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The Marketing Academy Does Comic Relief

To celebrate the 10th Birthday of The Marketing Academy in 2020, a team of intrepid senior marketers are learning the skills of improvised comedy in a unique, one of a kind fund-raising event.

Marketers from Microsoft, Disney, TSB, Eve Sleep and M&C Saatchi and others will be undertaking 8 weeks of lessons culminating in a show on 3rd March 2020, with all funds raised going to Comic Relief.

Improvised Comedy is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment so the show in March will be 100% improvised and live on the night!

The event will have five headline sponsors including Spotify, VCCP/VCCP Media, the7stars and TSB and has so far raised over £20,000. Oliver are the official content partner for the event and will be producing a series of short films and blogs leading up to the show in March.

The coach for the lessons is Ed Pithie, an experienced and trained improviser who himself works in marketing for Gatwick Airport in his day job. Since studying drama at university, Ed has been performing in and around the improvised comedy scene for the last 8 years and he currently runs and teaches at Dingbats Improv based in Surrey.

The idea has been developed by Pete Markey, TSB CMO, a Fellowship Alumni of The Marketing Academy who has been learning improvised comedy for the past 12 months. Pete says: “Improvised comedy is a brilliant skill to stretch and develop your creative thinking and to build confidence. As senior marketers creativity is a vital part of our roles but in corporate life can sometimes become a lost art so our aim is develop as individuals and as a group across each lesson and to put on an amazing show to raise lots of money for Comic Relief too.”

Sherilyn Shackell, Global CEO & Founder of The Marketing Academy, says: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Comic Relief by bringing our community together at what promises to be a laughter filled event. The fact that so many of our senior marketers are keen to take part proves that CMOs don’t take themselves too seriously, and after all – who doesn’t love a bit of improv comedy!”

The ten marketers taking part are:

  • Pete Markey, CMO, TSB
  • Tony Miller, VP Digital Marketing & CRM, EMEA The Walt Disney Company
  • Ottokar Rosenberger, COO,
  • Cheryl Calverley, CMO, Eve Sleep
  • Michelle Andrews, CMO, Quilter
  • Paul Davies, Consumer Marketing Director, Microsoft
  • Kate Bosomworth, CMO, M&C Saatchi
  • Mark Choueke, Co-Founder, Rebeltech
  • Maria Sebastian, Former Senior VP Marketing, Starbucks
  • Alex Batchelor, Chair, Watch Me Think

There are a limited number of tickets available and you can purchase them

If you cannot make it, but would like to show your support by donating to Comic Relief, please donate here


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The Scholarship – a 9 month, free, part time program for 30 of the UK’s fastest rising stars in Marketing, Advertising, Media and Communications.

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12 month full paid Marketing Apprenticeship for young adults who because of challenging backgrounds, lack qualifications or poor life choices are normally overlooked for this kind of work experience