The artful dodger of Charlotte Street, as he was never known, this modest Essex boy found himself working at Saatchi & Saatchi’s dispatch department at the tender age of 20. It was a simpler time; 1500 employees, one computer, and endless expense accounts.
When he wasn't setting colleagues on fire or taping them to a chair (health and safety was a non-issue in the 1800s), his entrepreneurial side was at work. Matt realised he could buy the old Saatchi cars way below value and sell them for a neat profit, so he made a few bob doing just that, and decided the advertising world was for him.
Looking for his next challenge, Matt joined the Mill, opening the first traffic department and revolutionising some of the legacy processes that had prevailed.
His entrepreneurial interest was piqued again when one day a client was yelling about a tape that hadn’t been received and someone shouted ‘send him an mpeg’. Seeing a digital-gap in the market of advertising delivery, Matt started BEAM.TV in 1999, and spent the next few years travelling the world and changing the way people worked. It was a venture true to his dispatching roots, and Matt was exposed to some of the biggest names and characters in our industry.
Matt’s adventures had given him an impressive little black book of contacts across the world, and in 2008, he decided to formalise his inside knowledge as the location guides known as Little Black Book.
By 2010, Matt was sick of hearing his mates bemoaning the task of keeping on top of industry news, and he saw an opportunity to develop something new. He decided to create a place where all the news, from all areas of advertising, across all regions in the world, could be found and read for free. And that was the birth of LBBonline.com
Little Black Book is true to Matt’s real passion –to celebrate everything great about this wonderful industry that he has been in love with since 1988.
And he won’t be stopping until everyone realises how they can really get fame without paying a fortune.
When Matt is not in Soho he loves the sea (any sea), travelling, Christmas, curry and family.
Something you didn't know about Matt...
He really loves silly cars, silly bikes and tiny houses. And cries at absolutely everything on TV; movies, shows and adverts. He really (we mean REALLY) dislikes buttons and has a scarily entrenched phobia of all things Susan Sarandon.
Founder – Little Black Book
Sarah's first paid job was to calligraph invitations for private parties - aged 11. She could have made a living out of it, too, had the personal computer and printer not come to market. She studied Russian Studies and History at the University of King's College and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, finishing at the Moscow Pedagogical University.
Then fluent in Russian, English and French, Sarah decided to let it all slip away while cooking and waitressing (read skiing and biking) in the Rocky Mountain town of Banff, Alberta. She followed that up by going to college for music, majoring in vocal studies in Nelson,British Columbia.
Several years of waitressing, singing and temping followed before Sarah found herself at Brunico Communications, Toronto and wound up on the team that would launch Boards Magazine. Sarah was there until 2004, reaching the position of Publisher before moving to the UK,where she soon started work on what would become Little Black Book, and then LBBOnline.
Sarah enjoys running, cooking, holding her children's hands and making piles of unfinished work all over her house. Oh, and lists. She loves a list.
Something you didn't know about Sarah...
Sarah is afraid of heights, sea creatures, tunnels, bridges, and baddies. She thinks tattoos are really naff but loves butter mint candies.
Global Editor – LBBonline
Laura joined LBBOnline as a staff writer in 2012 and was quickly promoted to Deputy Editor, before becoming Global Editor in 2014.
She previously worked at Shots where she was News Editor, and has written for industry publications such as Promo (now promonews.tv), 1.4, The Young Directors Award, and the Beak Street Bugle.
Laura spent a year at Renmin University in Beijing as part of her undergraduate degree in Chinese with Politics and has a deep-seated interest in East Asian culture, history, languages… and food. She also has postgraduate degrees in Journalism and Psychology and has spent time volunteering in education and mental health around the UK.
Her personal passions are the psychology and neuroscience of creativity and the coming together of art and science – so she’s in her element when interviewing the most innovative minds in the business.
Laura enjoys graphic novels, accumulating new hobbies and belting it out at karaoke.
And leaning on tills.
She definitely does not speak Klingon.
Something you didn't know about Laura...
She has held a human brain.
Head of New Business – LBBonline
Paul joined LBBonline as a middle aged grunt in 2010 and is now the longest serving LBB-er (not counting the founder).
Before LBB Paul taught art at primary school, was a mosaic artist and did a number of other jobs that he is prevented from disclosing.
