The awards will be judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts. The judging is a rigorous two stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

The 2017 judging panel was as follows:

Andy Barke

Head of Northern Agencies, Google |

Andrew Joined Google in 2005 and manages the Agency Relationship Team based in Manchester. He is responsible for building and retaining key agency relationships within the Northern region and advises agencies on how best to grow strategic advertising revenue through Google platforms. He re-located from London in 2005 helping to establish Google’s second UK office in Manchester and works with some of the most advanced agencies in the UK.

Stuart Clarke

Festival Director, Leeds Digital Festival |
After a career building marketing and corporate relationship teams for the likes of Alliance & Leicester, first direct and TD Bank of Canada, Stuart Clarke co-founded a successful marketing consultancy working with clients across the professional services, digital and arts sectors. 
He is also an advisor and non-executive director to a number of start-ups, and is the co-founder and Festival Director of the Leeds Digital Festival, as well as being a member of the Leeds Digital Board and the co-founder of Media Yorkshire.

Andrew Diggle

Acting Head of Media, Manchester United, |

Andrew Diggle directs the integrated media business for Manchester United Football club. The club’s output includes a 24/7 HDTV channel, the most-visited football website globally, a range of mobile products and over 120 million connected social followers across 11 platforms and in over 20 languages worldwide.

With over 20 years experience in digital media, Andrew oversees Manchester United’s digital strategy and delivery across all platforms, as well as overseeing its media production, distribution and licensing. Previously Andrew was Deputy MD at online financial information business Idox Information Services (formerly j4b), was COO of an ebook start-up, and spent 7 years in digital reference-publishing for Macmillan and the Nature Publishing Group.

Ewan Douglas

Agency Principal, Channel 4 |

Ewan leads  Channel 4's  Nations & Regions  commercial business  partnering Channel 4's  output with agencies and clients across the UK & Ireland.

He started his career as a graduate with Scottish Television, progressing through a number of roles before moving to Channel 4 . A lover of diverse &  innovative output, he is a Channel 4 evangelist with a passion for bringing brands and content together to produce great work. He is currently on a baking crash course as he warms up to the arrival of the Great British Bake Off.

Jacqui Gay

Head of Communications |

With over 20 years experience as a senior consultant and in-house media and marketing manager in the public, private and third sectors, Jacqui has delivered successful campaigns ranging from the launch of major consumer brands to national and local government policies and regeneration initiatives.

Jacqueline now heads up media and marketing at Hull City Council, where she recently led the city’s successful PR campaign to win the title of UK City of Culture 2017. 

Dee Goldstraw

Senior Lecturer in Marketing & Digital Communication, MMU |

A PR professional for more than 14 years, Dee has worked in a mixture of PR, marketing and events agencies across the north of the UK. Currently a senior lecturer in marketing and digital communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, she has also worked at University of Central Lancashire and University of Chester.

Dee specialises in online PR, influencer marketing, social media, digital communication and copywriting with a research interest in building and managing professional relationships online. She has published papers and presented at conferences on the impact of Instagram. Reading for her PhD has taken her research into the related area of exploring online influencers and their impact on younger consumers.

A member of the Public Relations Consultants Association, Dee is also part of the professional body’s council, which meets quarterly.  

Richard Gregory

Director, Tech North |

As Director of Tech North, Richard leads a team supporting the Northern Tech Community through programmes, such as Northern Stars and Founders Network, promoting entrepreneurs and tech companies in the North of England, addressing the skills and talent gap, and liaising with government on initiatives affecting the sector.

In addition, Richard is the non-exec chairman of Ruler Analytics, co-founder of SAScon - a digital marketing conference, and Manchester Digital council member.

Prior to Tech North Richard was the MD of Latitude, a digital marketing agency.

Kristal Ireland

Head of Ecommerce and Retail, Virgin Trains |

Previously voted as one of the UK's Top 30 Women in Digital Under 30. A specialist in Social Media and Digital Brand Strategy, Kristal is an award winning, strategic and experienced digital marketing expert. A regular digital conference speaker and industry commentator Kristal has worked in digital for over a decade developing digital solutions for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

Gary Jenkins


Gary is co-owner and a director of No Brainer, an award-winning PR, social and content marketing company based in Cheshire.

Gary is a former news journalist and corporate communications strategist and leader across both private and public sectors. He was formerly Head of Communications at Merseytravel and Vice President of Corporate Affairs at MBNA in Chester, and he has devised and delivered integrated communications strategies for complex multi-million pound businesses for more than 15 years.

No Brainer is currently Warrington's Small Business of the Year, it was named Best New Agency for the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the PRmoment Awards and it has been named one of the UK's hottest start ups in the Startups 100 Index 2017. 


Richard Kenyon

Director of Marketing and Communications, Everton Football Club |

Experienced Marketing and Communications professional, Richard has been the Director of Marketing and Communications at Everton Football Club since January 2014. Previously he was the Managing Director at Kenyon Fraser - one of the North's most established and largest marketing communications consultancies. For eight years prior to Kenyon Fraser Richard worked in marketing / business development with international sports coaching company. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing a Chartered Marketer and has a MBA and BA (hons) qualifications.

