Global CMO Research Findings

Friday 18 September 2020

No one could have predicted Covid-19 and how much it would derail the year as it has. Now, as we embark on building back better, the timing feels right to share the insight from VCCP Business’ latest research with fifty CMO’s of the world’s largest B2B companies. Read how improving customer experience remains the No.1 challenge for all global CMOs. And of the five underlying principles of great customer experience, Integrity is ranked highest and Personalisation ranked lowest.

Download here ‘Maintaining Relevance through Customer Experience’, the summary report of the findings and our interpretation of what the priorities are for B2B CMOs in 2020 and beyond. Please get in touch if would like to discuss how we can help your business respond to your B2B challenges.

CSM revamps North American leadership

CSM’s current CEO, Dan Mannix, is moving into a senior advisor role. Christa Carone, who is currently President of CSM NA, will be assuming Minnix’s role as leader of North America.

Mannix took up the CEO role at CSM NA in May 2018, while Carone joined as President in January.

On the changes, Group CEO, Matt Vandrau, said: “The value of Dan Mannix’s contributions to our business and to the overall industry cannot be overstated and we are excited that he is staying part of CSM’s family in his Senior Advisor role.

“I’m thrilled that Christa is bringing her deep marketing and broad management experience to the North American leadership role.  She offers a unique client perspective as well as an entrepreneurial growth mindset that will continue to challenge us to be agile and creative in serving our clients and motivating our people.”

Chime Pride Get Together

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Our annual Chime Pride Get Together will be taking place on Thursday 25th June. This speaker panel event will be followed by Q&As and a chance to hang out after.

The speaker line-up is seriously impressive so make sure you don’t miss out:

Sandy Downs and Melissa McGowann – Chime Colleagues: Introducing the event, educating us on the connected history of pride and black people as well as helping us understand terms, pronouns and some queer slang.

Christopher Kenna – Founder and CEO of Brand Advance, diversity advocate in media and advertising and military veteran: Talking about his experience in this new environment of Pride and BLM and helping us understand the importance of reaching queer, niche audiences in their communities.

Ethan Spibey and Soren Scharf – Founders of Proud Beer, queer activists and campaigners: Talking about the challenge of running a queer brand that is both representative and gives back to a diverse community.

Rich Miles – CEO and co-founder the Diversity Standards Collective: Telling us about their research, project and findings into racism and their new programme to help organisations in the aftermath of BLM protests.

Fashion Goes Digital

Since lockdown, our lives have all become more virtual – and the world of fashion is no exception. VCCP’s Innovation Lead, Peter Gasston, investigated this emerging trend for The Marketing Society, and analysed its implications for the future of retail and sustainability.

Read the fascinating piece here.

Give me a compass, not a crystal ball

A view from VCCP’s Founder and Chairman, Charles Vallance: 

Things become axiomatic because, broadly, they’re true.

A stitch in time frequently does save nine. Many a true word is, indeed, often spoken in jest. Clichés such as these stick because they are reliable, if imperfect, guides.

Of the many clichés doing the rounds at the moment, one that seems to be bearing up well to overuse is the old saying that a crisis “brings out the best and worst in us”. Time and again, we see evidence of this essential truth – a truth that applies equally to brands as it does to people.

There is a clue within the wording that provides an important protection against the biggest danger facing brands during the crisis, which is to overestimate how much Covid-19 will change the way your brand should behave. I say this because, although the virus is undoubtedly having a massive impact on behaviours and attitudes, these impacts don’t alter the fundamentals for a brand.

Perhaps the biggest fundamental to consider is that people don’t really change, as Bill Bernbach memorably observed: “It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary… a communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive desire to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own.”

In a crisis, it is easy to forget the inherently long-term nature of brand-building and to get moved around by the headwinds rather than the tide.

Jeff Bezos is another marketing titan who reminds us of this point. In one of his most famous quotes, he contrasts the frequency with which he gets asked “What’s going to change in the next 10 years” with the scarcity of how often he’s asked “What’s not going to change?”. His conclusion is simple: “I submit to you that the second question is actually the more important of the two – because you can build a business strategy around things that are stable in time.” You can build a brand strategy around them as well.

