Account Person of the Year 2020: Katie McCambley

She has spent the past year working at the heart of the government's Covid-19 campaigns.

Account Person of the Year 2020: Katie McCambley

Joint head of account management, MullenLowe London

After a year spent embedded in the heart of Whitehall, managing a team of 50, working 24/7 to deliver the government’s Covid-19 campaigns, Katie McCambley is Campaign’s Account Person of the Year.

McCambley is the business director for MullenLowe’s government accounts, which also include NHS recruitment, The Truth Project for The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse and the UK’s transition from the EU. What started as a brief to promote hand hygiene last February developed into the largest account in the country with a media budget of £250m.

In light of Covid-19, McCambley developed new ways of working at speed, managing 50 people largely remotely and co-ordinating four partner agencies, creating a crisis comms team in Whitehall that works across government departments and introducing “sprint” work practices. She delivered campaigns at a phenomenal pace and within increasingly tight timelines. A Covid-19 mass-testing campaign for Liverpool, for example, was briefed on a Monday and went live on Friday across digital, radio and out of home.

Over the past year, McCambley has been involved in more than 60 campaigns at both a national and local level, including “Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives” and  “Enjoy summer safely”.  In November she worked with the NHS on the launch of its biggest recruitment drive to date amid England’s second coronavirus lockdown. NHS “Then, now, always” featured real people, patients and situations, and looked back on the NHS, from its foundation 72 years ago to the present day, and forward to what the future might bring.


Carly Avener, managing director, Leo Burnett 

Carly Avenar became MD in 2019. During 2020, she played a pivotal role in bringing in new business, as well as increasing organic growth among existing client relationships. She has also prioritised diversity, equity and inclusion and devised new approaches to recruitment, resulting in the agency attracting a more diverse workforce.

Jennifer Black, managing director, Havas London

In 2020, under Jennifer Black’s lead, Havas London achieved its highest client satisfaction scores ever. Black also devised the agency’s “Press Pause” initiative, a framework through which employees can challenge problematic views and behaviours. In 2020, following the Black Lives Matter protests, Press Pause became an industry standard to support inclusive, unbiased conversations around representation. 

Peter Grenfell, managing director, VCCP Kin

In 2020, Peter Grenfell delivered what VCCP describes as the “most outstanding run of pitch wins on record for the agency”, gaining work for brands across a range of sectors. He was also behind the launch of VCCP’s Jungle Studios, the agency’s in-house audio facility, aimed at bolstering its broadcast and production capabilities.

Sarah Jenkins, managing director, Saatchi & Saatchi

In the last 12 months, Sarah Jenkins has strengthened client relationships across the agency with the likes of Direct Line and Kerry Foods and worked with the leadership team to launch an industry-transforming commitment to diversity and inclusion. Nurturing the next generation of experts has also been a key objective – Jenkins co-designed Publicis Groupe’s “Open Apprenticeship”, a digital platform accelerating talent opportunities.

Karim Slim, global lead, MRM McCann UK

Karim Slim heads up MRM McCann UK’s international accounts. With a Middle East-focused role, Slim has been able to provide a degree of counterbalance to the UK effects of Covid. With the pandemic impacting countries in cycles, Slim focused on different countries at different times enabling the agency to grow both in terms of team size and revenue.