OPINION: PROFILE - Marian Rose, Head of marketing, NSPCC - New Marketer of the Year

’Marian Rose, New Marketer of the Year.’ Nice ring to it, isn’t there?Confers status, shouts talent, proclaims professionalism.

’Marian Rose, New Marketer of the Year.’ Nice ring to it, isn’t

there?Confers status, shouts talent, proclaims professionalism.

It’s the ’professionalism’ Rose values most, and indeed most wants

others to credit her with in her position as head of marketing for the


For it seems some in the commercial world still view charity marketers

as ’well meaning amateurs’, despite Rose’s award being reinforced by

others for the NSPCC ’Full Stop’ campaign as a whole - a Campaign Poster

Award two weeks ago and others seemingly arriving on a weekly basis.

’Getting these awards is gratifying because we were up against not just

other charities, but other commercial marketing sectors. We’re being

acknowledged for our professionalism and for the achievements of the

campaign,’ says Rose.

The success of the ’Full Stop’ campaign, launched in March with the aim

of ending cruelty to children within a generation, is already beyond

question.Two-thirds of the UK population recalled seeing NSPCC

communications over the launch period, peaking at 79% among 15- to

24-year-olds; spontaneous awareness of the charity rose by 42%, from 19%

to 27%; and 600,000 people pledged to support ’Full Stop’, either by

campaigning or fundraising on behalf of the charity. In addition, there

were 71 TV programmes, 230 radio shows and more than 2000 articles

featuring the NSPCC, in a period that was dominated by the Kosovo war

and its associated charity appeals.

It’s all a considerable accomplishment for the 35-year-old Rose - not

that she would ever consider taking full credit. Her character swings

between the professional and the endearingly modest - she reels off key

objectives and awareness tracking results with aplomb, yet still

enquires at the end of it all whether I have any idea why she won the

award. Ask her a question about her involvement in the project, and her

answers tend to drift from the ’I’ into the ’we’ of the NSPCC team.

Yet it is her personal involvement in every level of the campaign that

guaranteed Rose the Marketing Society’s first annual award. Wanda

Goldwag, one of the judges and acting managing director of prize

sponsor, Air Miles, says:’We were looking for someone who was relatively

young but had been a key decision-maker and had led the strategy.

Charities have far fewer resources, and convincing a charity to take

such a brave act - particularly one that needs to be seen to be putting

most of its investment into work as opposed to marketing - must have

been very difficult.’

Rose would agree it was a big challenge to convince the executive board

of the necessary scale of the campaign, but might take issue with

Goldwag’s references to ’fewer resources’ and ’a brave act’.

’We’re here to change the world for the better for children, and we’re

absolutely clear that in this day and age that depends on mass

communication; that’s how we’re going about cultural change,’ says


Above all else, she gives the impression of wanting hers to be seen as a

professional marketing organisation as opposed to, well, a charity.

Yes, a pounds 1m sponsorship deal with Microsoft and support from the

media buyers and owners eases the NSPCC’s media spend. But in its

expenditure through its advertising suppliers, Rose is emphatic that she

is paying commercial rates - the pounds 2.7m spent on the launch ads

alone makes it the highest spending UK charity of the moment - and that

the agency arrangements are liable to nothing other than hard-nosed

commercial scrutiny.

Hence the Saatchi & Saatchi situation, in which the agency that has

worked with the NSPCC for 15 years suddenly finds itself the subject of

a review, where it is pitching against six other agencies.

The view of many in the ad industry is that the NSPCC has shown itself

to be highly ungrateful for exceptionally effective, not to mention

award-winning, advertising.

Rose’s view, however, is that at a time when the charity is spending

more on advertising than ever, and with a new campaign under the ’Full

Stop’ strategy due for May, it makes complete sense to reappraise its


As for the timing of the review, whether it could have been better

handled, or if there is indeed a problem with Saatchis’ account

handling, Rose refuses to be drawn.

What she will acknowledge is the considerable contribution Saatchis has

made both in terms of the original ’Full Stop’ theme, and creative


As for the agency, Saatchis’ new business director, Marcus Brown, is

quick to praise the client with whom he has worked for three years:

’Marian is a very dedicated, talented and ambitious marketer. Her

approach to setting objectives, finding the right strategies to achieve

those objectives and then careful appraisal of results is second to

none. Yet she applies this rigour with charm and a keen sense of


So will Rose be asking for a pay rise following all this recognition and

praise? ’I could ask but I wouldn’t get one. It doesn’t work like that

in charities; we’re all in it for the love.’ In that case she’ll have to

make the most of the trip for two to San Francisco that she receives as

a prize. And the title, of course. ’Marian Rose, New Marketer of the

Year - Professional.’


1987-1989: Account executive, Networking PR

1989-1992: Marketing executive, Macmillan Magazines

1992-1996: Marketing manager then head of marketing, Royal National

Institute for the Deaf

1996-present: Head of marketing, NSPCC.


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