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About us

The Knowledge Agency team is drawn from a mix of backgrounds, which allows us to bring a wealth of different relevant experience to our research work. We share a passion for understanding what makes people tick, and for finding powerful new ways to communicate our ideas and insights.

markMark Ellis

Mark is an experienced brand strategist and researcher, with senior management experience in the consultancy, advertising and broadcasting industries. He set up The Knowledge Agency in 1998, after working for two years as the Chief Adviser, Market and Audience Intelligence, within the BBC’s Policy and Planning unit. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the BBC’s annual £11m market research spend, and representing the BBC on the Board of Directors of BARB.

Prior to joining the BBC, Mark worked as a Board Account Planner and Director of Brand Futures at the UK’s leading advertising agency, Abbott Mead Vickers•BBDO. Earlier in his career he was an Account Planner at J.Walter Thompson, and a Partner in the brand development consultancy LSW. He is a graduate of Oxford University and a Full Member of the Market Research Society.

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tonyhTony Harbron

Tony is a specialist in marketing strategy and innovation, with an outstanding track record of building successful brands.

One of the UK’s leading experts in researching and marketing to youth and student audiences, Tony co-founded student marketing consultancy Get Real! in 1998. Get Real! was subsequently acquired by Campus Media plc, where Tony became Group Chief Executive, leaving in 2006 to become an investor and independent consultant.

Previously Tony was marketing director at Red Bull, developing the strategy that helped turn the brand around after its dismal launch into the UK. It was at Red Bull that he pioneered the UK’s first ever student brand manager programme, and has gone on to run successful student marketing programmes for brands including Microsoft, The Independent, Loaded, Ministry of Sound, Virgin,, O2, Virgin, NME, and

Tony is a graduate of Oxford University, and has an MBA from Aston Business School. He is a member of The Marketing Society.


tonypTony Palmer

Tony is responsible for much of The Knowledge Agency’s filming, editing and multimedia production, including several major ethnographic projects, such as Ofcom’s Media Lives and Conversations With Curious Minds for BBC Radio 4.  He began his career as an award-winning radio producer at BBC Radio 5 live, before venturing into the world of multimedia production.  He was responsible for setting up the Home Office’s in-house TV channel and has worked for the Olympic Delivery Authority, with responsibility for overseeing all the photography and filming of the 2012 Olympic Park development.


nickNick Middleton

Nick is an academic, new media producer and film-maker, and is closely involved in TKA’s filming, video editing and production activities.

Beyond his Knowledge Agency commitments, Nick is Associate Senior Lecturer in Media at Coventry University’s School of Art and Design. He is currently pursuing an MPhil/Phd in Ethnographic Documentary at Manchester University’s Granada Centre.