Who we are
Director and Co-Founder
Luba Kassova is a co-founder and director of the international audience strategy consultancy AKAS (Addy Kassova Audience Strategy Ltd), which she set up with Richard Addy to help purpose-led organisations in the UK and globally. In recent years, she has also focused on writing, producing evidence-based storytelling that has attracted international attention, being quoted in more than 400 news outlets across 75 countries worldwide and receiving the 2021 Webreport award for exceptional journalism.
Luba is passionate about gender and racial equality, free media, and social cohesion. She also cares deeply about children’s wellbeing and the importance of education. Over the last 20 years Luba has used her passion for telling powerful audience-, supporter- and consumer-centric stories to help organisations develop their strategies, brands, services, products, programmes and marketing communications.
Prior to setting up AKAS, Luba headed up Consumer/Audience Insight teams BBC Journalism (the largest international news operation in the world), at Cancer Research UK (the largest charity in the UK), and BT Vision (BT’s television arm). Luba has also worked internationally with Discovery Networks Europe, the European Commission, The Hallmark Channel (TV) and the Institute for International and Regional Studies, a South-East European thinktank based in Sofia.
Throughout her career, Luba has successfully upskilled data reporting teams, enabling them to use their data to generate evidence-led audience truths, thereby giving them a voice at Board level. She believes in the power of multidisciplinary analysis including market research, economics, sociology, psychology, behavioural science and neuroscience. To this she adds a deep understanding of different cultures and people, born out of a peripatetic childhood lived in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Luba has an MA in Sociology from Sofia University and an MA in Contemporary European Studies from Sussex University in Brighton. She has also completed Behavioral Science modules at Warwick University and the London School of Economics (LSE).
Director and Co-Founder
Richard Addy is a co-founder and director of the international audience strategy consultancy AKAS, which he set up with Luba Kassova to help purpose-led organisations in the UK and globally.
Richard has over 30 years’ experience working as a strategist and Government economist, advising CEOs, C-suite executives, Government ministers, multilateral organisation executives, charity and foundation leaders, and anyone who cares about their audiences and stakeholders. He is an expert in creatively pulling together strategic frameworks, audience insights and communications approaches for greater audience and business impact.
Prior to setting up AKAS, Richard was the Chief Adviser on strategic and audience issues to the BBC’s Deputy Director General who headed up BBC News locally, nationally and internationally. Richard formulated and refined the successful audience, editorial and digital strategies that maintained BBC News’ global reach at well over 250m adults every week. Richard also ran the BBC's Creative Network of facilitators, who were trained to tackle creative and business challenges throughout the organisation.
Beyond the media sector, Richard has also worked in the fields of technology, financial services, health and public services.
Richard is passionate about using the power of data, and audience and strategic insights for the greater good. He loves understanding how societies and people's individual lives are changing and has developed sophisticated frameworks to help clients understand these better. Richard’s curiosity, multicultural background and creative mind help him make powerful links between seemingly disparate facts, which unearth new ways of thinking for AKAS’ clients.
After eight years as a trustee of Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, Richard was appointed by the Board as Co-Chair of Mind's Race Equality Committee and as a board advisor. In 2021, Richard was invited to join the board of Guardian.org. He also sits on the Creative Council of Africa No Filter, an NGO that aims to shift the narrative about Africa. He has a BSc in Economics from Warwick University and an MSc in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London.