Number 10 grid chief Ben Mascall signs for 'fresh, bold' Headland
The agency has also recruited a former aide to Chuka Umunna .
Corporate communications specialist Headland has swooped for Downing Street’s head of strategic communications as it continues to build up political clout.
Ben Mascall will join the agency in September as a director, working across corporate PR and public affairs. The move marks a return to the agency world after eight years for Mascall, who was previously a consultant at now-defunct Financial Dynamics. He also spent four months as an account director at Bell Pottinger before become a Conservative party press adviser in 2010.
Mascall took up his current role at Number 10 two years ago. As controller of the Government’s communications grid, he sets the direction for the timing of all government activity, policy announcements and media strategy. He also served as special adviser to Michael Fallon and Patrick McLoughlin during their spells as defence secretary and transport secretary.
In a statement distributed by Headland, Mascall stated: “Headland is a fresh, bold company, set up perfectly for the kinds of communications challenges that organisations face as we head towards the 2020s. Like the many new clients that are turning to it for ideas and solutions, that’s why I’m joining.”
Headland was previously known as a financial and corporate agency, but is increasingly focusing on public affairs after hiring Tesco head of international government affairs chief Simon Burton as a partner in 2015. In 2017 the agency raised eyebrows when it took the retained PepsioCo public affairs account from Fleishman Hillard Fishburn.
In addition to Mascall, Headland has also hired Gabriel Huntley, a former aide to Labour MP Chuka Umunna, as an associate director. Huntley joins from his current role as head of communications at the University Alliance. Also arriving is Harriet Beaumont, a consultant at rival agency Lexington Communications.