Paul’s main passion/addiction is buying records, his ever expanding collection was started with his dinner money at school, who needs school dinners when you’ve had six Weetabix for breakfast. He does a weekly music podcast, Polyvinyl Craftsmen, with a couple of mates from a shed in the Thames Estuary that often involves gin.
Today Paul heads up New Business, and helps drives our global growth.
Today Paul heads up New Business, and helps drives our global growth.
Something you didn't know about Paul...
He holds the unofficial world record for the number of Ferrero Rocher eaten in a minute.
Head of Communications (LBBonline) & LBB/Lab
Born within a mile of the Tyne, Rachael spent most of her youth explaining why she didn’t have a Geordie accent (still a medical marvel to this day) and watching endless hours of LA Law (perhaps to blame?).
After a brief foray into children’s TV, she felt she had conquered the acting world by age-12, and turned her attention to law and order – studying law at Liverpool University, and taking the Bar Course in Newcastle.
It was everything she dreamed of, a powdered horse-hair wig and the right to yell ‘object ’in open court. But after six years of stomping around like Rumpole of the Bailey, she decided to turn her career to more creative aspirations, and moved to New York (as you do).
She dabbled in some creative projects (there was a day working at Vogue and a trip to Courtney Love’s house that you can read about in her memoirs), but Rachael had her sights set on communications. So she started working for Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP HQ, and networked her way over to Y&R.
Despite being thrown in at the creative deep-end, this legal beagle sniffed out some high-profile communications projects that had a global impact, and was later made Global Communications Manager.
3 years later, via a re-location back to London, Rachael met Matt through Y&R EMEA and in 2015 she became Head of Communications at LBB, also running LBB’s PR and content generating limb, LBB/Lab.
When Rachael isn’t writing content, devising strategies and pushing out global communications, she is mollycoddling her team, making office treats, and telling it like it is.
Something you didn't know about Rachael
She once blew Nobby Solano’s trumpet.
(An actual trumpet– together they played ‘Hello’ over a Lionel Richie DVD… see memoirs for full story).
Deputy Editor – LBBonline
A young Addison spent his weekends as potato peeler / pot washer-extraordinaire in his local fish and chip shop, and while he didn't much enjoy the permanent pong of raw potatoes and chip fat, it did spark a curiosity in food. That curiosity turned into obsession upon rupturing every ligament in his knee, sitting in front of the TV for months and watching endless Rick Stein shows.
Thankfully Addison’s passion for food was kept extra-curricular and he was able to peel (!) himself away from cooking to study journalism in Chester. This field was somewhat of a family business for Addison; his late grandfather was a Fleet Street journalist, PR guru and President of the Foreign Press Association.
Addison’s first foray into Little Black Book was during university, when he worked as a summer intern in 2011. Having whetted his appetite, Addison re-joined the team as an Editorial Researcher the following year, and has since been an integral part of the LBB editorial team.
Today Addison is Deputy Editor and lives in Berlin, heading up LBB’s German operations, while also overseeing North American editorial content.
Still a devout foodie – he maintains a persistent penchant for burgers, beers and bass. So most weekends you’ll find him concocting extravagant burger recipes, drinking ostentatious beers, and demonstrating some fairly flashy dance-moves.
Something you didn't know about Addison…
He is the official University of Chester - 2011 FIFA Champion. And very proud of it.
Head of Content – LBBonline
Having cut his teeth as a dishwasher in a dementia unit, Liam decided that there had to be a better way to fund his addiction to video games, spicy food & Nicholas Cage memorabilia.
So after studying creative writing at Roehampton University for two years, he joined Little Black Book in 2014 as editorial assistant, immersing himself in an industry where his terrible fashion sense would not be (vocally) shamed.
Learning the ins and outs of adland as he went, he received his current sparkly job title in 2015, and now manages the content and nitty-gritty parts of the Little Black Book site. He also manages the ever-popular 'Influencers' channel, so be sure to hit him up if you'd like to get involved!
On weekends, Liam plays lots of video and board games, shares funny videos with his unimpressed mates and complains about unimportant things on the internet.
Something you didn't know about Liam...
He can play the accordion. Just not very well.
Senior Writer + Strategist – LBB/Lab
Before joining LBB Phoebe was trained as a mosaicist by her father. With a background in Fine Art, Phoebe pursued a degree in History of Art at Warwick University which led to the realisation that she’d never like to live in the Midlands again.
