Richard Breitengraser accepted into Forbes Business Council

CEO of VOID International Media Group joins the Forbes Council for global industry leaders.
New York City/Berlin, January 19, 2020  — Richard Breitengraser, Founder & CEO of the VOID International Media Group has been accepted into the Forbes Business Council, the foremost organization for successful industry leaders worldwide.
Richard Breitengraser was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.
“We are honored to welcome such a creative leader as Richard Breitengraser into the community of leaders,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, “Our mission with  Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network and make an even greater impact on the business world.”
Richard Breitengraser will also be working with Forbes’ editorial team in the future to share and publish his expert insight in his own business articles, guest posts or Q&A panels.
„I’m beyond excited and thrilled to be part of the world-leading Forbes universe. As a brand, storytelling and content expert, I am excited to share my knowledge with the other council members and the millions of readers of Forbes. Brands, platforms and broadcasters need to create memorable moments. If there’s no memory, there’s no loyalty. I look forward to a lively exchange with all readers.“ Richard Breitengraser, Forbes Council Member.


Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive.


VOID International Media Group (#VIMG) – A global network of creative & strategy executives as well as young professional content creators. #VIMG creates new kind of storytelling made for all screens. Award-winning video content & digital campaigns for global brands, international platforms, broadcasters & leading agencies.


Richard Breitengraser worked as an international television producer and presenter for more than 15 years. He is CEO and founder of VOID International Media Group. He also works globally as a content, brand and marketing expert and consultant.

Over 800,000 creative sector workers face redundancy as the industry shifts towards ‘outsourcing’

Over 800,000 workers in the UK creative sector are at risk of redundancy as businesses shift to ‘outsourcing’

In the UK creative sector, over 1.75 million full time equivalent jobs are supported, across marketing, advertising, and the events industry. With half of previously furloughed staff in the UK now returned to work, either part-time or full time, this puts more than 800,000 jobs at risk of redundancy in coming months: comments David Blackburn of

Current research shows that 46% of companies previously employing in-house marketing teams are now planning to outsource their marketing needs, rather than retain staff currently on furlough. The sector employs more than 1.75 million staff across marketing, advertising and event sectors. With consumer confidence at an all time low, and businesses stalled since lockdown, British businesses are struggling to regain pre-Covid business levels.

In both B2B and B2C sectors, approximately 89% of marketers admit to reviewing and delaying their market spends for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, with over 80% having paused a new product or service launch for the foreseeable future. As a result, with revenues diminished, end users are cutting back on ‘in-house’ skills and ‘out-sourcing’ as the new normal, on a ‘when required’ basis. With agency staff also be moving from furlough with the consequences of diminished requirement in-agency, ending up on the jobs market with little hope of re-employment, the real fear is the UK will create a ‘talent mountain’.

The consumer-facing marketing sector has been hardest hit with 44% of all staff being made redundant and 57% of marketers have had their roles scaled back in some form or another, whereas the B2B sector has seen 25% redundancies as well as 64% of roles changing in some way.

David Blackburn, founder of Marketing Quotes comments, “We work with over 30,000 creatives in the UK. As consumer and business confidence continues to suffer B2B and B2C marketers are being hit equally hard, with 69% in both sectors reporting a slackening of demand for their brands’ products and services. With commercial TV advertising revenues slumping by 50% in the months of June and July, the potential outcome will be a ‘talent-mountain’ which may see marketers exiting the industry for good.”

Written by: David Blackburn, founder of Marketing Quotes, providing businesses with FIVE Agency Quotes for FREE. E: W:

*Source information – / Econsultancy / Marketing Quotes / BBC

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I LIKE NETWORKING: a new solution for the creative industry

A networking and mentoring initiative devised for women and non-binary people to tackle the lack of diversity in the creative industry.

A nimble new solution for the lack of diversity in the creative and culture industries launches in July. Designed exclusively for women and non-binary people, I LIKE NETWORKING aims to tackle the gender, racial and disability gap by promoting greater inclusion in the culture and creative industries across the world.

Mentees will have sessions to develop their resumes, skills and personal brand, but will also be connected to the mentors’ network, who will personally introduce them to other key players in the industry, opening doors and building connections. Mentees will also be interconnected to encourage peer-to-peer support.

Unlike other mentoring schemes, I LIKE NETWORKING has an international network and will aim to assist people in a three-month period. The international scheme also means that this is not just a London- centric proposition. By connecting mentees with top class mentors worldwide, I LIKE NETWORKING aims to expand the pool of talent.

Founded by Isabel Sachs, who has worked in the culture industry for over twelve years across Brazil and the UK, when she noticed how hard it was to build a network in a new country. Six years later, she noticed how few diverse teams she had worked with and once COVID hit and many lost their jobs, she decided it was time to do something about it.

The mentoring scheme will be free for those elected through an online application form. I LIKE NETWORKING aims to create a movement where mentees will eventually become mentors and have a huge community of members supporting each other throughout the career paths. Mentees will be able to advise on who would be their favourite mentors on the application. An advisory board will shortlist candidates.

The I LIKE NETWORKING applications launch in July and the programme starts in September. There will be four virtual encounters between the mentors and the mentees, going over skills, how to sell yourself, how to rebrand your resume and more.

Confirmed mentors include:
Anne Helwing, VIP Manager, Art Basel
Beki Bateson, Consultant, Arts & Festivals
Burcu Yuksel, Director, Gaia Foundation
Carol Almiron, Communications Manager, FIFA
Cassi Young, Specialist, Head of Sale – Modern & Contemporary Art, Bonhams
Claudel Goy, Managing Director, arebyte
Edmund Connoly, Partnerships, Google Arts & Culture
Farooq Chaudhry OBE, Producer, Akram Khan Company
Fernanda Moraes, Art Advisor
Francesca Gavin, Writer, Editor and Curator
Ifeoma Dike, Art Adviser and Curator
Jade Coles, Events Curator, The Wing
Jennifer O’Reilly, Head of Commercial Strategy & Cross-Category Athletes, Nike
João Paulo Testa, Creative Director
Jonathan May, Arts Programmer
Isabella Coraça, Fashion Curator & Lecturer
Manuela Rahall, Director, Rahall Agency
Marine Tanguy, Director, MTart Agency
Marta Gut, Global PR Manager, Rapha
Nicky van Breugel, Head of Membership and Volunteer Engagement, CASE
Philippine Vernes, Co-founder of Time Philanthropy
Salma Tuqan, Deputy Director, Delfina Foundation
Sophie Busby, Corporate Partnerships, Tate
Tobi Kyeremateng, Cultural Producer
Veronica Pessoa, Music Manager, Pessoa Productions

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The Future of Retail – Stay Shut or Get Creative

The Future of Retail – Stay Shut or Get Creative V#4

With some normality returning to the retail sector, 50% of brands are keeping their doors shut. What is the future of retail and the high street as we know it? What must businesses do to remain competitive, whilst staying in business? David Blackburn, founder of comments.

The retail landscape had been failing for several years, with the casualties including many of the nation’s favourite shops, with Mothercare, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Patisserie Valerie and Marks & Spencer among those that have been forced to close or downsize in response to changing consumer habits. Now with retail centres open again, 50% of brands have their doors firmly shut, as many tenants have negotiated zero rents with landlords for the remainder of 2020, and into 2021. If their doors do open, rents are due and furloughed staff would need to return to work.

With less footfall in underpopulated retail centres, many consumers are not coming back, not enjoying the experience. COVID-19 has fast forwarded the demise of the retail landscape by 5 years, and retail will never ever be the same again. In January it was predicted that in 2020 more than 17,000 stores would close their doors for good in. Now mid COVID, that figure is predicted to rise.

In the UK 82% of consumers have shopped online at some point. 10 years ago, that figure was mid 50%, with the UK having one of the highest ecommerce retail activity in Europe. In December 2019 over 21% of all retail sales were on line, representing £1-in-every-£5 spent, according to the Office of National Statistics. Again, due to COVID that percentage has increased.

Retailers now need to adapt and change within this evolving landscape. Retail spaces were once destinations where the shopping experience partnered with the hospitality sector. Now with cinema’s, café’s, bars, restaurants, and gym’s closed, 2020 may herald the death of the shopping centre or retail park.

Intu Properties, one of Britain’s largest shopping centre operators, recently appointed accountancy firm KPMG as administrator to make a “contingency plan” for administration, if it cannot reach an agreement with its creditors for the Trafford Centre and Lakeside, which may close, asking the question, who is next?

How can all retailers plan for survival?
The online marketplace is the future! To be competitive retailers must allow shoppers to purchase online, not relying on shoppers walking into a store. No longer seen as fashionable, M&S is ditching its clothing stores as they have lost the eye of the consumer. However they are also victims of the digital revolution. In a recent TV interview, M&S was criticised for its arrogance, with an executive being quoted as saying, ‘You know, we don’t really need to go onto the internet. People like to come into a store’. Is this a case of RIP for M&S?

What can retailers do?
The key to recovery is a change in thinking, a change of business model, new propositions, and a review of the retail landscape. New emerging retailers no longer want the burden of long leases in shopping centres and retail parks, requiring flexible and mixed retail spaces, preferring pop-ups, markets, tertiary retail space, smaller retail units and more importantly, a solid on-line presence.

The key is ‘re-marketing’ and the need to be to be competitive. All retailers must have a strong web and e-commerce presence, with the ability for shoppers to ‘buy on line’ either for despatch by mail, or for ‘click & collect’.

Morrisons recently opened its cafes as takeaways, launching a new hot-food-to-go service in all 402 of its Cafés nationwide, becoming UK’s biggest fish and chip retailer, selling 2 million portions each year. Now with a tie up with Deliveroo, this true lateral thinking gives the customers what they want, which is food on the table, when they want it, delivered to home. With physical space being so expensive, crippling rents and business rates place additional financial pressures on retailers, brands can seek alternative ways to operate. Argos did this, leaving their stand-alone retail environment, and piggybacking ‘in-store’ with Sainsbury.

What will the future high street look like?
The demise of the shopping centre could herald the rise of the high street, providing exemplary retail spaces, residential accommodation, and all the amenities that modern consumers desire, at affordable rents. The high street has the potential to become a new community space, where people can live, work and play in one social arena.

Town centres and high streets can be at the forefront of engagement in their communities, listening to what people want as opposed to giving them what they think they want. Introduce more living space into central locations, make parking free to encourage further footfall. With workers reluctant to commute into cities post COVID, high streets could offer ‘work hub’s supported by local authorities, with coffee shops, grab and go food options, dry cleaners, heel bars, small independent retailers, and an eclectic mix of retail, providing a more intimate and pleasing environment.

Technology will be the tool that will transform the town centre, meeting the many different consumer needs, offering everything from free Wi-Fi to improved transport links and electric car charging points. But it seems the key to revitalising the high street lies in the heart of the high street itself – with the people who shop, work, and live there.

Written by: David Blackburn, founder of Marketing Quotes, providing businesses with FIVE Agency Quotes for FREE. E: W:

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Halo Creative Labs Adds Creative Expertise to AngelMD Community

Leading Healthcare Investment Platform Integrates Full Service Creative Agency to Help Promote Promising Startups

Denver, Colorado, USA
June 11, 2020

AngelMD is extending its support of medtech startups and its healthcare membership through its wholly owned subsidiary, Halo Creative Labs. The firm is an independent full-service creative agency headquartered in Denver, and led by veteran Executive Creative Director Dave Farmer.

