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Meet the Prolific North Marketing Awards judges for 2023

Prolific North Marketing Awards 2023

Now in its 11th year, the Prolific North Marketing Awards continues to celebrate the excellence and innovation emerging from the marketing industry in the North.

These awards have become a staple in the industry calendar, you can find all the details for this year’s key deadlines and categories here.

As excitement builds, we are thrilled to reveal all the industry leaders joining the judging panel from the likes of Channel 4 and Quorn Foods to name a few!

Our carefully selected judging panel for the Prolific North Marketing Awards are all experts in their fields and will take part in a two-step, fair and independent judging process to compile the shortlist, and ultimately decide the winners. Take a look at the in-depth judging process here.

A big thanks also goes to our category sponsors and partners this year:

Prolific North Marketing Awards Judges 2023

Abby White, Head of PR and Comms, 26 

For more than a decade, Abby White has gathered a wealth of experience creating and leading integrated earned media strategies for some of the UK’s most recognisable brands including Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Dulux. She’s now head of PR and communications at Leeds-based digital agency 26.

Marianna Kritikos, Vice President of Commercial Advertising and Partnerships, A+E Networks

Alongside her role as Vice President of Commercial Advertising and Partnerships at A + E Networks, Marianna is also Regional Director for Nordics & Benelux. Previously Director of On-Air Strategy (UK and International) and Director of Commercial Operations (Nordics and Benelux), she joined A+E Networks EMEA in 2013 and has previously held Sky and Time Warner roles.

Dr Kimberley Hardcastle, Assistant professor in marketing, Northumbria University

A commercially focused academic specialising in brand strategy, Dr Kimberley Hardcastle has over 16 years marketing and brand management experience. Prior to entering into academia, she has worked in various marketing and business management roles in the F & B sector and has a PhD in marketing.

Simon Bollon, Founder and managing director, Boutique

As founder of Leeds-based strategic consultancy Boutique, the agency works with a range of clients such as Mighty Drinks, Hammond furniture, Costcutter, Best Heating and Astonish. Simon Bollon is also a non-exec to businesses across various sectors such as retail and recruitment and investor in several start-ups.

Richard Aldiss, Managing director, McCann Manchester

Appointed to the role of MD at McCann Manchester in 2018, Aldiss has been with McCann for over 27 years and is board level lead across clients including Royal London, Smyths Toys and Thornton & Ross. Aldiss was recently appointed as IPA’s new chair for England & Wales.

Gill Riley, Marketing Director, Quorn Foods

Riley became the marketing director at Quorn Foods in May 2020 and is responsible for overseeing all marketing communications and innovation in the UK and Europe. Prior to her career at Quorn Foods, she previously held senior marketing positions at Merlin Entertainments and Kellogg’s.


Dan Appleby, Managing director, Drummond Central

With over 20 years of experience in creative agencies starting out with Gyro, Wunderman and Engine in London before returning to the North East, Appleby now leads the 50-strong team at creative agency Drummond Central. He’s also an elected member of The IPA Council having previously held the role of IPA North East City Head.

Nick Archer, Senior client sales lead, Channel 4

Starting his career at Channel 4 in 2006, Archer is now senior client lead for Channel 4 Sales in the Nations and Regions, running the client team outside of London. He joined Dentsu in 2012 and spent five and a half years in the AV planning team working with clients such as Halfords, N Brown, People’s Postcode Lottery and Pure Gym, before returning to Channel 4 in 2017.

Andrew Diggle, Head of digital content, Formula 1

Diggle spent seven years at Manchester United in a number of roles including head of content, programming and productions, before joining Formula 1 in 2019 as head of digital content.

Neil Barnes, PR and content manager, Benenden Health

A marketing and communications all-rounder with 16 years’ experience alongside a stint as a councillor at the City of York Council, Barnes currently heads up a mix of public relations strategy, reputation management, content marketing and social media marketing for the non-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health.

Alex Hamilton, Head of PR and social, McCann Leeds

Hamilton has worked in the marketing world for nearly 10 years across agencies and media analytics businesses in Manchester. He was appointed as head of PR and social at McCann Leeds in 2021.

Gareth Turner, Founder, Big Black Door

Prior to launching Leeds-based marketing consultancy Big Black Door in 2022, Turner  has led the marketing for household brands like John Smith’s, Bulmers, Lurpak, Arla and most recently, head of marketing at Weetabix. In 2021, Turner’s team unleashed the viral “Beanz on Bix” campaign.

Jason Yip, Head of marketing automation and analytics, Newcastle University

With over 20 years of digital marketing experience, Yip has worked in both the public and private sector for organisations such as One NorthEast, NewcatleGatehead Initiative, both universities in Newcastle upon Tyne; Northumbria University and now Newcastle University as head of marketing automation and analytics.

Nikki Dixon, marketing director, Daniel Thwaites LTD

Having started out in the marketing agency world, Dixon moved client side and has spent the majority of her career working for Asda Stores Ltd where she worked across a number of marketing functions and led the strategy for Asda’s multi-billion pound own brand portfolio. In 2019, she moved across to the hospitality sector as marketing director for Daniel Thwaites PLC.

Molly Johnston, Head of brand and marketing, Into Games

With over five years of marketing experience across agencies, Johnston has worked both in-house and across the video games industry most notably at Digital 22 (now Avidly UK). Passionate about underrepresented communities, she now works at Into Games as head of brand and marketing, managing a team of content creators.

Fiona King, Head of marketing, The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

As head of marketing at The Spirit of Manchester Distillery and Three Little Words, King oversees all marketing and communications across the company’s range of spirits, cocktail bar, and distillery experiences. Her previous work includes award-winning digital campaigns in the student accommodation, education and tourism sectors as head of content at theEword.

Elizabeth Hampson, Marketing lead – Comms and Partnerships, Bruntwood SciTech

With over 10 years of experience in building brands and delivering strong business growth, Hampson began her career at integrated PR and comms agency Kindred in London. She now works as marketing lead at Bruntwood SciTech, the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to supporting the growth of the science and tech sector.


Bonnie Turnbull, Director of marketing and communications, HOME Manchester

Turnbull has previously worked as marketing manager for the University of Salford’s School of Arts & Media and head of marketing for Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, before joining the team at HOME. She now leads the marketing, communications and customer service teams at HOME, delivering work across theatre, film and visual arts.

Rachel Witkin, Marketing manager, Museum of Science and Industry

Passionate about arts and culture, Witkin has worked in the sector for over ten years with previous roles at Manchester Arena and The Audience Agency. She’s now marketing manager at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, which is part of the Science Museum Group.

Gary Jenkins, Managing director, No Brainer

Jenkins is managing director and the co-founder of No Brainer, a multi-award winning digital PR, SEO and content agency based in Cheshire. Jenkins has a broad range of experience spanning nearly 20 years, previously working as a journalist and corporate communications strategist at companies like Bank of America and Merseytravel.

Rufina Lawani, Head of regional, Finecast

Lawani started her 18 year media career in 2004 at ITV’s Manchester office, following a brief stint in a marketing role and has remained in TV ever since.

In 2005, Rufina swapped ITV for Sky Media before heading south to work in London at Digital Media Sales. She returned to Manchester and to Sky in 2011 where she became Head of Sales, looking after all major media agency business outside of London. She joined Finecast in 2022 and heads up its regional operation.

Jessica Brown, Agency Partner, Awin

Jessica Brown has worked in the digital performance marketing industry for over nine years, most recently joining the UK’s leading affiliate tracking platform Awin in 2020.

It’s quick and easy to get started on your entry – sign up to the portal here and make sure you enter before the early bird deadline on July 14th!

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