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Umpf invests in Leeds marcomms startup Yasper

Communications and marketing business Yasper has launched in Leeds, following investment from established award-winning agency Umpf.

The new entity will share office space with Umpf on the city’s waterfront, and both parties will take advantage of collaborative working opportunities.

Yasper is launched by Julian Pearce, a PR professional with two decades of experience in media relations, stakeholder comms, marketing and brand and previously Social’s Leeds chief. It promises an agile approach to communications, putting an outsourced expert at the boardroom table for clients.

The arrangement gives Yasper an immediate physical footprint in the heart of the city centre, and the ability to draw on creativity, resource and experience from Umpf’s 14-strong team, based in Leeds and London. Yasper will deliver some of its projects alongside Umpf.

Pearce said: “Yasper represents a long-held ambition of mine to set up and run my own agency bringing together the knowledge I’ve gathered and my own ethos on good communications. I’ve lived in Leeds half my life and am proud to call the city my home. Having delivered strategic communications advice for some of Yorkshire’s brightest and best brands, as well as major national organisations, I’m excited for this next chapter.

“Umpf coming on board and taking a stake in the business is the icing on the cake for me. Adrian and I started our PR careers at the same agency and I spent a spell working alongside him around a decade ago. I hugely admire their work and feel honoured to have been welcomed in by such a great team.”

MD and Founder of Umpf, Adrian Johnson, added: “I’ve known Jules for a long time and I jumped at the chance to help him set up Yasper. His experience, contacts and proven ability to grow a business is already bearing fruit and we’re very happy to have taken a stake in his business. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to work very closely on a relationship that will provide significant value to both parties.”

Yasper’s services will include media relations, digital PR, stakeholder engagement and marketing. Through a sub-brand, Y-content, the agency will deliver a range of fixed-price comms solutions, including social media, copywriting and website services.

Underpinning the brand will be its client charter setting out core commitments of delivering value: mutual respect and kindness. As such, Pearce says the business is committed to doing its bit to promote a modern, ethical approach to its operations, with “time set aside for every employee to express kindness in their own ways.”

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