Phoebe began her career working as a Sales and Marketing Intern for Shoreditch-based medical recruitment start up, Network Locum. After just three months Phoebe was promoted to Communications Manager for the company running the digital marketing & social comms strategy for the online platform, crunching computer code and handling the accounts of hundreds of GPs.
After a taste of the silicon roundabout and a frankly terrifying insight into the state of the NHS Phoebe wanted to reacquaint herself with something far more creative, joining LBB/Lab in November 2014 as a PR Account Manager. Phoebe creates targeted written content for PR clients across the globe, advising on strategy to raise company profiles and maximise on editorial exposure. Phoebe also lends her writing skills to the editorial team, contributing interviews and profiles about top global talent as well as indepth features about the creative process.
She enjoys painting, living by the seaside, and runs LBB/Lab’s Squash club with Paul Monan (Cordials, notsport).
Something you didn't know about Phoebe...
She attended Southend High School for Boys sixth form but has at no point had a sex change.
Senior Writer + Strategist – LBB/Lab
Paul joined LBB/Lab in 2014 immediately after he graduated from Bournemouth University, where he studied Communications & Media, and quickly moved from being a Writer to a PR Account Manager.
Having decided as a teenager that a paper round wasn’t for him (lasting only one day, in which he got his Mum to drive him to the last few houses), Paul spent his teenage weekends and school holidays stacking shelves in his local supermarket, before heading further South to pursue a degree.
At uni, Paul dabbled in sport (masterminding Dyslexia Untied’s 2-0 victory over hitherto undefeated Lola Lo’s Love Machines), radio (where he was producer and MC extraordinaire for bass music show BPM) and politics (runner-up in the closest student election race ever) before committing to a world of creativity.
As a Senior Writer, Paul works with the editorial team to investigate new creative tech trends, cover industry events and profile exciting new talent. With his 'Lab' hat on, he works closely with a host of global clients, creating targeted written content and advising on strategy to raise company profiles and maximise on editorial exposure.
Equal parts burger-enthusiast and sneaker-aficionado, Paul spends every other Saturday following his beloved Charlton Athletic - although he can’t say that he enjoys it - and helps run LBB/Lab’s Squash Club alongside fellow Lab-er and founder Phoebe Siggins.
Something you didn't know about Paul...
He completed his first ever sticker album - 2014 FIFA World Cup - aged 21. If you’re missing any stickers, he still has plenty of swapsies…
Junior Writer + Strategist / Sales – LBB/Lab
Before joining LBB, Jake spent three years at Sheffield University pursuing a History & Politics degree. He now hates history and doesn’t vote.
An obvious masochist, Jake spent the next six months working in Finland, braving -30c temperatures. Having only learnt the Finnish word for beer (which he thinks is ‘ol’), Jake decided to broaden his horizons by travelling around South East Asia and Brazil, where he really ‘found himself’.
On his return, Jake worked as a copywriter for a financial services company in Essex, where his enthusiasm for mortgages faded as quickly as his tan. After another trip to Asia (getting suspicious now!), Jake returned to Blighty and started at LBB in November 2015.
Jake works in close partnership with a host of global clients, creating targeted written content and advising on strategy to raise company profiles and maximise on editorial exposure.
Jake enjoys sport, cooking, travel and crying about Sheffield United.
Something you didn’t know about Jake…
Jake is a 6”4 grown-up who is scared of moths.
Junior Writer + Strategist – LBB/Lab
Koo spent the first six years of her life in Tokyo, where she perfected her grasp of Japanese to the extent that she both impresses and intimidates the LBB team in equal measure.
This experience put her in good stead for a stint working in HR and finance in Japan, interviewing the public and researching economic policies. But her regular commuting on the seamless Japanese transport system has only served to confirm her suspicions that Southeastern Rail is run by Satan himself.
Shunning the company of other humans, Koo spend hours sat in darkness at her school’s two-person World Cinema Club, but thankfully to the benefit of later earning a degree in Film Studies and English Literature. She continued her love for anything film by acting as a mediator between directors and management at an international animation festival.
A massive foodie, she worked (and ate) at an organic farm kitchen but it luckily did not affect her otherwise sinful eating habits.
At LBB/Lab, Koo works closely with a host of global clients, creating targeted written content and advising on strategy to raise company profiles and maximise editorial exposure.