Our Team and Our Story

alex and olly founder of Bambu Digital Agency

Our Founders

Bambu was founded in 2019 by Alex Kaplan and Oliver Springate. Both ex-WPP strategy leads, they met in 2015 while working on the media account for UK based telecoms company EE, and subsequently worked together at 3 of WPP’s media agencies in London, leading the digital advertising strategy for blue-chip clients including British Telecoms, Barclays, Seiko, Google, Arcadia and L’Oreal, as well as a range of other well known brand names.

In early 2020, Alex took a trip to the Philippines to visit some old friends. Covid unexpectedly came along and he found himself unable to leave the country, and by the time restrictions had lifted Bambu was well on the way to having a presence in Manila, so he decided to stay living there. Today, Olly runs the Europe & North American side of the business while Alex looks after Asia Pacific, both working together to deliver key specialist skills to all our partners.

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A Tale of Two Cities

Since 2020, Bambu has had a fixed location in both London and Manila, and we draw on freelance talent from around the world. In London, we’re based towards the west of the city in Hammersmith surrounded by trendy pubs and just a few minutes walk from the River Thames, and in Manila we’re in amongst the skyscrapers of downtown Makati in the city’s historic financial hub.

Our people in all locations work very closely together every day and we recently arranged a teambuilding week for our senior staff to spend time working side by side in the real world. We have a more integrated international presence than any other agency in the sector. We are proud to have been able to adopt the model that the whole sector is moving towards, but in a very different way to the standard approach that avoids the common pitfalls and benefits our staff in all parts of the globe.

Our Specialists

Bambu has a team of more than 50 marketers who advise our clients on a wide range of sectors and challenges related to digital advertising. Our core strategy team along with their specialist areas are shown below.

Oliver Springate
Oliver SpringateOperations Director

Olly is our lead strategist and works closely with all our clients to assess performance and plan strategy, as well as providing one to one consulting for our European and North American clients. He began his career producing SEO content and moved into advertising on Google in 2012 after graduating from university. He was one of the first people in the UK to use Facebook’s self serve advertising platform and has won several awards for the use of data in advertising.

From 2014 to 2019 he worked for several media agencies owned by WPP, the world’s largest advertising corporation and worked on campaigns for large brands including Barclaycard, British Telecoms, EE, Seiko, Arcadia and L’OrĂ©al.

He has a particular interest in full-funnel advertising and has built our proprietary funnel analysis system and AI driven campaign planning platform which is used to help SMEs punch above their weight with their advertising campaigns.

Alex Kaplan
Alex KaplanCommercial Director

Alex leads the client servicing side of Bambu, ensuring that our clients are all receiving the best possible service and leads all our pitches to align ad management services with commercial objectives. He studied business strategy at university in the United States and entered the advertising industry after graduating in London with a masters degree in marketing strategy.

He worked at WPP for 3 years and has a background in full-channel media planning including both online and offline advertising formats. He has a wealth of knowledge on the way that consumers interact with advertising and the way that online and offline complement each other for growing brands.

Alex is now based primarily in Manila in the Philippines and manages our APAC business, working closely with clients in the region and overseeing our operations and activation teams.

Jack Woodman
Jack WoodmanStrategist

Jack is a performance focused strategist and works with a wide range of our clients to improve sales and leads. He has previous experience running Shopify stores and works closely with our clients to develop the best possible marketing mix for conversion optimised objectives.

Maria Tapia
Maria TapiaSenior Account Manager

Maria leads on day to day delivery for our APAC clients. Previously a social media specialist at Food Panda, she has a wealth of experience in digital marketing and manages multi-channel campaign planning for our clients to help them reach their objectives.

Ivan Caquiep
Ivan CaquiepSearch Account Manager

Van is an ex-Googler who heads up our Search and Marketplaces team, bringing a huge amount of knowledge on Google’s platforms. He works across all our clients, particularly focusing on diagnosing problems and strategic planning and leads the way on paid search training across Bambu.

