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LS attend the first LEAD North event.

LS attend the first LEAD North event.
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Flying the flag for production services in the north west of England, the LS Manchester team were out in force at the inaugural Lead North 2024 event, in association with the Advertising Association.

The event brought together senior leaders across brands, agencies, media owners and tech companies in the North of England to shine a spotlight on the region’s creative hubs whilst highlighting their unique challenges and opportunities.

LEAD North Booklet

An inspiring day, with key themes centering around collaboration and the cities of the north joining together to spotlight and better advertise their incredible creative pedigree internationally. The other central themes were on the need to drive inclusivity to build a fairer and more diverse advertising industry, alongside how responsible growth can be achieved through building successful partnerships.

LEAD North Audience at the Home Theatre, Manchester
LEAD North Audience at the Home Theatre, Manchester.

Speakers included:

Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council - Who spoke about growth of Manchester over the last 20 years, the investment into the region and the development of the city into the largest creative sector in Europe outside of London.

Ian Whittaker, Founder & Managing Director, Liberty Sky Advisors - Covered the current economic and political outlook , focusing on the challenges that lie ahead, the disparities in wealth across the UK and the impact AI could potentially have on the existing agency models and how output is shaped.

Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons - Gave an inspiring talk looking at how the meteoric rise of Warburtons was achieved from a Bolton Grocery store to the UK’s biggest bakery. Covering the power of advertising, the need to really understand your brand and how he uses innovation to constantly drive the brand forwards.

Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons Bakery
Jonathan Warburton discusses how Warburtons has become the UK's leading bakery brand.

Miles Beckwith, Assistant Director, Professional and Business Services, Department for Business and Trade and Paul Cooper, Chief Operating Officer – North Group, EssenceMediacom UK - Looked at the impact of AI on advertising and the need for early adoption and augmentation into the industry. The session also looked at how Manchester and the North West could play a role in leading the field in terms of successfully integrating AI into the industry.

There were also insightful panel discussions hosted by Steve Davies of the APA about how the north can become a world-class creative hub, focusing on the talent boom and the need for the region to have an improved network to really start to show off nationally about its talent.

Steve Davies hosting Lead North Discussion
Steve Davies of the APA chairing the debate about how the North of England can become a world class creative hub.

The other session focused on the highly topical issue of how the creative industries can be opened up to all young people to make a career in advertising accessible to all. Touching on school programmes, challenges in the current education structure and methods to bring down social and economic inequalities to harness the potential across the board of this highly talented, media savvy generation.

Huge thanks to everyone at the Advertising Association for putting together a brilliant day, the first of its kind and showcasing its commitment to growing the creative economy outside of London. The LS team came away inspired and focused on the challenges that lie ahead for the region, in order to capitalise on its burgeoning creative potential and contributing to the regions advertising output with best-in-class location and production services.

LEAD North Drinks Reception

Further Reading

About the Advertising Association

The Advertising Association unites the UK’s advertising industry to promote the role and rights of responsible advertising – advertising that is trusted, inclusive and sustainable – and its value to people, society, businesses, and the economy. They are the only organisation that brings together agencies, brands and media to combine strengths and seek consensus on the issues that affect them. Through wide-reaching engagement and evidence-based debate they aim to build trust and maximise the value of advertising for all concerned.

View our latest commercial work in the North West here