Dentsu Aegis Network Starts New Youth And Diversity-Focused Digital Agency

Dentsu Aegis Network has launched a new digital agency in the UK called fortysix with a focus talent-wise -- including its leadership -- on both youth (read: digital natives) and diversity.

Tracey De Groose, CEO DAN UK & Ireland, is credited with coming up with the idea for the startup shop. The launch of the agency was disclosed last week at Advertising Week Europe.

“Winning in the digital economy is about speed, bravery and innovation born from diverse perspectives and new ways of working,” stated De Groose. "The power of fortysix is that it has these attributes in its DNA – it represents a new agency model created for the good of our clients, talent, the industry and society at large.”

The new agency will be led by Lewie Allen as managing director, with an advisory board chaired by De Groose and comprised of a diverse group of both industry and non-industry professionals to help guide and shape the shop.



Allen,27, was recruited from Freeformers, a consulting group that helps companies get up to speed in the digital arena so that they can compete effectively in today’s marketplace. For the past three years Allen has been lead trainer at the consultant. Freeformers collaborated with DAN on the development of the new agency.

Allen is sort of a poster child for the Freeformers business model and its belief that learning digital skills can change lives. He left school at 16, knowing only enough about computing to write a basic Word document, and survived on benefits in homeless hostels for five years.

A few years ago he connected with Freeformers, which paid a visit to his youth club. The consultant quickly spotted Allen’s talent and signed him up. 

According to DAN, the name fortysix comes from the average number of human chromosomes reflecting the “people-centered spirit of the agency.” Also, per the shop, from concept to launch, the agency was up and running in just 46 days.

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