Product boss Toby Barnes joins AKQA to build ‘social digital businesses’

Digital agency AKQA is boosting its burgeoning branded products and services practice with the appointment of Toby Barnes as its first product strategy director.

Barnes (pictured) has been creating digital products and services since 1995, working in publishing, production and development sectors. His career spans Virgin, where he co-founded Virgin’s Media Interactive Division and helped launch Europe’s first commercial interactive TV service and MTV where, as head of interactive, he was responsible for all interactive content across mobile, broadband and narrowband for MTV’s European channels.

He has worked for a number of global clients including Nike, Microsoft, SCEE, Electronic Arts, BBC, Channel 4 and Mattel and is also an advisor to the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London on a range of digital issues.

AKQA has produced a number of branded digital products recently including Heineken’s Star Player football game, the Nike Training Club app, Fiat’s eco:Drive which helps drivers to save fuel and a Nigella Lawson recipe app.

Barnes says:“As we move to developing more social, physical and playful projects, AKQA has a massively talented group of people who are being challenged by clients to make a real difference to people. Digital is no longer seen just as a marketing channel; we are now building social digital businesses by design.”

AKQA European managing director Guy Wieynk, said, “Toby embodies AKQA’s drive to create products and services that are meaningful, useful and engaging. With his industry leading experience, grounded in digital product innovation, Toby will continue the AKQA mantra of connecting client brands with their audiences.”

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