Bountiful Cow founder Henry Daglish has re-emerged with the upcoming launch of Bicycle London, positioned as a media experience agency that favours context over channel.
Opening its doors on 1 June, Bicycle is entirely self-funded and already has a line-up of clients including LiveScore Group, Virgin Bet, Swyft Sofas and Moju Drinks, which add up to annual billings of more than £15m.
Daglish, who stepped down from Bountiful Cow in November, will be Bicycle's chief executive and is being joined by the following co-founders: Lauren Ogúndèkó, currently head of digital and response at PHD, will become chief digital officer; Pedro Avery, former chief executive of Havas Sports & Entertainment, will be executive chair; Bountiful Cow co-founders Erika Mari and Graeme Douglas will act as chief client officer and chief strategy officer, respectively; the7stars co-founder Mark Jarvis will be an executive advisor; while former Wieden & Kennedy and Kite Factory accountant Reema Patel will be finance director.
Following consultation with clients, Bicycle London has been built on the notion of media experience (MX), a discipline designed to sit alongside clients' customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) strategies.
The agency claims it will be pioneering in the way that it combines data science – backed with qualitative insight – with creative strategy, an approach that "seeks to observe and utilise real human behaviour and intent at scale, rather than rely on claimed and assumed behaviours”.
Daglish told Campaign that what differentiated Bicycle from other agencies was that the disciplines of media, creative, digital and data were represented at a founder, rather than a departmental, level.
He added: “Media is culture and everything is media, yet it's still so routinely undervalued and commoditised by our industry. The world has changed: it's no longer about brand or performance, on or offline, art or science, so Bicycle London – the MX design agency – brings together a depth and breadth of talent that will not only change the way people think about media agencies, but the type of work we are able to do.
“By building our offering around MX, we're able to be a way more fluid, modern and, ultimately, effective marketing partner to our clients, filling a gap that's been left gaping open by many 'traditional' media agencies, both network and independent and our already burgeoning client list shows we are absolutely on the right track.”
A gap in the market
Daglish went on: “There is a gap in the market that bridges the twin worlds of established, more traditional independent media agencies and newer, predominantly digital performance marketing specialists.”
Bicycle London's website explains how the first generation of media buying agencies had a focus on trading and volume until around the year 2000, the second generation comprised media planning agencies with a focus on channels and specialisms between 2000 and 2020 and the new generation is formed of media experience agencies with a focus on context and data.
Many of the founders have their roots in the independent agency sector.
Daglish and Douglas worked with Mari at the7stars-backed Bountiful Cow and previously with Avery at Havas-owned Arena Media, which was originally an indie shop, Arena BLM.
Their “vision” is “to be the agency the smartest and happiest people aspire to work for, and the most interesting and ambitious clients want to hire”, according to the company website, which adds they want “to make a living and have a bit of fun doing it” and “leave the industry better and more diverse than we found it”.
Ogúndèkó said: “I am immensely proud to be a part of the creation of this completely new type of agency and, as a black woman, I don’t take for granted the significance of being a founder in this industry – something I hope to see much more of in the future.”
The agency will be based on Newman Street, just north of Soho, in London.