Cancer Research UK appoints sole digital marketing agency

Charity's Race for Life returns this autumn after 2020 hiatus.

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life: returns this autumn
Cancer Research UK's Race for Life: returns this autumn

Cancer Research UK has appointed MSQ to handle its digital marketing creative following a competitive pitch.

The agency will now lead all digital marketing activity for the charity. Its appointment is part of Cancer Research's new consolidated approach to marketing. The brand previously used a number of agencies on an ad hoc basis.

MSQ, which competed for the account against several UK and overseas agencies, said it will help drive a more "joined-up, data-led approach" across acquisition of donors, media efficiencies and engaging existing supporters.

Working collaboratively with Anomaly, Cancer Research's lead creative agency, and MediaCom, its media planning and buying shop, MSQ will tap into its 800-workforce, deploying its digital, data and creative tools.

One of the charity's major fundraising events is Race for Life, which was cancelled last year due to Covid, but which will return this autumn. MSQ will be producing digital activity for the marketing of the event through to September.

MSQ said it had "significantly bolstered its data and production capabilities" in the past year. It hired Wunderman Thompson's Rob Goodwin as chief data officer, and former Prodigious UK chief executive Morgan Cox as head of dynamic content and production. Both will play a leading role on the account.

Peter Reid, MSQ's chief executive, said: "By using the breadth of our digital capabilities, we can creatively and efficiently support the charity in its wider digital transformation to adopt an audience-first, one-organisation overview of all marketing and engagement.

"There's a huge opportunity for Cancer Research UK to innovate and connect its use of digital channels to create more lasting impact, and it's further validation of our distinctive digital-first model, blending cutting-edge data and technology with expert creative and strategic thinking, delivered in dynamic ways."

Nicola Smedley, Cancer Research UK's director of marketing and supporter engagement, added: "We're delighted to be working with MSQ across our digital marketing activity and know the agency's expertise will complement our existing relationships with Anomaly and MediaCom.

"Working together, MSQ will help us move forward with our digital marketing vision, be more impactful and efficient across our campaigns and build deeper relationships with our supporters."

Last week MSQ's MBAstack announced the resurrection of Hofmeister's George the Bear for a crowdfunding relaunch of the beer. The character will return to screens for the first time since the original brand was scrapped in 2003.

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