The Maverick Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Maverick Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Maverick Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

CEO Owen Rees and
Managing Director
The Maverick Group is an independently owned and
operated creative agency, based in central London. It
offers end-to-end, full-service capability for UK and
global organisations that want to reach businesses, consumers
and employees across markets. Working with international
clients such as DHL, Coca Cola, The Global Fund, Gibraltar’s
government and Sodexo, the business is structured as a group
and offers integrated creative origination, strategy, digital
transformation and end-to-end content production, as well as a
sports and entertainment marketing division. Managing Director
Carron Edmonds tells
TheParliamentary Review
Having worked in the marketing and advertising space for most of my career,
I founded the agency in 2002 alongside my business partner Owen Rees. We
wanted to offer something we felt didn’t exist in the marketing services space –
an agency approach that was more collaborative and measurable in terms of the
impact we could deliver and more dynamic and entrepreneurial, growing with our
clients’ needs and investing in our collective future.
We have grown rapidly, with our clients enjoying our tailored and managed approach
to each project. Our process recognises both the priority of long-term strategic goals
with the responsive flexibility of tactical intervention to create a lasting impact.
For our clients we’re flexible, collaborative and empowered, enabling the pace of
action that they need. We have a blend of the best people from across agency
»Managing Director:
»Founded in 2002
»Based in central London
»Services: Full-service creative
»No. of employees: 130
The Maverick Group
Highlighting best practice
It is our belief that the creation of an independent forum for
businesses, which campaigns and can influence legislation for greater
levels of equality for SME companies, is long overdue. SMEs create
60 per cent of all employment in the UK and account for almost 52
per cent of GDP, yet have no collective voice at all. Business owners
have the financial life of their own family and the families of all their
employees in their hands, yet they receive no support and remain
vulnerable and unable to influence decision-making. Meanwhile,
large multinationals often do not pay their fair share of tax but are
still setting the agenda. This has to change.
Equally, while we have taken action to ensure our own sustainability
in light of Brexit, the government isn’t providing businesses with
the necessary information and support. The agenda is again set
by large business with many vested interests, yet most ordinary
companies remain in the dark about the future, and with politicians
unwilling to listen, they are placing a number of SMEs in jeopardy.
Those companies are the future – large organisations are reducing
headcount and contribution to society, SMEs are making up the
balance, growing faster and contributing more to the exchequer.
disciplines covering advertising,
technology, service design, brand
design, content, strategy and
consulting. Our eyes are on the agency
model of the future, where a blend of
strategy and innovation will be at the
top of every client’s wish list.
Creating amazing campaigns
Working with influential and
multinational clients, our work helps
create campaigns and communication
platforms that resonate with
people around the globe. With DHL
Express, a client for 17 years, we are
currently driving the largest employee
engagement programme in the world.
DHL Express employs 100,000 people
in over 220 countries and territories,
and through this programme we
helped reposition the business, develop
employees’ knowledge and skills and
drive the biggest turnaround in recent
logistics history.
We combine all manner of creative
tools for the programme: animated
characters, documentary and short-
form content, motion graphics,
infographics, VR and AR, digital
platforms, apps, and marketing and
communications campaigns. The
impact for DHL Express has been
significant across every KPI, with the
programme entering its tenth year the
Express business has achieved record
profits and won the award for being
sixth best place to work in the world.
We have secured exciting sponsorship
opportunities for DHL too, partnering
with Susie Goodall, the youngest
competitor – and the only woman to
take part – in the Golden Globe Race,
a gruelling single-handed round-
the-world sailing competition. Other
prominent sponsorship deals include
The Rolling Stones Exhibition Tour
and Amazon’s
The Grand Tour.
the UN Global Fund, we created the
End it for Good
campaign, which has
raised 13 billion euros worldwide,
while we also developed the “Super
Ambassador” programme for Coca-
Cola employees.
Excellence in all areas
Our clear areas of excellence run
through five specialist disciplines:
strategy, creative origination, content
production, digital transformation and
sponsorship. Over a number of years
we have developed a specialist team,
including former BBC producers, sports
management directors and agency
experts, with experience in creating
and developing influential campaigns.
In every task, our staff utilise their past
experience, while also maintaining the
Maverick difference.
The Group’s campaign
helped raise 13bn for
the UN Global Fund
With the UN
Global Fund,
we created the
End it for Good
which has
raised 13 billion
Where we differ from many of
our competitors is in our complete
independence; we suffer from none of
the compromising vested interests and
political infighting of network agencies.
Instead, we act as an outsourced team
for our clients, collaborating closely
and offering as much time as needed
to the project. At the beginning of any
process, our staff will interrogate the
brief, building a detailed understanding
of what is expected, before using our
network of skills to put our collective
plans into practice.
Our level of customer service is
exceptional and something our staff
take pride in. We are more than just
an agency and our clients are more
than just customers. We become their
proudest ambassadors: you can’t
build impact without partnership. We
don’t work on retainers and therefore
our reputation is only as good as our
last project. We have longstanding
relationships with clients who have
world-class standards, and we have no
room for complacency.
Calling for a level playing field
As an organisation that generated
£15.7 million in turnover last year
and employs over 100 people, we are
unfairly penalised by the current two-
tier tax systems. Large organisations
such as Google and Vodafone are able
to avoid paying their share while smaller
profitable creative companies like us
are feeling the squeeze. The advantage
given to these large organisations is
tantamount to state aid. The upfront
taxes that profitable SMEs are forced
to pay prevents future reinvestment,
job creation and stability. With the
current uncertainty around Covid-19,
Brexit and world affairs in general we
need to focus on providing a fairer
trading environment for SMEs and a
fairer taxation system across the board.
A few years ago, we were ordered by
the government to pay ACT that we
knew we didn’t owe. Despite having
the paperwork to support our claims,
we were charged and then forced to
wait 18 months to be reimbursed. The
sum amounted to over half a million
pounds and subsequently the HMRC
did not want to pay it back because it
was such a big sum. Not only was this
delay frustrating, but it also held up
investment and growth plans and could
have closed a business that didn’t have
our resources. Our view is that small
businesses are bearing the brunt and
subsidising large global organisations
that are not paying their way.
From our perspective, there are too
many career politicians, playing their
own internal games and refusing to offer
support to the people and organisations
that could contribute the most on one
side and be worst affected on the other.
Regardless of where you sit on the
political spectrum, the management of
Brexit has been irresponsible and sadly
there isn’t a body, created by SMEs for
SMEs, that can call for help and create
long-needed change.
Our work helps
to create
campaigns and
platforms that
resonate with
people around
the globe
After their application to UEFA was rejected with just four votes
in favour, we were approached by the government of Gibraltar to
develop a new campaign. Despite pressing time constraints, we
wrote to every voting country in their own language, organised live
events, documentaries and short-form films and built a social media
campaign and microsite. The campaign quickly grew in influence and
with presence on Al Jazeera, BBC worldwide and 50 other global news
outlets, with a final estimated reach of two billion, it was also voted the
fourth most influential news campaign of the year by Sky. When the
vote happened, just four months after the campaign began, Gibraltar
received 51 out of 53 votes and became the 54th member of UEFA.
Some of the Mavericks
who create campaigns
that drive change

This article was sponsored by The Maverick Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster