Medialab Appoints New Head of Planning from IPG

Jess & Zaira
As seen in Campaign Magazine.

Jess Talbot is one of two new recruits Medialab has added to grow its team.

Jess Talbot, former communications design director at IPG’s Initiative, has been appointed head of planning at independent media agency Medialab. Taking up a new role for the company, Talbot will report to Medialab managing director and co-founder Alex Kirk. She will lead media planning to “drive creative, effective and integrated campaigns” for clients, including the agency’s recent wins such as Standard Life and Marie Curie.

“I am thrilled to join Medialab during such an exciting period of growth for the agency,” Talbot said. “The opportunity to bring my diverse experience and fresh perspective to a company with such a strong, data-driven approach is truly exciting.”

In her prior role at Initiative, Talbot was the planning lead for brands including Bupa, Converse, HelloFresh and Salesforce. Before that, she worked at PHD for more than five years, first as media group manager, then as media director between 2018 and 2022. As media director at PHD, Talbot was responsible for media strategy and planning for Clorox, Porsche and Audi. For Audi, she was part of the team that delivered the media strategy for Campaign’s 2017 Creative Grand Prix-winning “Clowns” campaign.

Talbot’s recruitment comes alongside a second appointment to the Medialab team, with Zaira Cross joining as business director. Cross, who takes up what is another new role for Medialab, moves from All Response Media, where she had held the same title since 2020. At All Response Media, she led planning, buying and campaign analysis across several brands including Visit Orlando and Omaze. Cross will report to client managing director Felicity Reid and manage a team of account executives and senior account directors.

Kirk said both new appointments reinforced the agency’s ambition to offer its clients, which include SunLife, Guide Dogs and RNLI, “unrivalled expertise”. Kirk added: “Across our broad charity and commercial client portfolio, it’s vitally important that we are addressing and answering client challenges in innovative ways. “Jess and Zaira will bring new ways of thinking and experience to our existing team and I can’t wait to see the impact that they make.”

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