When we met Peter Grange last month he was excited. Not only because his agency, Oi, has just undertaken its biggest expansion yet but also because there are new small car acquisitions in the pipeline. Whilst the agency is now the biggest in the Channel Islands, it’s Peter and his team’s love of big ideas and effective marketing campaigns that rings through.
When the agency set up in a show of ambient media as ‘Offshore’ in 2004 it was the ambient media crop circle and subsequent press coverage that won awards. However, it was the inclusion of a real Mini car in the office that caught clients’ eyes and was the shape of things to come. We’ve enjoyed watching Oi as they’ve developed. The daily changing quirky email footers amuse us and their weekly email about marketing is one of the few that’s not been marked as trash.
As we visited their Guernsey office earlier this month (they have one in each fabulous Channel Island these days, and are planning one in London soon) we were drawn to the combination of classic and modern that make up the unique profile of the agency. This month’s recruitment news follows that theme, bolstering the Oi head count to 20 with both old masters and fresh new talent. The decades of experience come in the form of Chartered Director Paul Luxon, who has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of Oi and John Merrien, who has taken up the position of Strategic Consultant.
“Throughout my professional business career across the Channel Islands I have worked with some global iconic brands such as Coca-Cola, Champagne Bollinger, Carlsberg, and many more, so marketing, advertising, profiling and promotion have been at the heart of my work,’ Paul told us. “I love brands and the creativity around them. Joining Oi as Non-Exec Chairman allows me to work with a progressive company that is focused on developing big, commercially effective ideas for its clients…and that’s very exciting.”
Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary, John Merrien will be working alongside Paul and Peter Grange, Oi’s Managing Director, on strategy, structure, change and business planning for the agency as it focuses on its next stage of growth in the Channel Islands (particularly Jersey) and London.
“The opportunities for growth at Oi are tremendously exciting as the company grows both internally and geographically into new markets” said Mr Merrien. “My core mandate is to work with the board to preserve the personal touches clients expect and the freedom of thought displayed by staff at ‘small Oi’ while scaling the business into tomorrow’s larger pan-jurisdiction agency.”
In addition, Oi has recently made other significant new hires across its marketing, creative and digital teams following major account wins. Caity Hutchison has joined as an Account Manager in Oi’s Jersey office from global advertising agency network BBDO where she managed the Johnson & Johnson account in South Africa. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and Media, Caity also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Advertising Communications. She has an excellent understanding of consumer insights, brand strategy, and strong campaign management skills. Experienced graphic designer Stuart Noel has also joined the Oi Jersey creative team having worked in the industry for over a decade. Oi will be moving to larger Jersey offices in the next month to allow for its next stage of growth in the island. Sean Davidson has joined as a Senior Developer in Oi’s Guernsey office from Sure Mobile. With over 10 years development expertise including advanced web systems programming, application and e-commerce development, Sean will be working on large e-commerce projects for the agency’s clients. Ania Karwowska has also joined the Guernsey team as a Digital Project Manager having gained significant digital marketing expertise in the financial and leisure sectors. She will be working closely with Oi’s development team managing website, e-commerce, application development projects, email and social media campaigns. Julia Webber has been promoted within Oi to Operations Manager coordinating the smooth running of the agency’s offices, HR, systems and processes.
The appointments follow Oi’s continued success locally and in the UK, including being the retained agency for Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, Mourant Ozannes, Moore Stephens, The Royal Yacht Hotel, Airtel-Vodafone, THAI Airways UK, and Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, to name a few. As an Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) accredited agency, adopting the latest techniques, adhering to the highest industry standards, training, and development are very important at Oi. Now employing 20 staff across Guernsey, Jersey and London, Oi is optimistic about the future and believes having a good marketing agency is as essential as having a good accountant, lawyer or IT service provider for any business to be successful. With expansion into the UK, it’s great to see a Channel Island agency competing on a national scale.
Being invited to join the Board of Oi at this time of exciting growth and development for the company is a delight. As an experienced Chartered Director with long standing involvement in marketing campaigns for SME’s and Listed entities, it will be fascinating to see how Oi develops over its next growth phase. Marketing is at the heart of every companies trading success, Oi recognises that and likes to ‘stand out from the crowd’ delivering innovation and exciting messaging. Busy people like being busy, and down time with family makes that busy-ness worthwhile.
Paul Luxon – Non-Exec Chairman
The words ‘creative’ and ‘accountant’ seldom sit comfortably together however this is exactly what I strive to bring to the table at Oi. I am Managing Director of Books & Company Limited, Chartered Accountants and am very pleased to work with Oi to provide them with accountancy, management consultancy and corporate governance advice.When my head isn’t buried in the numbers, I enjoy sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing and sea swimming – basically my wife and I are addicted to the seas around our coast.
John Merrien – Strategic Consultant
Over the last three years, I’ve worked on marketing campaigns across finance, entertainment, leisure, hospitality and art industries all over the globe. I enjoy intercultural interactions and travelling. I live a fast paced lifestyle and I like my work to be the same, challenging and exciting. My guilty pleasure… ballroom dancing
Ania Karwowska – Digital Project Manager
I’m a self taught web developer with 13 years experience, having worked for companies such as Specsavers and Cable & Wireless. Over the years I’ve developed a fetish for touch typing and pretty code (Pink brackets are the best!). Outside of office hours I can be found playing with boxes that go beep and programming my son.
Sean Davidson – Senior Developer
Recently arriving from South Africa, I have traded in the African sun and look forward to the opportunity to pursue a career at Oi and settle into Jersey life. It is exciting to be starting at an agency that is continuing to grow and create great work, both in Jersey and on an international level. I have an Undergraduate Degree in Law and Media from the University of Cape Town and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Advertising Communications from Red and Yellow Advertising School. My previous experience includes; account management on global FMCG, Alcohol and Retail brands and predominantly Johnson and Johnson. I have recently completed a Digital Certificate in Digital Marketing and always try to grow and improve both professionally and personally. As David Ogilvy once said, ‘Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.’ I enjoy trying new things, cooking, photography, travelling and I like to think I am a budding surfer, water temperature dependent.
Caity Hutchison – Account Manager, Jersey
I enjoy all the challenges of being a designer. The strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities I have help me to translate clients goals and objectives into engaging designs through many mediums. I have been in the industry for 5 years now and prior to joining the Oi team I attended the University of the West of England to complete a foundation art course before returning to the rock to pursue a career in the creative industry. I began working for a local printing company as a graphic artist before moving on to a small design and advertising studio as a graphic designer.
Stuart Noel – Graphic Designer, Jersey