The world needs to change. That is incontrovertible. New ways of thinking need to come to the fore. The old ways have got us into the mess we’re in. That gives creativity more importance than it has ever had.
Creative PR and advertising expert, Jessica Hartley, has joined with sustainability and thought leadership expert – and outspoken environmental activist – New Zealander, Lucy von Sturmer, to give creativity the support it needs.
“My ambition is to harness the power of creativity to drive change,” Hartley stated. “So our new business model is more than just a commercial communication agency, it’s also about investing time, resources and capital into social, environmental and cultural projects. I really believe in this new direction. REALLY.”
The new partnership will work globally, from Amsterdam, bringing something new to the market. Von Sturmer, who founded The Humblebrag in 2017, has a background working in NGOs and sustainability. Hartley’s has deep roots in the creative industries, having instigated the PR strategy for some of Amsterdam’s most thought provoking and awarded campaigns such as The Next Rembrandt and School for Justice. After six years as an independent consultant, Hartley is joining The Humblebrag as managing partner, bringing two decades of experience in advertising, marketing and PR as well as numerous clients with her.
The Humblebrag is a strategic communication and thought leadership agency, which has taken on the job of amplifying the voices of innovators, forward-thinkers and industry disruptors who are driving positive change. It works with a mix of brands, NGOs, creative agencies, sustainable fashion and digital disruptors to develop initiatives around climate change and build communities that will foster diversity, social inclusion and creative entrepreneurship.
Hartley commented, “I have spent many years as an independent consultant working with some of the best creative talent on campaigns I’m very proud of. However, the reason I am joining Lucy at the Humblebrag is to continue working on the best creative work, but with a strong mission to create positive impact. Lucy and I have the same vision which is to deploy business as a force for good. This is why The Humblebrag is much more than a commercial communications agency. We are investing time, resources and capital into social, environmental and cultural projects that align with our mission. The most urgent topic being the climate crisis.”
Hartley moved to Amsterdam from the UK in 2006 when she joined 180 Amsterdam as head of PR and awards, working extensively on adidas campaigns such as Impossible is Nothing, +10 and numerous World Cup and Olympic campaigns. During Hartley’s five years at 180 Amsterdam, the agency grew incrementally and won numerous awards and accolades. Originally from London, Hartley was first trained in film production in Soho in the 1990s, then moved into advertising to work with Trevor Robinson’s progressive agency, Quiet Storm. After her stint at 180 Amsterdam, Hartley extended her brand marketing and consumer PR experience, working at brands such as TomTom and Bugaboo. Most recently she has been working as an independent consultant on award-winning campaigns with agencies such as J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, DDB Unlimited, HERC the agency, HEIMAT Berlin, &Co Copenhagen and many more. An advocate for creativity and the importance of different and diverse voices within it, Hartley was this year’s Amsterdam ambassador for the inaugural Gerety Awards.
Von Sturmer noted, “As any entrepreneur will know, finding the right partner is a key. Jess is strategic, forward-thinking and very passionate, but most importantly on a day-to-day level, she’s really fun to work with. Having Jess on board gives me the confidence to take our mission to the next level – already we have an amazing client roster who are striving to create social impact, and I’m excited to see what we can do next.”
Lucy is also the Founder of The Amsterdam Creative Entrepreneurs (ACE) Collective, a community of 400+ creative entrepreneurs in Amsterdam for which she hosts a range of seminars, events and networking opportunities and she is the podcast host for B Building Business.
Hartley added, “The direction I hope to take with The Humblebrag is to instigate wider change within the creative industry, moving away from a ‘brief and respond’ way of working to a place where we are setting the agenda and pushing back on commissions that don’t align with our values – and the needs of our planet. This is hard, and it’s an imperfect process, but I feel strongly that this needs to happen.”
Cover image l-r: Lucy von Sturmer & Jessica Hartley