Monthly Archives: May 2011

On your marks, get set – they’re off! Gumball 3000 Rally participants depart for Istanbul in a flurry of revs, excitement and farewells. Among them was Opia’s Adrian Harris, a Porsche 911 enthusiast

Opia,  May 31st 2011  Opia Sales Director Adrian Harris swept out of London – first stop Paris – in his Opia-sponsored Porsche 911 [on May 26th] in the iconic Gumball 3000 Rally, named after the 3000 miles the event covers in eight days, including a stopover at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Adrian’s participation, to promote Opia on the European stage as a key player in promotional risk management, caps a meteoric rise for the company he founded in the North East just five years ago.  By 2010 revenue had exceeded £6m,  in 2011 staff numbers have shot up to 24 and Opia is providing its services to some of the biggest names in business.

Adrian Harris at the start of Gumball 3000, London

“It’s been a whirlwind and very demanding three years. Gumball 3000 is an opportunity to let off steam but also carry the name of Opia across Europe,” Adrian said before he left on the first leg. “We have plans for further expansion of the business and participation in Gumball 3000 fits naturally into that because so many brands and influential people are involved in it.”

Adrian is updating a blog about the rally at

After Paris the rally moves on to Barcelona,  Monaco, Venice, Belgrade and finally Istanbul, where its drivers, many well know names from film, music, sport and business, will celebrate with a huge street party.

About Gumball 3000

Founded in 1999 by Maximillion Cooper – entrepreneur, creative director, racing driver and ex-skateboarder – Gumball 3000 is an annual 3,000 mile international road rally that takes place on public roads and uses a different route each year. The Gumball 3000 Group features Maximillion as its CEO and Creative Director and operates several companies under the Gumball 3000 brand, including Gumball 3000 Apparel, Gumball 3000 Films, Gumball 3000 Licensing, Gumball 3000 Events, Gumball 3000 Music and his own creative consultancy company Maximillion Cooper Limited.

About Opia

Opia first appeared in 2006 as a new promotional risk management concept for Mobious, a Newcastle based marketing agency. Given the task of developing the business was Adrian Harris, and in just over a year Adrian successfully made an offer to buy the Opia
brand from Mobious – so in 2008, Opia began trading in its own right.

In 2010 Opia posted revenue in excess of £6M and now employs 24 permanent staff. Opia is one of the largest risk management agencies in the UK. Opia uses a range of tools to measure and manage risk, including Per Redemption Pricing, Coupon2Print, and Validation, to name a few. Clients include many well known product and high street names.

Opia Managing Director is Steve Gales, recently appointed to the position and bringing with him more than 20 years sales, marketing and business management experience with Hewlett Packard.



For further information please contact:

Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR
email    Tel 01403 711177

Dinamiks Ltd offers 60 days free use of Dinamiks to help companies adapt to new retirement legislation

Dinamiks helps employers demonstrate just cause and follow due procedure, while managing employees’ performance

May 31st 2011.  Dinamiks Ltd, the online employee performance measurement provider, is offering new users 60 days free use of its online tool, Dinamiks.  The move is designed to help companies adapt to the new retirement legislation, which sees the default retirement age of 65 being phased out from April 6th 2011.

Replacing the usual seven day free usage, the free 60 days will enable users to take advantage of the six month transition period to full implementation of the legislation,  and put protective measures in place including demonstrating just cause and following due procedure.

“The change in retirement age legislation has consequences for many businesses, large or small, including firms having to have a good reason to ‘retire’ someone,” says Shirley Barnes, Client Services Director, Dinamiks Ltd.

“That could spell trouble for employers unless they can demonstrate just cause and follow due procedure.

“Many companies will have situations where age, experience and capability may be a challenge and where the business will require evidence leading up to and beyond the legislation change, to justify why staff should retire from a role – or even why they should stay,” says Barnes.

“Employers who fail to embrace the new legislation may face claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination.

“It’s our view, though, that the legislation also gives firms an opportunity to get a better grip on their employees’ performance and thereby deliver a boost to the performance of the business.”

New redundancy legislation

Other new challenges faced by employers in 2011 are the higher costs associated with making employees redundant.  The maximum limits on statutory unfair dismissal compensation, redundancy payments and other awards were increased on February 1st.

“Dinamiks can assist here, too, because it helps employers conform to employment law,” says Barnes. “It does this by providing an audit trail of performance, behaviour, attitude and the ability of individuals to meet set objectives.”

More at:

About Dinamiks.   Dinamiks (i) aligns every employee’s objectives to those of the business (ii) provides the means to set development plans, and track and record progress (iii) provides a record of capability for all employees, thereby supporting a common and consistent set of guidelines and principles that apply across all employee ages of the business (iv) helps with talent management (v) help firms comply with employment law (vi) allows employers to demonstrate just cause and follow due procedure.

