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 2018 judging panel included:


Andy Barke

Google Head of Northern Agencies |

Andy Joined Google in 2005 and manages the Team based in Manchester responsible for building and retaining key agency relationships within the Northern region.  He re-located from London in 2005, helping to establish Google’s second UK office and building the visibility of Google in the north. Prior to working at Google Andy worked for several leading Digital and Broadcast media owners in London. He is married with one daughter and enjoys cycling, golf and running.  

Matt Bullas

CEO, Click Consult |
Since Click Consult was born in 2003, Matt Bullas has demonstrated his expertise in digital marketing and collected a portfolio of prestigious awards in recognition of his success. He fought off competition from UK entrepreneurs to win the Digital and Media Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Under his leadership, Click Consult has consistently been voted of the UK’s best digital agencies by Econsultancy and The Drum, as well as being named Most Effective Agency at the Performance Marketing Awards 2018 and Search Agency of the year at the Northern Digital Awards 2018.
Click’s success is driven by Matt’s core principles to operate strategically, with technical expertise and creativity, while valuing people and relationships – values learned in a career that began stacking supermarket shelves and now sees him listed among the leading digital influencers in the UK.

Julian Carter

Regional Director North-Exterion |

Julian Carter has 23 years experience in commercial radio and is more recently Managing Director at Sun FM Radio, having previously been Group Commercial Director at both Wireless Group and GMG Radio he was involved in the creation of the Smooth Radio Brand. Previously Carter had run regional sales teams at both Capital & Century Radio where he launched the station In the North West 20 years ago. Mid September he starts a new role as Regional Sales Director for the North at Exterion Media based in Manchester. 

Stuart Clarke

Co-founder and Festival Director, Leeds Digital Festival |

Stuart Clarke is the co-founder of a successful marketing consultancy, working with firms in the professional services, financial and arts sectors. He is the co-founder and the Festival Director of the Leeds Digital Festival; in 2018, the Festival had 170 events and 20,000 attendees, with more tech events in Leeds than in San Francisco. He is also a non-executive director and adviser to a number of startups, including JigTalk, Synap and Signin. His corporate career saw him running marketing and corporate relationships departments for the likes of Alliance & Leicester, first direct and TD Bank of Canada.

Alex Craven

Jaywing |

Alex Craven is the Managing Director of Jaywing Intelligence. His team develop marketing technology products that free marketers to think, not do. Alex graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BA Honours degree in Philosophy and subsequently founded marketing agency, Bloom, at the age of 23. He now has over 20 years’ digital marketing and strategic business leadership experience. Alex is a non-trustee advisor to NESTA Innovation Lab and sits on the Leeds Digital board in partnership with Leeds City Council.

Andrew Diggle

Head of Content, ManUtd |

Ewan Douglas

Agency Principal, Channel 4 |

Jacqui Gay

Head of Communications, Hull City Council |

As Head of Communications for Hull City Council, Jacqui leads an award winning PR & Marketing team and since 2013 has worked as strategic communications and positioning lead for UK City of Culture from bidding through to delivery and legacy.  She has more than 20 years’ experience working at a senior level in the public, private and third sectors, ranging from consumer PR for major brands to leading communications and engagement on major regeneration and housing market renewal projects.

Richard Gregory


Richard is chairman of tech companies Ruler Analytics and, non-exec director of Fluid Digital and co-founder of SAScon - a digital marketing conference. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England.

Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and Manchester Digital council member.

With 20 years of digital expertise, Richard now advises agencies and start-ups on marketing and growth strategies.



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

Co-owner and Director, No Brainer |
Gary is co-owner and director of No Brainer, an award-winning PR, social media and content marketing agency based in Cheshire. 
Gary is a former news journalist and corporate communications specialist. Formerly Senior Communications Officer at Warrington Borough Council, Gary moved on to become Head of Communications at Merseytravel in Liverpool and then latterly Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Bank of America in Chester, before setting up No Brainer with his business partner Lee Cullen in 2015.
No Brainer has been named one of the UK’s hottest Start Ups (Start Ups 100 Index 2017), it was nominated for a British Small Business Award, and is currently the Chartered Institute of PR’s Outstanding Small PR Consultancy (Silver winner) and PRmoment’s Best New Agency in the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

John Kehoe

Media Agency Group |

John Kehoe is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Media Agency Group (MAG), one of the UK’s leading independent Media Agencies, with its HQ situated in the prestigious MediaCityUK and a diverse client portfolio, including Ferrari land, Jelly belly, Crystal maze, Visit Mexico, Herbalife, Protyre, Isabel Marant, Scalable Capital, Bermuda tourism and Sykes cottages.

John was appointed as CEO back in 2016, after been previously involved in the strategic management of the business, as Managing Director. Reporting into John are a team of directors who have extensive experience in the media industry, in both traditional and digital marketing and advertising.

