TheZoo.London turns 1 with 650 consultants and £1m revenue

TheZoo.London turns 1 with 650 consultants and £1m revenue
Forde and Bertozzi

TheZoo.London, the consultant collective launched by media executives Rachel Forde and Marco Bertozzi, has surpassed £1m in revenue in its first year, its founders have said.

Forde, the former UK CEO of Interpublic media agency UM, and Bertozzi, most recently a sales leader at Spotify and Whalar, opened the business one year ago to democratise the advertising and media consultancy business.

Having started out with 12 fully signed-up consultants, the pair said its community has now grown to “over 650 talented, vetted industry talent”.

The business has now generated more than £1m in revenue for those consultants, they added, having delivered more than 30 projects within nine months across three regions: Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific. 

Senior talent gap

TheZoo.London’s roster of consultants includes Mark Creighton, former UK CEO of Mindshare; Caroline Cook, the former Dentsu and Channel 4 communications executive; and Chris Ladd, who left Nationwide as head of media last year. 

Forde and Bertozzi told The Media Leader that one of the most pressing challenges in the industry today is a growing talent gap at the senior level. 

Over the course their first year, they have found a particular demand for experienced consultants who not only deliver projects, but are being asked to support teams and mentor junior staff. 

As discussed previously on The Media Leader Podcast, the pair have also seized on an opportunity to provide “specialised skills on a fractional basis”, allowing businesses to be “more agile and responsive to changing market conditions”. 

Podcast: Consultancy not just ‘something to do in-between jobs’, says TheZoo.London

Forde: Leaving UM was ‘scary’

As graduate trainees, Forde and Bertozzi first worked together in the TV buying department at Publicis Groupe media shop Zenith in the late 1990s. Bertozzi went on to become known as a digital advertising pioneer at Publicis. Forde, as UK and Ireland CEO at UM, is widely credited with having led the business’ resurgence with a string of new-business wins.

Forde said: “Leaving my big corporate job was scary, but not as terrifying as launching your own business. I feel like I have found my dream job — it’s a privilege to talk to the amazing consultant talent out there and when we solve a businesses challenge or talent gap by finding them the exact match. It’s a brilliant feeling to be making a difference. It’s been a whirlwind 12 months with Marco, but it feels like we’re really making a positive impact in an industry that we both love.”

Bertozzi added: “The opportunity to spend all of my time with peers and colleagues that I have grown up with in the industry, not least co-founding with Rachel who I met as a grad, and doing our small bit to celebrate independent consultancy, support our senior expert community and create business impact, is something I am so happy about. As an industry, we need to value experience and reframe the view that old is bad and new is good.”

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