the7stars Doubles Investment in Strategy with Expanded Team


the7stars, the UK’s largest independent media agency, has made a series of key hires in a move that sees the agency doubling its strategy team.

Mehul Ashra joins the7stars strategy team this August from Carat, where he has been head of strategy, for the last three years. Ashra is tasked with helping the7stars’ clients to forge smart, creative, and effective media executions with brands, media partners and creators.

Also joining next month is Victoria Delaney, Publicis’ digital planning lead. Delaney has a strong background in digital, tech and commerce having spent the last two years at Publicis as a digital planning specialist and prior to this, a nine-year stint at Zenith where she worked up to the role of global commerce director.

Ashra and Delaney join Adam Smith from Wavemaker, Lashantay Richards from Zenith, and Rosalie Shakir from Mindshare who all joined this quarter. All starters enjoy the autonomy offered by the7stars’ flat organisational structure, which fosters open dialogue and accessibility, over and above titles, structured roles, and hierarchical reporting lines.

Internally, Jonathan Harrison also moves across to join the strategy team leading a consultative tech and data arm to bolster its existing strategic roster. This sees the7stars’ strategy team grow from seven to twelve and reflects ever-growing client demand.

Mehul Ashra, said of the new role: “What I find exciting about the7stars is how strategy is clearly the beating heart of the business. The clincher for me was the agency mission statement; ‘to inspire the exceptional and defeat the bad and the boring’. You only need to see the7stars’ track record on the award circuit to see how true this is. And for someone who lives and breathes big and bold ideas, I found this truly inspiring.”

Mehul joins the7stars with over 17 years’ experience in media, having previously worked for Zenith, Metro, PHD, Total Media, and MEC, where he looked after a wide variety of clients including Toyota Lexus, Natwest, Molson Coors, Coty, Diageo, Mondelez and more recently Vodafone and Direct Line Group.

In his previous role as head of strategy at Carat, Ashra led the charge on creativity and innovation, boosting the creative output of the agency and delivering many award-winning campaigns along the way including Vodafone’s Reboxing Day and Natwest’s Fraud Spoof campaign.

Clockwise from top left: Jessica Treasure, Sabrina Francis, Adam Smith, Chris Gilfoy, Mehul Ashra, Matt Buttrick, Lashantay Richards, Victoria Delaney, Jonathan Harrison, Chris Herbert-Lo, Ben Edwards, Rosalie Shakir.

Chris Gilfoy, CSO of the7stars, said: "Mehul is one the industry’s most-loved ideas people and brings a wealth of experience to the team. His creative ambition makes him a perfect fit for the7stars, where strategy and creativity come together seamlessly.

Mehul and Victoria — with her exceptional and broad-ranging digital skills — represent the final pieces of a brilliant strategy puzzle we’ve been building over the last few months, and I’m so excited to work as a team to deliver ever more competitive advantage to our clients.

I believe we have one of the largest and most impressive multi-disciplined strategy teams in the business and I am confident that the investment in the team will make all the difference to our exciting future."

Jenny Biggam, founder of the7stars, said: "We have always had a great strategy team here at the7stars and we know how important game changing thinking is to our clients. The rapid expansion of our team and the broad range of skillsets across brand, comms, digital and data is really exciting, and we believe will drive smarter outcomes for our clients.”