’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
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
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.