Michael McIntyre

Global Business Director, Global Radio |

Man and boy media professional straight from Leeds University and 18 years later, still massively passionate about this crazy thing called media. I consider myself lucky to be working in such a vibrant and inspiring profession with some amazing people.

Currently responsible for overseeing all regional contracted agencies for Global outside of London.  Ensuring the Global Radio portfolio is represented to its full potential to deliver best in class solutions for some of the UK’s biggest clients across all our platforms.

Proud Dad of two amazing girls. Loves the great British outdoors and enjoys nothing more than a few ales whilst watching the mighty Middlesbrough FC frustrate and entertain. 

Neil Mckay

CEO, Endless Gain |

For more than 15 years, Neil has been helping businesses here in the UK, Europe and USA grow their online profits.

He started his career at publisher Media Ventures Group (MVG), helping to build and sell Global Media GmbH to private equity firm The Carlyle Group before leading the UK acquisition of Bigmouthmedia (now part of DigitasLBi). He later led Lakestar Media to success before it was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012.

Neil’s latest venture is Endless Gain – a Conversion Optimisation Agency which launched in January 2016.

Katrina Michel

CEO, Marketing Cheshire |

Katrina is currently employed as Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire, the Destination Management organisation for Cheshire and Warrington.  Katrina has a strong marketing and business development background. She started her working life in the public sector at the Foreign Office before moving into marketing roles at Ogilvy and Cheetham Bell before taking Cheetham Bell into the WPP group to revive the J Walter Thompson Manchester office. Latterly in her own consultancy roles she has worked on projects for American Express and Unilever

Professor Anthony Patterson

Professor of Marketing, University of Liverpool |

Anthony Patterson is Professor of Marketing at the University of Liverpool. His research amounts to an assorted mix of qualitative and interpretive projects, all of which tend to focus on providing a snapshot of current cultural practices in consumption and artfully exploring how these phenomena impact on consumer behaviour. He received his Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Ulster. Anthony’s research has appeared in Journal of Business Research, Psychology & Marketing, Marketing Theory and the Journal of Marketing Management, among many others. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research and Arts Marketing: An International Journal. In 2011 he co-chaired the Academy of Marketing Annual Conference, and since then as continued to serve on the Academy of Marketing Committee as its Secretary. In 2014 he chaired the Marketing Transformation: Rethinking marketing, Digital First practitioner conference.  His teaching interests are in the area of consumer behaviour, research methodology and critical marketing.

Erin Portsmouth

Head Of Communications And Engagement, Nhs Chorley And South Ribble Ccg / Nhs Greater Preston Ccg |

Erin has worked in the PR and communications industry for more than twelve years, formerly in consultancy working on a range of consumer, B2B and community clients, but for the past six years in the NHS.

She is currently Head of Communications and Engagement for two NHS clinical commissioning groups in Lancashire, where she also has portfolio responsibility customer care, patient experience, organisational development and equality and diversity.

An award-winning and CIPR Chartered Practitioner, she has served on the CIPR North West Group Committee for ten years, holding all posts including a three year term as Chair.

Mick Style

Managing Director, MEC Manchester |

Mick Style is the Managing Director of MEC in Manchester. MEC is a media planning and buying agency which has grown strongly under Mick’s leadership accelerating into digital, search and content marketing services.

Mick says: ‘I’ve got a great job of leading an amazing and talented team in diversifying our capabilities to our clients, and in continuing to grow our business. The agency grew by 28% last year to over 110 people in Manchester, and we’re really proud that MEC is the most consistent performing media agency in the ‘Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For’ over the last 5 years.’

‘I’m a fell-bred Cumbrian, passionate cyclist and cyclo-cross obsessive , lover of music and most importantly Dad to Charlotte.’

Will Stone

Owner, Stone & Co |

Will Stone is a brand storyteller for businesses, with more than 18 years experience. Starting out in journalism, he was worked in agencies as well as leading communications for both private and public sector organisations including the University of Manchester ( and global forestry company UPM (

He currently runs his own company Stone & Co working with a number of national and international clients, including a position as managing editor of an international trade journal. He volunteers with Uprising Manchester and also supports the delivery of Digital Advantage - a  creative skills programme. He lives in Hazel Grove with his wife and two children.

Michael Taylor


Michael Taylor connects people and business. As External Affairs Advisor at Manchester Metropolitan University he works alongside the Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Press and the Chancellor Lord Mandelson  on initiatives to make the University the best connected in the country. These include high level business engagement and projects around Greater Manchester Devolution and the Northern Powerhouse, including MetroPolis, a new think-tank based in the University. Previously an award winning business journalist and editor, he is a board director of New Charter Group, a housing association in Greater Manchester, and Liberty SIPP, a fast-growing financial services business. His debut novel '40 by 40 was a finalist in the 2014 Pulp Idol prize.

Karen Webber

Marketing Director, Axonn Media |

Karen Webber is the marketing director at content marketing agency Axonn Media. She is also a freelance marketing consultant working predominantly with small businesses and not-for-profits. A regular conference speaker and writer, Karen is particularly interested in the advancement of equality and diversity in the marketing industry.