Obsessing about what is going to change is not only less revealing, it is also more complicated and thus more likely to get you to the wrong answers. According to Bezos, one of the advantages of asking what’s not going to change is that it’s a far easier question to answer: “When you identify those big ideas that are stable in time, they’re usually customer needs. You don’t have to do a lot of research. These things are so big and so fundamental – you know it.”

The implications are clear. While the effects of Covid-19 will be serious and lasting, people and their needs will fundamentally remain the same. So will the brands that succeed. This is not, however, an argument for stasis. Far from it. To paraphrase the old adage I quoted earlier, every brand can use the crisis to bring out the best in themselves and drive out the worst.

The point to highlight, the clue I mentioned lurking in the wording, is that the answer does not lie outside the brand, it lies within. We need to “bring it out”, not graft it on. This is not a time for grandstanding or superficial gestures. This is a time for brands to dig deep into themselves and latch on to what they do best. What they have always done best. They need to be a heightened version of themselves, not a retrofitted post-Covid identikit slapped on from the outside.

I could mention a few VCCP client examples of heightened brand permanence, but that would look like favouritism. So, instead, I’ll use the updated Budweiser “Wassup” ad to illustrate the point. This is an ad that is so old, it first ran in the last millennium, but it’s as true today as it was back then. Bud is, was and always will be about the idiosyncrasies and occasional profundities of true camaraderie. Of course, the updated ad needs the voiceover tweaking to reflect the new socially distanced context, but the overall truth of the message remains the same as when the ad originally aired back in 1999. Moreover, it will remain the same if we fast-forward to 2041. Or 2062.

When the waters are choppy, you don’t need a crystal ball. You need a compass. A compass not only guides you forward, most importantly it tells you where you’ve come from. This is the only way to plan a course and safely reach your destination.

VCCP win Walkers account

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Walkers has awarded it’s advertising account to VCCP after a competitive pitch.

White Door Consulting and Tina Fegent assisted with the process.

Julian Douglas, Vice-Chairman at VCCP, said: “Walkers is an iconic brand, creating some of the most memorable advertising in history, and we are thrilled and delighted to be their partner in creating the next chapter. A massive thanks to the whole team at Walkers and White Door Consulting for running a superb process under lockdown. It showed what is possible and we can’t wait to get started.”

Chime Launches New Inter-Agency LGBTQ Network: Chime Q

Monday 21 January 2019

London, 18th January 2019 – Chime, the global sport, entertainment and communications group, will launch a new LGBTQ network called ‘ChimeQ’ on 24th January. The network will offer everyone across the company’s 54 agencies the chance to learn from experts, share personal experiences and build connections across the diverse LGBTQ+ community within the 2,500 Chime global workforce.

ChimeQ plans to work with leading organisations like Stonewall, NABS, LBWomen, UK Black Pride, InterComms, PrideAM and Out for Sport to run events on a wide range of topics, such as the power of diversity, the benefits of having a mentor and the importance of working on mental health at work.

Chime has agencies that operate across a variety of sectors including sports marketing, public relations, advertising, digital, marketing, research, corporate responsibility and healthcare communications. Chime Q will operate as a multi-interest cross-sector forum for debate, discussion, mentoring, and campaigning.

The launch event on January 24th will include speeches from Lord Seb Coe, Jan Gooding and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah on the power of bringing your full self to work. CSM will also present its ongoing work as the commercial partner for the Gay Games in Hong Kong in 2022.

James Maxwell, Executive Creative Director of Teamspirit and co-founder of Chime Q said: “Even in 2019, we are bombarded with concerning statistics about the number of LGBTQ workers in the UK who feel they can’t come out at work, or experience LGBTQ-phobia in their workplace. We’ve worked hard as a group to foster an inclusive, open, and welcoming environment, but we know there is always more work to do.

“As communication experts, we need to work in a representative and inclusive way through all our processes, hiring and culture. We need every single employee to feel supported. And we need straight allies to be vocal with their support, taking a stand in our industry and society at large. We’re so proud to be launching Chime Q across the group to embolden our LGBTQ+ diversity profile for colleagues, clients and partners.”

