Clifton will officially leave on July 31, although she is thought to have submitted her resignation earlier this year. She has long served on a three-day-a-week basis, and has a well developed career portfolio that includes several non-executive directorships. Besides being non executive chairman of opinion pollster to The Times, Populus, she is also a NED of Dixons, the electrical retailer, and BUPA, the global healthcare company. Since 2007, she has been a trustee of WWF-UK. In 2009 she was appointed president of the Market Research Society.
“Ten years in the chair (and five years as CEO before that) is quite long enough when it’s not your own company, and I have wanted to set up a private office to run/extend my non-exec and pro bono portfolio and do independent speaking and writing about brands for some time,” she says.
Clifton is a prolific writer on brands. Among her publications are the Future of Brands, published by Interbrand, and Brands and Branding, published by The Economist.
She began her career as an account planner at DMB&B and J Walter Thompson (JWT). In 1986 she moved to Saatchi & Saatchi London where she rose to deputy chairman and executive planning director in 1995.
Started in 1974 by John Murphy in the UK, Interbrand has morphed into a global organisation with nearly 40 offices and claims to be the world’s largest brand consultancy. It was acquired by Omnicom in 1993.