Girls on top in the UK marketing director stakes – P&G first, then McDonald’s

Procter & Gamble’s Roisin Donnelly has been named the most powerful marketer in Britain, topping Marketing’s annual Power 100 ranking of the clients with the power (it says here).

Hardly surprising really as Donnelly dispenses of the UK’s biggest ad budget, around £200m.

Next in line is Jill McDonald, CEO of McDonald’s (no relation). McDonald used to be marketing director of British Airways before she wisely evacuated the complicated carrier for the renascent burger flippers.

Marketing’s full list is here, so you can make your own minds up.

At the same time the Marketing Society, which likes to see itself as the posh end of the marketing community in the UK, has revealed the four contenders for its Marketer of the Year prize.

These are Neil Blakesley of BT Global Services, Sally Cowdrey at O2, Craig Inglis at John Lewis and Amanda Mackenzie at Aviva (Norwich Union as was).

Well BT Global Services I know little about apart from to say that the last boss (CEO) was a Frenchman who seemed to have won lots of contracts but they all lost money. So if Blakesley (and his new CEO of course) remember to send out invoices he must have a chance.

O2, in particular its music venue at the old Millenium Dome near Charlton’s football ground, has been a huge success. So Sally’s in with a shout.

John Lewis is the retailer of choice for the middle classes and aspiring members (as is its supermarket offshoot Waitrose) so Craig Inglis is hardly a surprise on the list.

And Amanda Mackenzie at insurance giant Aviva (pictured) is so highly regarded in marketing circles that it’s a mystery that she’s not running the country already.

I find myself rather resistant to Aviva’s offerings via AMV/BBDO (you can only take so much Paul Whitehouse).

More to the point, perhaps, Aviva’s customer service doesn’t always match its promise.

But no doubt Amanda is talking to her fellow board members about this.

To go back to the headline though, it definitely is girls on top in the big UK marketing departments. And why not?

They’re much better at dealing with difficult creative than blokes are and (usually) much smarter anyway.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.