MSQ appoints Bart Michels as Executive Director

MSQ, one of the UK’s fastest-growing marketing groups, has hired Kantar’s European CEO of Consulting and UK Country Manager, Bart Michels, as Executive Director.

Michels, a business leader and senior trusted advisor to clients, brings his experience as a marketer and as a network agency lead to MSQ to help the group’s clients get closer to their customers and unite their technology, insight and marketing agendas in more agile and effective ways.

He will take on a board role at MSQ, supporting the development and delivery of the group’s growth strategy as it continues to expand its capabilities in the UK and internationally. He will also become Executive Chairman of Freemavens, MSQ’s insights and analytics consultancy. One of the most respected practitioners in the UK marketing insight and strategy field, Michels will work with Freemavens’ leadership team, led by Managing Director Lucy Thompson and Founder Andrzej Moyseowicz, to help shape its evolution and drive effective connection into the wider MSQ proposition. 

Michels joins an expanding MSQ leadership team with a broad set of marketing, tech and data skills. He will work closely with MSQ’s other Executive Directors Kate Howe and Ben Rudman, as well as with Chief Executive Peter Reid and Chairman Charles Courtier.

Michels started his marketing career client-side, working in Marketing and Brand Strategy at companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola. He became the Group Brand and Communications Director of Virgin Media before joining WPP’s Kantar group. He became global CEO of Added Value, the network’s marketing strategy and insights consulting business, and ultimately European CEO of Kantar’s combined Consulting Division.

He was made UK Country Manager of Kantar Group in 2016, overseeing client growth, thought leadership, marketing and industry D&I activities at a country level, working with senior clients and with the leadership across all Kantar Divisions.  

Peter Reid, Chief Executive of MSQ, says: “Today’s fast-paced world requires brands to use sharper insight to deliver more impactful customer experiences. As a joined-up, global marketing group we believe we can lead the way in this space, and bringing in someone with Bart’s experience and skillset will enable us to do just that. He knows how to get the very best out of a marketing group and its agencies, and more importantly he knows what it takes to help brands and businesses grow. I’m thrilled to have him on board.”

Michels said: “Marketers and insight leaders are looking for more connected ways to get faster, and more creative insights, ideas and in-market impact. The way MSQ is set up and the firepower it brings has the potential to provide clients with another, more effective way. This is a very exciting time to be joining such an agile and ambitious group as MSQ. The group has invested significantly in its global tech and data capabilities but also has the talent, creative intelligence and agility to join it all together in a way that can make a big difference for clients.

“In Freemavens, MSQ also has a best-in-class insights business at the heart of its capabilities. The agency is a diverse group of brilliant thinkers who understand exactly how to uncover revelations using analytics and data from the world of search and social and beyond, and turn them into competitive advantage for clients. It’s easy to see why they’ve worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and I’m looking forward to working with the team to help them scale further still.”