Under his leadership, John and his team have continued to achieve phenomenal growth for the business, positioning themselves as the UK’s largest independent media planning and buying agency outside of London, as well as significantly increasing turnover and attracting the finest talent.

He recently launched Click Tap Media’, to deliver integrated ‘through-the-line’ strategies to its clients and the most effective media solutions. 

John is committed to keeping ahead of the trends in the ever-evolving media sector and finding innovative solutions to deliver ROI for his clients, whilst growing Media Agency Group’s reputation in the global marketplace.

He is an active member of the IPA and is passionate about promoting the great work of the agencies and talent located in Manchester and the North of England. 

Away from the office, John loves spending times with his wife and three kids, playing golf, watching football and cycling.

Richard Kenyon

Director of Marketing & Communications, Everton Football Club |

Richard was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications in January 2014 following an interim consultancy role with the Club.

He arrived at Everton from Kenyon Fraser which - initially as Managing Director and then as Chief Executive - he built into one of the leading marketing and communications agencies in the North and one of the fastest-growing in the UK. A lifelong Evertonian, his role is to oversee and drive Marketing, Insight, Corporate Communications, PR and Media functions, Fan Services and the Club’s Fan Centre. Richard previously worked for the PFA and MLS and acted as Interim Head of Marketing and Communications for The Jockey Club in the North West and the Grand National. He has also worked closely with the R&A on golf’s oldest major, the Open Championship.

Richard is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the North West and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute.

Robert McClements MBA FRSA

President, Creative Digital Industries (CDi) |

Robert is President of Creative Digital Industries (CDi) which he established as a Special Interest Group of the BPIF. It is a focal point for an 800-strong network ranging through brand owners, agencies and independent designers and printers in the marketing communications chain. The network’s annual Visual Media Conference attracts international speakers and delegates and addresses the current case studies and future-scoping of the emerging technologies and strategies.

Robert’s marketing career began in advertising and moved rapidly into corporate identity where he became managing director of two small subsidiary companies in Allied Domecq working with the likes of McColl and Conran. Intent on providing a full-service proposition he established printing and point-of-sale manufacturing facility that counted Guinness and Mercedes among its client list.

Following an MBA that led to him to becoming a director of the Bradford Management Centre he franchised its programmes in the Middle East and ran the BBC Executive Programmes.

Robert has a portfolio of clients who he advises as a non-executive director in strategic development, succession planning and leadership. He is a wind-surfer and in his spare time once took part in the classic car rally from Peking to Paris – but that’s another story.

He is a Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of the Stationers’ Company.



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.

Howard Parker

Sales Director-North, Trinity Mirror |



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.

Dan Riley

Founder & CEO, Spearhead Interactive |

Dan Riley is the founder and CEO of Spearhead Interactive, a multi award-winning 3D data visualisation company operating at the forefront of the immersive and interactive software sector. Based in North-East England and established in 2013, Spearhead Interactive specialise in creating PC, mobile, augmented, virtual and mixed reality solutions focussed on visualising processes and data to solve commercial business challenges.

To date, the company has completed more than 80 projects for clients operating in more than sixteen sectors across the UK, Europe, Asia and South America; including the likes of Accenture, Unilever, ASDA Walmart, BAM Nutall, MAN Engines and National Geographic

Steve Seddon

Marketing Director, Specialist Leisure Group |

Steven is Marketing Director of Specialist Leisure Group; leading the Marketing, Digital and Web Development for Shearings Holidays, Coast and Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels for the last 18 months.  Prior to that Steven has 20 years’ experience of Marketing in the Travel industry for Kuoni, Virgin Trains, Monarch and Tui. He lives in Stockport with his wife and two daughters.

Will Stone

Founder, Stone & Co |
Will Stone is a storyteller for businesses, with more than 20 years experience working in the corporate and public sectors. .Starting out in journalism, he has worked agency-side as well as leading communications for global forestry company UPM ( He has worked with leading publishers and magazines including Wallpaper* and Monocle, as well as with renowned designer Tom Dixon. Will has run events across Europe including live broadcasts of Capital Market Days for UPM, World Magazine Congresses in London and Rome, and exhibitions across the UK. He also has extensive experience of working with devolved governments and the Finnish Ambassador for the UK. 

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 digital skills programme. He Co-Chair of Governors at Moorfield Primary School, a co-opted committee member for Children and Young People Services for Stockport Council and volunteers with The Scouts.

Mick Style

Managing Director, MEC Manchester |

Karen Webber

Creative Freelancer |

Karen Webber is a creative freelancer who does marketing for goodness’ sake. She works with organisations that are trying to make the world a better place, helping them with effective, ethical marketing strategies and tactics, as well as empowering, creative training, and compelling, exciting content.

Karen has been a Northern Marketing Awards judge since the inception of the awards. Find her on Twitter or LinkedIn