Wunderman Thompson UK chief creative officer Steve Aldridge has reportedly left the agency after three and a half years in the role to seek “a new challenge”.
Having started his career at Wunderman Cato Johnson in the late Eighties, Aldridge went on to join forces with Phil Andrews to launch Partners Andrews Aldridge in 1998; one of the major success stories of the data-driven marketing industry.
The agency was eventually sold to Engine, with Aldridge going on to be ECD of Engine Group, as well as chairman and creative partner of Partners. He stepped down in May 2017 and returned to Wunderman in March 2022.
The move comes as the WPP-owned agency has joined forces with baby loss support platform The Worst Girl Gang Ever to offer a new support package to any employee affected by baby loss.
With research showing that a quarter 25% of workers who try to have a child will experience baby loss or miscarriage, many will suffer in silence. Out of those who chose to disclose their loss at work, the vast majority (69%) say their employer did not know how to support them.
The Worst Girl Gang Ever is a platform encompassing manager training, taboo-busting webinars, an award-winning podcast series and a community platform. Launched by Bex Gunn and Laura Buckingham in 2020, following their own personal experiences, the platform aims to make sure that no other parent has to navigate the experience of losing their baby alone.
The partnership will sit alongside Wunderman Thompson’s evolved Life Policies, which offer any employee, regardless of length of service, a guaranteed two weeks of paid time off to recover following a miscarriage. This applies to both the childbearing parent, their partner, or those who have conceived through a surrogate.
The agency will also offer a three-month subscription to The Worst Girl Gang Ever’s membership platform, the Warriorship, to every employee who experiences baby loss, whether directly or with their partner.
The Warriorship is a community that offers members access to a wide range of emotional tools, live events, creative therapies, recovery courses and actionable advice. Support on the platform covers every stage; from early grief, to trying to conceive after loss, pregnancy after loss, parenting after loss, and the decision to end your fertility journey.
The new partnership will become an integral part of the agency’s existing initiatives including ‘Four Walls’. Founded by Rise, Wunderman Thompson’s women’s network, ‘Four Wall’s provides employees with a safe space to discuss often sensitive topics. The agency will also be expanding the support available through their award-winning mentoring platform, Magpie, to give people access to peer-to-peer support as they return to work following a miscarriage.
Wunderman Thompson UK chief people officer Paula Joannou said: “A third of our life is spent at work, yet we don’t switch off life when we come to work, it happens around us. We’re thrilled to be joining forces with The Worst Girl Gang Ever to offer a rounded support package to those facing baby loss. We can’t fix the problem, but we hope to make an awful life experience a little bit more bearable, giving our employees the peace of mind that Wunderman Thompson is there to help them through it.”
The partnership marks the launch of Wunderman Thompson’s ‘Project 65’, a truly inclusive health offering that supports everyone at the agency to be their whole self, for the whole of their career at the agency. Project 65 is led by RISE, Wunderman Thompson’s women’s network, but will offer support to any employee across a number of mental and physical health pillars including fertility, the menopause and menstrual health.
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