Upon hearing the big news that Smarts are cracking into Europe following the opening of their Amsterdam office, we chatted with Leanne Scott who gave us the scoop on what the move means in terms of Smarts’ ambitious plans for the future.
Your role in a sentence
I’m the Managing Partner in Smarts’ brand new Amsterdam office – heading up the team there, and working across many of our clients such as Booking.com, Diageo and Zalando.
Tell us more about Smarts
We’re a global PR and Creative agency – one of the UK’s largest consumer agencies, but also with teams in New York and Los Angeles, and now mainland Europe too.
We help brands build a genuine presence in culture, and keep them restless enough to remain relevant there.
What are your standout Smarts projects over the past year?
Too many to mention!
We’ve just travelled to South Africa to work with Booking.com and The Nelson Mandela Foundation on a creator campaign that celebrates responsible and conscious #TravelForABetterWorld.
We helped Zalando launch a new inclusive-sized footwear collection, with an event in Berlin that told the stories of people who have their self-expression inhibited by not being able to find footwear they love in their size – whether that’s Tua who discovered how liberated heels and corsets made him feel 40 years ago, to 1.95m tall basketball player Wiebke who wants to dispel the idea that tall women don’t want to wear heels.
As part of our work for Diageo Bar Academy, which delivers training and networking opportunities for bar professionals around the world, we created a year-long campaign to tackle the significant gender disparities in the hospitality sector, showcasing women’s voices and highlighting their expertise.
And we helped ASICS build their TikTok channel from scratch, running one of their first ever paid advertising campaigns, which resulted in the company selling out of its stock midway through.
So, when’s the big move to Amsterdam?
We’re here – the new office opened in July (although we’ve been working with clients in the city for more than a decade, so it already felt like home).
It’s about that cultural creativity point again – crucial to being a culturally-driven agency is having a wide range of outlooks and perspectives. Amsterdam is a hotspot for connected brands and a magnet for creative talent, which makes it a city full of opportunity for us.
What are you most excited about?
We work with a lot of clients across mainland Europe, so one of the big benefits of opening a permanent office here is the significant environmental impact, allowing us to drastically cut our international travel – a key priority for everyone in the agency, and a crucial part of living up to our ‘B Corp’ values.
Any future plans to conquer the rest of Europe? Or the world?
The Smarts team are already quite well travelled – for example I’m very jealous of my colleagues who were in Sydney recently to work on the finals of the World Class bartender of the year competition for Diageo.
We’re the first MSQ agency to open in mainland Europe, so initially we’re looking forward to colleagues from other group agencies joining us.
But the brands we work with operate globally, and given any opportunity I’d never turn down the chance to be within walking distance of our clients.
Read more about Smarts’ Amsterdam move via LBB here.