Anna Tamor
Anna TamorSocial Account Manager

Anna leads our social ads team and has many years experience managing and activating campaigns. She is an expert on everything related to Meta ads as well as working across minor ad platforms such as TikTok, LinkedIn and Pinterest. She leads our social team and assists with campaign strategy across all our clients.

Josh Gibbon
Josh GibbonPartnership Manager

Josh is part of our strategy team and works with new clients to help plan the right package of advertising channels for their requirements and ensure that they have a successful launch with Bambu. He is experienced with planning a range of channels covering paid search, social and display and works with clients in the UK and US markets.

Monica Del Puerto
Monica Del PuertoAccount Manager

Nica spent 4 years working in the marketing department for Marriott Hotels before joining Bambu and now works exclusively with our hospitality clients to provide insider insights and detailed strategic guidance for hotels, restaurants and entertainment businesses.

Abbie Cueto
Abbie CuetoPeople & Culture Manager

Abbie is responsible for managing resources at Bambu, keeping the rest of our team happy and leading our recruitment efforts to ensure we’re bringing top talent into the company. She manages all our team evaluation and training processes, as well as organising our teambuilding events.

How It All Began

August 2016
Olly and Alex, our two co-founders, first met while working at WPP media agency MEC as part of the team helping to transition the prestigious EE Telecoms account from MEC to Maxus, another of WPP’s agencies. Olly worked as a specialist in digital ad channels, while Alex was responsible for full-channel media planning.
June 2017
As part of a global restructure at WPP to consolidate their agency network, Olly and Alex both moved together to Essence, WPP’s digital specialist agency, and continued working closely together on a number of accounts.
January 2018
Olly made the decision to leave his role at Essence, to work as a freelancer helping SMEs to accelerate their marketing. A few months after, Alex also decided to leave Essence to be able to spend more time with his parents who were living in Thailand.
January 2019

In a quiet pub called the Lore of the Land on Conway Street in Fitzrovia, London, Alex and Olly both met up with some old colleagues and got chatting about the potential of bringing their skillsets together to help new clients and taking what we’d learnt working with big global companies to help smaller businesses, startups and challenger brands. The idea of Bambu was born, although at this point it didn’t have a name.

Over the course of the next few months, regular meetings in various co-working spaces across London gradually moved our founders closer to setting up Bambu. The name was chosen from a long list of potential options that all signified growth, with the bamboo tree being the fastest growing plant, and the unusual spelling was chosen as it’s commonly written that way in Asia, where we would be partly based, as well as to help stand out.

September 2019
This is when we had our first breakthrough came, when the newly founded Bambu signed their first client; a startup interior design company who needed help with building a new website and launching their ad campaigns.
January 2020
Alex made the move to Bangkok, where he began setting up our operations in Asia, with the plan to split his time between the UK and Thailand. Shortly after relocating to Bangkok, Alex took what was planned to be a short trip to Manila to visit old friends and speak to potential clients. The trip was originally planned to just be 2 weeks…
The Rest Is History

We all know what came next. Covid hit and a major global shutdown meant that Alex was stranded in the Philippines. Back in London, by pure coincidence the paperwork for Bambu’s registration as an official company was rubber stamped on March 23rd, the exact same day that the UK first went into lockdown. It’s fair to say that this was not a great start!

However, what seemed like bad luck turned out to be a much more positive. By adapting quickly to the growing demand for support from e-commerce startups, and hiring some fantastic technical talent in Manila, Bambu was able to successfully navigate a very tricky first year, and by early 2021 we had a team of 6 and were working with 20 clients based in the UK, USA, Philippines and Singapore.

Alex never looked back and now lives full time in Manila, working closely with our APAC clients and overseeing our technical team, while Olly continues to live in London managing our UK and US clients and overseeing our strategy team. We have maintained the structure that we stumbled upon during 2020, and having two bases has enabled us to service our clients much better than we ever expected, mixing local strategic knowledge with highly experienced technical skills and close to 24 hour coverage thanks to working in two timezones, all packaged in a way that is commercially viable for the growing businesses of today, as they work towards becoming the market leaders of tomorrow.