Marilyn Baxter, vice-chairman and executive planning director at
Saatchi & Saatchi and one of the industry’s most respected planners, is
quitting the agency to become chairman of the research company, Hall &
Baxter joined Saatchis in 1985 and played a key part in the rebuilding
of the agency following the departure of Charles and Maurice Saatchi in
1995. She is perhaps best known in the industry for her work with the
IPA and has been chairman of the IPA Effectiveness Committee for the
past two-and-a-half years, a role she will now relinquish.
’There is an interesting US phenomenon called ’second wind’ whereby
members of the baby-boomer generation are starting out in new careers in
their fifties,’ Baxter said.
’I could easily have lived out my working days winding down here, but I
still feel very energetic.’
Adam Crozier, joint chief executive of Saatchis, commented: ’Marilyn has
played a key part in our success over the past four years. We will miss
her, but wish her all the best in her new role.’
Nick Phillips, director-general of the IPA, said: ’She has been a key
player at the IPA for ten years. She’s been a brilliant committee
chairman. I shall miss her hugely.’
Hall & Partners was set up six years ago by Mike Hall, himself a former
agency planner, and is one of the best-known advertising research
companies in the UK. Baxter joins in July and will act as a figurehead
for the company with responsibility for all of Europe.
Saatchis’ planning department will now be run day-to-day by Andy Davies,
who becomes planning director. The agency will recruit a new executive
planning director to replace Baxter.
Baxter joined Saatchis when it took over her previous agency, Grandfield
Rork Collins. Many people expected her to join the ’rebels’ after the
departure of the Saatchi brothers, but she remained loyal to Saatchis
and became the agency’s vice-chairman and head of client services.