POKE has promoted Tom Bayliss, its head of client services, to the role of managing director, and named Christina Marks, a business leader on some of the agency’s key accounts, as the new head of client services, replacing Bayliss.
Bayliss will take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the agency, and will oversee continued growth of the business, continuing to work with Nick Farnhill, co-founder & CEO of POKE and recently appointed CEO of Publicis London, to focus on the integrated growth and strategic positioning for both businesses, which remain separate entities within Publicis UK.
Bayliss joined POKE in August 2014 to head up client services. Prior to joining POKE he spent seven years at Elvis; as a business director; head of integrated accounts; and new business director; securing wins with Virgin Holidays, Wagamama, RateSetter and Fulham Football Club. Bayliss has led a number of high-profile award winning accounts during his career, and has sat on the jury for various awards. Outside of work he is a volunteer trustee for HIV charity Positive East.
In her new role, Marks will be responsible for the client services team within POKE - working with the agency's account teams to deliver the best quality service and work for all clients. She'll also work closely with the client services leads across Publicis UK to ensure seamless integration and efficiency for Publicis UK clients.
Marks joined POKE in July 2011 having started her career working at a number of integrated and digital agencies. During her time at POKE she has been responsible for some of the agency's key accounts. Most notably, she managed the social launch of the EE brand back in 2012, led Orange's highly successful and award-winning sponsorship of UEFA EURO 2016 - Orange Sponsors You. And, most recently, heading up Heineken's global sponsorship of Formula One within Publicis UK.
Nick Farnhill, CEO, POKE & Publicis London said: “Tom is a highly respected and integral member of the POKE team. He’s a natural leader, and both he and Christina have a track record of impeccable client service. They both know POKE inside and out and have the confidence and determination in ensuring we continue to drive innovation and new thinking. I'm so pleased they have accepted the challenge and have every faith in them at what is a very exciting time in the agency’s development”.
POKE has also made a senior creative hire, reflective of the size of the global Heineken account being run out of Publicis UK.
Colin Byrne will join as group creative director, Heineken. He will report into Nik Roope, co-founder and executive creative director of POKE, and global creative digital lead on Heineken. Byrne will work collaboratively with the wider Heineken team at Publicis UK; Dave Monk, executive creative director, Publicis London, and Marcus Iles and Jason Fletcher, joint group creative directors, Publicis UK.
Byrne joins the agency from VCCP where he spent the past seven years as digital creative director shaping and developing the agency’s integrated offering and sharpening its digital output. During his seven years at the agency, Byrne helped create some of VCCP’s most innovative and acclaimed work for the likes of McLaren, The Sunday Times, Bet Victor and O2, including O2’s Be More Dog campaign and the O2 Priority app platform.
Prior to VCCP, Byrne was Group Creative Director at AKQA where he spent seven years.
His work has been recognised by many international awards juries including Cannes Lions, Clios, LIAA, British Arrows and One Show.
Nik Roope, ECD, POKE said: “Colin joining the team on Heineken will be a shot in the arm for this significant new global digital account, run from the London office. Colin mixes great creative ability with the pragmatics needed for driving real innovation across multiple agencies in multiple locations."