Margaret Donnelly has no problem enjoying her job at Coty. Emma
Like most women, Margaret Donnelly, Coty UK’s marketing director for
mass cosmetics, loves putting make-up on, but hates taking it off.
Unlike most women, she can sit in the office painting her nails and
legitimately claim to be working.
But there won’t be much time for manicures now she is working flat out
on a major relaunch of the Rimmel cosmetics range, alongside her newly
appointed advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson, of whom she expects
’distinctive’ advertising (Campaign, last week).
’I admire the way that St Luke’s and No 7 are trying to break the
mould,’ she says. For Rimmel’s advertising, Donnelly has ruled out
supermodels or white-coated experts - instead, she intends to demystify
the brand and take Rimmel closer to its audience.
For example, Rimmel’s new long-lasting lipstick will not be promoted on
the basis of pseudo-scientific claims. Its name, ’a thousand kisses’,
provides explanation of the product’s properties.
’Rimmel should make you smile,’ says Donnelly, who has been marketing
cosmetics and perfumes since 1987, when she joined Max Factor. She adds:
’I was seduced by the beauty market - for me it’s like being a
chocoholic and working for Cadbury.’
After completing an economics degree at Queen’s University in her native
Ulster, Donnelly began work as a graduate trainee at BP, where she
remained for five years. She lives in west London with her husband, whom
she met at university.
Three years after her move from BP to Max Factor, the company was bought
by Procter and Gamble, and Donnelly led the brand’s relaunch in the
early 90s, before moving to Coty in 1993, just after it had been
acquired by Benckiser. The company bought Rimmel at the end of last
Donnelly enjoys writing short stories (for which she has won prizes),
painting, and riding her three horses. Such weekend activities play
havoc with her personal grooming, though. As she reveals: ’I have to do
a major job on my nails on Sunday evenings.’