Plans are of little importance. But planning is everything.

With agencies in Antwerp and Amsterdam and a hub in Ghent, oona has grown strongly in recent years. The company has evolved from a PR company to a hybrid publishing agency with a strong portfolio and a unique range of earned, owned and shared media. Bringing Gert Kerkstoel on board as Director of Strategy will allow oona to further increase its impact in the Benelux.

Gert has unprecedented knowledge and experience of creative teams and lifestyle business, explains Werner De Smet. When sportswear became fashionable in Paris, he was there as Marketing Director of Nike France. He was at the helm of Nike SB in Portland as Global Business Director when the Collabs and Limited Editions culture emerged. As a Partner at Gimv, he has also been active in e-commerce and digital business models in recent years, continues Werner. His experience is invaluable to our customers. There is still plenty of scope for innovation in content marketing and publishing in the Benelux. oona’s communication approach revolves around storytelling and a personal connection with the publishing channels. We are increasingly working at a strategic level with our brands. Gert is the ideal partner for this. He knows what storytelling and connectivity really mean according to Werner De Smet.

oona was actually set up in consultation with Nike. Since then, the agency has evolved considerably with an extremely solid portfolio in the lifestyle and creative industries. However, it has always remained true to its storyteller DNA with a strong focus on lifestyle business. oona has continued to evolve technologically and has therefore always kept its finger on the pulse of the rapidly changing publishing community. These are the important qualities that I would expect of my agency as a brand owner. We identify new opportunities for oona every day. The need to manage search and the latest possibilities for hypertargeting and data analysis only serve to reinforce this.

— Gert Kerkstoel, Silent Partner

Deep and wide

After his career with Unilever and Nike, he explored the entrepreneurial environment in Antwerp, Paris and Amsterdam from 2010 onwards. He became co-owner of oona and Lockwood / Avenue, recognised as the best skate retail concept store in Europe last year. As an Associate Partner at Gimv, he holds management positions in various e-commerce and digital businesses and advises the Consumer Platform on investments in new success stories. Gert will continue to combine his role as Director of Strategy at oona with that of associate partner at Gimv.

About oona

We are a rapidly growing communications agency with a unique vision of PR, social media and content marketing. With hubs in Antwerp, Ghent & Amsterdam, we keep our finger on the pulse in the Benelux. In an increasingly digital world, we believe that real relationships are becoming increasingly important. Only by connecting the personal with the digital can you truly craft stories that people find fascinating. Everybody loves a good story, right?

Every day, clients such as Nike, Telenet, Levi's, IKEA, L’Oréal, Diageo and Nespresso challenge us to reinvent ourselves, our stories and our methods. Since 2003, this has allowed us to build a solid portfolio, team and reputation. That's why we are continually investing in our organisation, teams, offices and tools to remain the successful agency we are today.

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