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My Influences: Nev Ridley, Managing Director, ilk Agency

Nev - ilk Agency

Nev Ridley is managing director and founder of ilk Agency, managing the multi-disciplinary team.

Named as one of Prolific North’s Top 50 Integrated Agencies for 2023, ilk was founded in 1999 by Ridley in Leeds.

Here, he shares his top three influences across his career and personal life…

The person that has inspired my working career the most, and why

Prior to setting up ilk I worked as a journalist and then joined The Propaganda Agency as a PR account manager. This is the only agency I worked for so the MD, now chairman Julian Kynaston, would be the person that inspired me the most. He was incredibly entrepreneurial, creative and the ultimate salesperson. Ironically it was his approach that inspired me to leave Propaganda after a relatively short spell and set up my own agency.

The place that has inspired my working career the most, and why

It has to be ilk*. I’ve spent the vast amount of my career here – coming up to 24 years, so where else could it be! We’ve had some incredible people come through this agency over the years. Some have left and gone on to incredible things and some remain to do incredible things with us but it is this place that continues to inspire me.

*Yeah, yeah… I know.

The thing that has inspired my working career the most, and why

Oddly, it was a pitch. The business was in its first year and my business partner and I (the only two employees at the time) were pitching for a big project for Airtours, the travel operator. I guess at the time I was still questioning whether I had made the right decision setting up on my own but winning this pitch provided a huge boost in confidence and inspired me to think I really could build something special.

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