Jo Parker, Chief Operating Officer at Chime commented: “Our proposition is built around people, and it’s fantastic to see Chime Q join our women’s network Grapevine to further bolster our diversity & inclusion work. Each of our agencies will benefit from the increased integration and networks that Chime Q enables, fostering our inclusive and dynamic culture. I’m excited for the launch event, and for many more activities that will follow in the future.”


Contacts for more information:

Sandy Downs

  1. 020 7861 3834

Neil Bayley

  1. 07788 352046


Chime Acquires Method Communications to broaden US footprint and create a £20m ($26m) Global Technology practice

Thursday 20 December 2018

LONDON (December 20 2018) — Chime, the global sport, entertainment and communications group, today announced it has acquired Method Communications, a technology PR and marketing agency based in San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

Through the acquisition, Method will become part of the Chime Specialist Group, a family of best-in-class agencies that are challenging traditional agency models. It will grow the group’s technology practice billings to more than £20 million (USD$26 million) and cement its’ presence in the U.S. technology market. By aligning Method with Harvard, an award-winning European technology agency, and inEvidence, the customer advocacy specialists, Chime is building upon its strategy of creating a differentiated global marketing services network for the technology sector.

“David and his team have built an outstanding business by shaking-up traditional agency thinking,” said Jo Parker, CEO, Chime Specialist Group. “This has made them one of the fastest growing and most recognised technology agencies in the U.S., with an enviable client roster. The synergy with Chime’s challenger approach is obvious, and we are excited to bring together our global ambitions to drive impact and value in the technology sector and beyond.”

Method, which was founded by David Parkinson and Jacob Moon in 2010, has grown rapidly and established itself as the agency behind some of the most exciting technology companies in the U.S., including Check Point Software, Domo, Freshworks, New Relic, Pluralsight, Qualtrics, Traeger Grills, Vivint Solar and Vivint Smart Home.

“Like Method, Chime has built its success on challenging outdated thinking. Since day one, we have had a goal of creating the best technology agency in the country, with the best team and clients in the industry,” said David Parkinson, CEO of Method. “From our very first conversations with Jo and her team, it was apparent that we shared a unique focus on culture, values and vision. We are thrilled to be part of Chime and anticipate a phenomenal partnership as we move forward.”

Louie St Claire, CEO of Harvard added: “Technology is now at the heart of every major global narrative. Delivering best practice PR and marketing to brands leading those narratives requires a global footprint. With Harvard in Europe, Method in the US and the global coverage from inEvidence we have a proposition to deliver across the globe and build something truly differentiated for brands with a technology story to tell, wherever they may be!”

Method, Harvard and inEvidence will report into Chime Specialist Group CEO Jo Parker, who also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of parent group Chime. Louie St Claire, CEO of Harvard, will step up to chair the newly-formed tech group to co-ordinate global collaboration across the network and build out its global technology proposition.


About the Chime Specialist Group

The Chime Specialist Group has best in class agencies across technology, financial services and sustainability. Operating across the world with offices in London, New York, Santiago to Singapore with over 250 people.


About Method 

Method is the communications catalyst for breakthrough brands and category leaders. Founded in 2010, Method helps its clients share their ambitious visions with the world. As The Holmes Report’s 2016 Technology Agency of the Year, we produce award-winning results from Salt Lake City and San Francisco. To explore how Method Communications creates engaging storytelling and compelling narratives for highly successful brands, visit or connect through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


About Harvard

Harvard is an award-winning PR & Marketing consultancy that works with brands who use technology to effect change. From global giants to the coolest start-ups, every one of our clients puts technology at the heart of what they do to leave a lasting impact. We exist to help them tell their stories in the most imaginative ways possible, and take them to the right people, in the right places, time after time.


About inEvidence

inEvidence is the specialist customer advocacy and reference agency within the Chime Specialist Group, part of Chime Communications Limited. inEvidence helps its clients build their brand and grow their business through customer stories, closing more business, more quickly.


Press Contacts

Neil Bayley, Chime +44 (0) 07788352046


Georgina Greenspan, Harvard

+ 44 (0) 07788 352 056


Jacob Moon, Method Communications



Chime’s Insight and Engagement Division Joins VCCP and Re-Brands as Watermelon

Thursday 18 October 2018

Chime’s Insight and Engagement Division (CIE), which includes Facts International and Opinion Leader, announced that it has consolidated and restructured its agencies, re branding the division under its award-winning Customer Experience Consultancy – Watermelon Research.

In a further move, which will enable Watermelon to enhance and expand its range of CX services, it has also joined VCCP  and will be moving into the Victoria offices on 15th October.

Mark Squires, Watermelon’s CEO explains: “From 1st October for our existing clients, staff, and suppliers it will be business as usual and just a change of name. However, over the coming weeks the re-brand will enable us to bring together all the expertise and services within CIE’s legacy agencies and restructure them under one unifying brand.

This makes us an extremely powerful team, fully able to deliver the really large scale customer experience programmes, by truly bridging the gap between technology and insight. Furthermore, joining VCCP will not only give us the opportunity to provide Watermelon’s services to their current clients, it will also enable us to contribute directly  to the really exciting work VCCP are delivering on Customer Experience Design. For our clients, this really is a case of the whole being many times greater than the sum of its parts.”

Adrian Coleman, Group CEO, VCCP, added: “Combining the services, expertise and insights under the Watermelon brand enables us to further build on our integrated customer experience offering. Growth in this market has been phenomenal in recent years and working closely with Watermelon puts us in a strong position to help brands better understand their customers.”

VCCP Launch Cadbury – There’s a glass & a half in everyone

Friday 12 January 2018

Cadbury has launched a new global brand platform which takes it back to its roots; a family brand founded on generous principles. The new positioning shines a light on the kindness and generosity that we see in society everyday, and facilitates moments of real human connection.
The first creative under the new global brand platform is centred on the nation’s favourite chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and sees the brand embrace an authentic and caring approach, capturing the spirit of the nation in a way that individual consumers can relate to.

The campaign kicked off with a new TV advert on Saturday 13th January during The Voice on ITV. The 60 second TV ad tells the story of a young girl who enters a corner store wanting to buy a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk. However, it’s not for her – it’s for her mum’s birthday. As the girl has never bought something on her own before, she attempts to emulate what she has seen her mum do and gets her purse out to pay, but inside there is only a collection of small knick-knacks. She goes to pay using these trinkets, including a button and fake diamond ring, which the shopkeeper generously accepts. Even though it leaves him out of pocket, the shopkeeper ensures he doesn’t take the girl’s favourite trinket (her miniature unicorn!) and she is able to leave the shop with her Mum’s favourite bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk, and a smile on her face.

Benazir Barlet-Batada, Brand Equity Lead for Cadbury said, “In today’s world it’s easy to overlook those small moments of authentic human generosity, but actually they are happening all around us. We want to shine a light on these genuine acts of kindness and true moments of human connection that are occurring every day.”

This new £12million campaign will be further underpinned by digital, social, PR, experiential and sampling activations, as well as a second TV advert later in the year. In addition, brand new Out of Home will include the famous Cadbury Dairy Milk glass and a half of milk icon with other positive symbols, such as a heart, smiley face and thumbs up. There’s no Cadbury branding, it simply features the new Cadbury Dairy Milk tagline – There’s a glass and a half in every one – showing the human kindness in us all.

Barlet-Batada continues “Cadbury is a treat which has been bringing enjoyment to people for over a hundred years and we want to use this as an opportunity to reconnect with the nation and drive talkability amongst our biggest fans through this very unique new brand platform.”

Darren Bailes, ECD for VCCP added, “This is our first work for Cadbury and we are very proud of it. Our intention is to make people really feel something again for Cadbury…the feeling you get when you watch ‘A finger of Fudge is just enough’ adverts from the seventies. Warm. Homely. Fabric of the nation.  Our work finds moments of generosity and goodness in a world that at first look can seem pretty selfish.  There are no special effects, no fakery…just honest real life.”

Finally, between 25th and 28th January, Cadbury will be bringing the new TV advert to life by giving chocolate fans across the UK the chance to get a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk for the price of a knick knack, trinket or even a button! The five-day long pop up store will be appearing in Greek Street, Soho and will be open between 10am and 6pm with Cadbury looking to give away a whopping 10,000 bars.

For more information please visit or tweet us at @CadburyUK using #glassandahalf.