The AngelMD community connects thousands of healthcare startups, physician and dental practices, hospital systems and industry organizations. Each of these groups has an important story to tell, and the creative and technical demands of doing this successfully can often be overwhelming. Halo Creative Labs combines its creative talents with significant expertise in healthcare, and other verticals, to craft digital marketing campaigns, enhance online presence, produce high-end videos, vlogs and podcasts, and support a wide range of client marketing efforts. The creative team understands the nuances and changing landscape that is critical when working and promoting healthcare businesses, and the services provided by the Halo team have become indispensable to the growing AngelMD community.

“AngelMD is working to be more effective and efficient in helping startups achieve success. Not only do we provide access to capital, educational resources, key physician advisors and industry mentors, but we understand how crucial it is to be able to communicate a business’ value proposition. It is our belief that a young company’s brand story must be developed in order to maximize the effectiveness of any capital infusion. Halo Creative Labs has helped a rapidly growing lineup of startups on our platform get the attention they deserve through best-in-class digital marketing campaigns, high-end video production, and brand development. The entire AngelMD team is excited to expand this winning partnership in 2020 and beyond,” said Tobin Arthur, CEO, AngelMD.

“Over the last 13 years, the Halo Creative Labs team has focused on helping early stage startups craft a compelling narrative with a strong value proposition that stands out to potential investors. Our partnership with AngelMD is a natural fit, and we look forward to helping the AngelMD team build winners out of the vast array of innovative healthcare companies that are active in the AngelMD community,” said Dave Farmer, Executive Creative Director, Halo Creative Labs.

About AngelMD
AngelMD is an online Healthcare Investment and Innovation Marketplace, connecting and engaging a network of healthcare providers and subject matter experts, angel and institutional investors and private healthcare companies through a technology platform to create better outcomes for investors, entrepreneurs and patients. For more information, visit

About Halo Creative Labs
Halo Creative Labs is a full service creative agency specializing in digital, motion and brand campaigns, focused on helping businesses communicate their story and mission in an increasingly digital world. For more information and to book a consultation, visit

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How creative solutions will save the travel industry

One out of ten people in the US are employed by the travel industry, the travel sector is 78% below normal, and the impact of COVID is more than six times that of 9/11, but this travel business is expanding—would you like to find out what they’re banking on?

Authentic Vacations is a global business, and international travel was a whirlwind of messages to clients in March. April settled in like heavy fog. The travel industry news was relentless. What will save the travel industry?……. This Expanding Travel Business Focuses on Life Events, not Destinations.

The owners of a travel business saw their colleagues in the industry barely making it, and their own spreadsheets were getting worse. No one had planned for a pandemic. The managers of one business, Authentic Vacations, quickly regrouped. They gathered a creative team that was willing to work long hours with reduced pay for the excitement and the challenge. Their goal was to put together a new industry model. Today, that new model, Authentic America, was launched.

The President, Allegra Lynch, said, “We asked a lot of questions, and the answer that kept coming up was simple: People travel to celebrate milestone moments. We thought of the milestones in our own lives. Cancer free; the divorce is final; celebrating a dark skies experience.” She picked up a photo from her desk. “This is one of my moments—deciding to go away with friends who feel like family.”

“We flipped the coin. Instead of being destination oriented, we are life-event oriented. Tell us what’s coming up with your life first, and then let’s find the perfect destination.” (Their first destinations are the Southwest, Alaska, Wine Country, New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest.) “We’ve lost sight of the amazing things we can do right here, at home, and the time to explore America’s endless possibilities is now.”

Sending out surveys, they discovered that travelers are longing for adventures of all kinds. Mountains inspire us. Hiking trails on a shaded path invite us into a world of trees, streams, and eagles. Red rock deserts blaze their sunsets across the sky, and coastlines tease us with charming towns and vineyards.  Sacred spots of wellness welcome us. “The pulse of America beats with culture and creativity,” Lynch says, “and all are waiting to be discovered.”

Authentic Vacations has arranged over 200,000 trips and is a trusted member of USTOA, IATA, ASTA, and Travel Leaders. Lynch is buoyed by the present challenge.

To learn more about Authentic Vacations visit or to schedule an interview with Allegra Lynch, President, please contact:
Meredith Blevins

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