomplished, doubts from college coaches initially clouded his path. However, he persisted, earning a place at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. His journey in Division I college basketball started with modest beginnings, but his dedication and hard work were evident in every practice and game.
On the court, Enmanuel’s unique sense of balance and tenacity set him apart from his teammates. His astounding rebound and dunk during a game against the University of Louisiana Monroe left the crowd in awe, but the humble athlete remained focused on his defensive responsibilities.
In the face of success and popularity, Enmanuel’s work ethic remained unshakable. He rejected any special treatment, choosing to be treated like any other teammate when it came to discipline and responsibilities.
Despite not mapping out this extraordinary journey as a child, Hansel Enmanuel has become an inspiration to countless individuals around the world. Through perseverance, resilience, and an unyielding passion for basketball, he has proven that greatness knows no limitations. As his college career progresses, the attention he receives is bound to expand even further, allowing his story to reach and inspire even more people.
Hansel Enmanuel’s tale is a reminder that with the right attitude and determination, anything is possible, and dreams can be achieved regardless of the challenges life throws our way.
Disability campaigners lose legal fight over Grenfell recommendation
Campaigners have faced a disappointing outcome in their High Court battle against the government’s decision not to implement evacuation plans for disabled residents living in high-rise buildings. The Claddag campaign group had hoped for a legal requirement to have escape plans in place for those who might face difficulties in safely evacuating during emergencies.
However, the government’s Home Office conducted a consultation and concluded that the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry would be excessively expensive and impractical to put into action. Instead, they are now exploring an alternative solution.
Back in October 2019, the chairman of the Grenfell Inquiry recommended a legal obligation for owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings to create “Peeps” (personal emergency evacuation plans) specifically tailored to residents with mobility issues or sensory impairments, such as visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments.
This recommendation was prompted by the tragic Grenfell fire in June 2017, which claimed 72 lives, with 41% of the deceased being disabled residents of the tower. In response to the inquiry’s suggestions, the Home Office initiated a consultation to consider implementing the Peeps proposals. However, in May 2022, the government decided not to make Peeps a legal requirement, citing concerns about practicality and cost.
Claddag, an organisation founded by two disabled tower-block residents, Sarah Rennie and Georgie Hulme, contested this decision through a judicial review at the High Court in December. The government’s legal representative argued during the hearing that they were still consulting on the proposals, and a final decision had not yet been reached.
Recently, Mrs. Justice Stacey delivered her judgement, stating that the government had indeed decided against implementing the Peeps recommendation. However, she emphasised that the government had the right to make such a decision after carefully considering the fire-safety implications versus the associated costs.
In response to the ruling, the founders of Claddag expressed their disappointment, accusing the government of putting financial concerns above the lives of disabled individuals and leaving them without a means of escape in high-rise buildings.
A Home Office spokesperson welcomed the court’s decision, explaining that it would allow them to move forward with plans to enhance the safety of residents who may have difficulties evacuating during emergencies. They are currently reviewing responses to a public consultation on Emergency Evacuation Information Sharing Plus, an alternative approach to Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans, to determine the best course of action to safeguard those who may struggle to self-evacuate.