Andrew Mortimer has left Sky after a decade in top media and ad sales roles to join forces with Aperto One founder and transparency advocate Scott Moorhead in a new partnership.
The Aperto Partnership, which replaces Moorhead’s consultancy Aperto One, will be co-owned and jointly run by Moorhead and Mortimer and pledges to help advertisers get the best value from their media spend as well as manage pitches.
The duo said the company’s new leadership team gives clients access to Moorhead and Mortimer’s unique expertise and recent backgrounds from senior roles in marketing, media group trading and advertising sales.
Moorhead worked at four different media agencies before founding Aperto One, while Mortimer also spent time in agencies before his decade at Sky.
Aperto One has worked as a media consultancy to major brands including Barclays, L’Oréal, Direct Line Group, Samsung and Sky.
Mortimer was senior vice-president of global partnerships for Sky's ad sales team until December 2020 and was previously director of media, in charge of its media-buying, on the marketing side, until 2018.
In his media role, he oversaw the estimated £300m UK media review which Aperto One advised on.
Mortimer said: “2021 will be a pivotal year for many advertisers as they reconsider their internal media structures and agency relationships. We think there’s a real opportunity for the smarter players to shake off some of the legacy models and take a more progressive approach.”
Moorhead, who was head of digital trading at Havas Media and Starcom before founding Aperto One in 2016, has been one of the industry’s most vocal critics of media-buying practices and has called for brands and agencies to develop more sustainable and ethical practices.
He has previously warned the media agency business model was “broken” because brands had slashed fees and some agencies were generating undisclosed income through opaque practices.
An investigation by the US Association of National Advertisers, also in 2016, helped bring to light non-transparent practices such as rebates paid to media agencies and holding companies buying media to resell to clients after a mark-up.
Many clients and agencies reviewed their contracts in the wake of the ANA report.
Moorhead said: “Andrew and I share a genuine passion for the media business and a frustration that there are still some agency practices that we don’t think are in the best interests of their clients. And some client behaviours that are harmful for agencies. We want to drive positive change in client-agency relationships.”
Mortimer is one of a number of long-serving Sky executives, including Jeremy Darroch, the group chief executive, and John Litster, the managing director of ad sales arm Sky Media, who have recently stepped down, following Comcast's £30bn takeover at the end of 2018.
Sky Media, the ad sales arm, has hired two senior media agency executives, Omnicom's Tim Pearson and Dentsu's Ruth Cartwright, Campaign revealed this week.