PA Group launches new agency Commotion to create video content for brands

  • Commotion is the latest venture from the parent company of the Press Association
  • Creative stalwarts behind Commotion include former ITN Productions executive Simeon Berends, and former Weber Shandwick animation director Andrew Morgan
  • Commotion’s launch portfolio includes trend-setting work for Virgin Holidays, singer-songwriter Jake Isaac, and Tequila & Mezcal Fest

Commotion, a new branded content agency, launches today to provide edgy, disruptive video content for brands large and small that are striving to stand out on social media and digital platforms.
The agency aims to meet the increasing demand for original, high impact brand films by encouraging clients to put audiences first, and brand second. Commotion’s creative approach will urge brands to be brave and authentic in creating visual content that resonates with today’s media savvy audiences.
The agency’s launch portfolio includes a video for Virgin Holidays featuring Richard Branson, an acoustic music video for singer-songwriter Jake Isaac, and an online advert for drinks brand ‘Tequila & Mezcal Fest’.

Commotion launches as part of the PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association, the national news agency for the UK and Ireland. Commotion will be the latest addition to the group of specialist media businesses whose offerings span news & information, broadcast & video streaming services, and content marketing.

Clive Marshall, CEO of PA Group, said:

“Video will account for 80% of online content traffic by 2019, according to analysts*, and this number is only going to go up. Commotion will allow us to draw on expertise from around the business and the wider industry to create well thought-out and targeted brand films for PA Group’s growing range of media and corporate clients.”

Creative leadership

Commotion will be led by Managing Director Amanda Poole-Connor, who also helms PA Group’s broadcast PR agency TNR. Joining her to execute the vision for the new agency are Creative Director Simeon Berends, formerly Head of Digital Solutions at ITN Productions, and Animation Director Andrew Morgan who held the same role at PR agency Weber Shandwick.

Amanda Poole-Connor, Managing Director of Commotion, said:

“In the right hands, video has the power to transform how a person feels about just about anything. At Commotion, we stand for creating content that is transparent and entertaining, while also compelling people to act on what they have just seen.

“While ad agencies scramble to adapt to digital audiences’ increasing sophistication, our heritage in PR, expertise in storytelling, and unique position at the heart of the UK media put us in the perfect position to help brands achieve genuine cut through.

“Alongside our colleagues at TNR, who create content for editorial audiences, Commotion now offers a complementary, 360-degree service to brands who want to engage their audience on multiple platforms.”

Simeon Berends, Creative Director of Commotion, said:

“Commotion is uniquely positioned to deliver engaging campaign content from a team plucked from advertising, PR and motion graphics.

“We put the audience first so understand how best to create content that connects brands to them. We deliver creative that is effective and actually causes a buzz.”

Today’s news follows recent moves by PA Group to diversify its business portfolio; in 2016 the Group made a strategic investment in the social video creation platform, Wochit, and secured a 25% stake in the motoring business Baize Group. In April 2017, it acquired the video streaming business StreamAMG.



Simeon Berends, Creative Director

Simeon Berends has a 20-year career in media production and creative storytelling. As the creative lead at ITN Productions between 2014 and 2015, he provided creative direction on client campaigns for clients Avios, Birds Eye, Suzuki, TfL and more. A specialist in branded content, integrated campaigns and TV adverts, Simeon’s executive producer credits include work for Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Vodafone and Asda. Accolades over the years include winning campaigns for Royal Mail and Lowcost Holidays at the 2015 Travel Marketing Awards, and for Guinness at the 2012 Marketing Innovation Awards.

Andrew Morgan, Animation Director

Andrew Morgan is a seasoned animator who has covered all aspects of motion graphics including storyboarding, character design, post-production and audio editing over his 16-year career. He was Animation Director at PR agency Weber Shandwick between 2014 and 2016, where he specialised in animated content for pharmaceutical, technology and consumer brands including GSK, Microsoft, Motorola and Nescafe. His #ParallelBarking campaign for Vauxhall was one of the winning entries at the Drum Media Awards in 2016. Outside his day job, Andrew produces and art directs live visual performances to accompany stadium sets by acts like Jean-Michel Jarre, Placebo, The Pet Shop Boys, Faithless and Eros Ramazotti.