More about Dinamiks at


Note to the press.  For further information please contact:

Shirley Barnes, Client Relationship Director, Dinamiks Ltd
Tel (+44) (0)1243 538835

Or Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR,
(+44) (0)1403 711177

SUSCIN announces free Meet The Buyer event – Bracknell, July 13th 2011 – to enable SMEs in the South East to meet regional and national buyers of sustainable products and services

May 31st  2011. SUSCIN – Sustainable Supply Chains through Innovation – has announced a free Sustainable Supply Chains Meet the Buyer event in Bracknell, Berkshire, on July 13th, to enable SME suppliers of sustainable products and services in the South East to meet and sell to regional and national buyers.

Through pre-arranged private appointments on the day, the event will showcase the wide range of sustainable, eco-innovative products and services on offer in the region. Buyers will typically be looking to purchase a variety of items, from construction and building maintenance products and services to packaging, cleaning supplies and environmental consultancy.

A similar event in Crawley last year attracted some 20 buyers and 80 of the best sustainable suppliers from across the South East. Buyers included Balfour Beatty Workplace,  the Ministry of Defence,  Oxfam, Partners in Purchasing Ltd, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Trust and West Sussex Council.

SUSCIN is currently seeking suppliers who wish to meet buyers.  Suppliers will be able to conduct up to eight pre-arranged meetings with buyers of their choice, save time and money on research, marketing and cold calling, and benefit from networking with other suppliers on the day.

To reserve a free place and receive more information, suppliers should contact Kim Newton at Action Sustainability on or 02476 236290.

There are three core partners in SUSCIN: The Centre for Sustainable Design [CfSD – University of the Creative Arts], Action Sustainability and Remade South East. Action Sustainability is an expert in sustainable procurement and is organising this, the third event in the SUSCIN “Meet the Buyer” series.

Martin Charter, SUSCIN Project Director, says  “Meet The Buyer is ideal for suppliers who have lessened the environmental impact of their products or services or have produced new, low impact products or services, and are committed to sustainability in their operations.  The event will deliver them face to face meetings with buyers and therefore save considerable research and marketing costs.”

More about SUSCIN at



SUSCIN’s Meet The Buyer events are funded by South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the South East ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007–2013, via the SUSCIN (Sustainable Supply Chains Through Innovation)  project



Note to the press: for further information please contact:

Leanne Elliott, Project Manager, Action Sustainability   T: 0191 2815777 E:

Or Martin Charter,  SUSCIN Project Director, University for the Creative Arts T: 01252-892772   E:

Or Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR,
T:  01403 711177   E:

OpenGreen Innovation Workshop to be held in Brighton on June 27th – free to SMEs and social enterprises to help them identify and market new income generating opportunities for low carbon and resource efficient products, technologies and services

May 30th 2011. The Centre for Sustainable Design [CfSD] has announced an  Open Green Innovation Workshop to be held at The Lighthouse, Brighton, (9.00am – 5.00pm) on June 27th. It’s free to SMEs and social enterprises in the South East and is designed by CfSD to help them identify [and market] new income generating opportunities for products, technologies and services that have lower environmental impacts.

The workshop will utilise the GreenThink process that has been developed by Martin Charter, Director of Farnham (Surrey)-based CfSD.  GreenThink workshops are customised around SME needs and are designed to identify new business opportunities for low carbon and resource efficient products, technologies and services.

Martin, who has more than 20 years of green innovation experience through working  with both large and small companies in Europe, Asia and North America, will lead this workshop and answer questions.

Martin can be seen here talking about the OpenGreen concept

The workshop will include a presentation about sustainable innovation and design and look at identification of income generating opportunities, obstacles to  market success, a focus on specific opportunities, how to develop commercialisation plans, marketing and selling products and provides speed networking opportunities.

“The greening of the UK economy – now given a boost by active government encouragement – is creating hard, commercial opportunities for low carbon, resource efficient products, technologies and services across the industrial spectrum,” says Martin Charter.

“At the local level, the greening of Brighton and Hove through Green Party election victories and green businesses mean that Brighton and the surrounding area will continue to attract businesses and entrepreneurs and other like-minded people, who will drive the local green economy and strengthen it as a key green business hub in the South East.

“The OpenGreen Innovation Workshop provides timely advice from experienced experts on how to maximise opportunities.”

OpenGreen is free to companies or social enterprises that employ fewer than 250 employees that are based in West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Berkshire. A free lunch will be provided and the workshop registration form can be downloaded from: – or for registration contact Ros Carruthers on 01252-892772 or email

What companies say about OpenGreen workshops

“OpenGreen was a great day to meet like minded individuals and develop understanding and knowledge in the Green Design and Innovation sector” – Partner, Ecotomy

“Thought provoking. Exposed me to a number of experts in their field and the way the day was organised helped me interact with them” – Director, Carey Ambrose Ltd.

Map & Directions:

More information on The Centre for Sustainable Design

The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD) was established in 1995 at University for the Creative Arts The Centre provides a range of services focused on “product sustainability” and “sustainable innovation” issues: research; training; consultancy; and events. CfSD organises the “Sustainable Innovation” series of international conferences, now in its 16th year – see

OpenGreen workshops are funded by South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the South East ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013, via the SUSCIN (Sustainable Supply Chains Through Innovation) project


Media contacts: for further information please contact:
Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts T: 01252-892772 E:

Or Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR,
T: 01403 711177 E: