Rita Clifton is New MRS President
Rita Clifton, Chairman of Interbrand, is to take over from Jeremy Bullmore as President of the UK’s Market Research Society (MRS), when he completes his five-year term in April.
Clifton has been a research user throughout a career in advertising, planning, and branding which began on graduating from Cambridge University with spells at DMB&B and J.Walter Thompson. She joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 1986 and by 1992 was its Director of Strategic Planning. She moved to Interbrand in 1997 as CEO in London and became Chairman in 2002.
Her writing includes the APG’s ‘International Account Planning’, ‘The Future of Brands’ and most recently, The Economist book ‘Brands & Branding’. Active on environmental issues, she has been a member of the Government’s Sustainable Development Commission, is a trustee of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), and is on the Business Advisory Board for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. In 2006, she was appointed Visiting Professor at Henley Management College. Her non-executive directorships include DSG international plc (formerly Dixons Group) and she is Chairman of Populus, the reputation research consultancy and pollster to the Times newspaper.
She is a frequent guest on television programmes covering brand, marketing and communication issues, including the Money Programme, BBC Breakfast, CNN, Sky and Channel 4 News; and has been voted one of the 75 Women of Achievement in the fields of advertising, media and marketing over the past 75 years, and named in the 'Power 100' list by Marketing magazine.
Of her new role, Clifton says: ‘I very much look forward to getting formally involved, although stepping into Jeremy’s rather large shoes will be a test! It does seem to me that there are some big challenges and opportunities for the research world over the next few years and it will be exciting to be able to contribute what I can’.
MRS Chairman and MD for Logistics at Ipsos MORI Rowland Lloyd says the new President’s extensive experience combined with her knowledge of market research ‘will be invaluable in positioning MRS to achieve its full potential’. He comments: ‘Extending the MRS brand values of professionalism, research excellence and business effectiveness more widely into the client community of research users is high on our priority list – as is building on the new discipline of insight management which integrates data from multiple sources.’
MRS Director General David Barr welcomes the latest in a line of distinguished Presidents: ‘We have been extremely fortunate in many key debates of the last five years to have had access to the knowledge, wisdom, and humour of Jeremy Bullmore. Now we look forward to having Rita Clifton as our President during the next important phase of our development.’
The MRS has members in more than 70 countries, both individuals and Company Partners, and is online at www.mrs.org.uk .