Ruth Blakemore’s shock exit from Cable & Wireless Communications at
the end of last week has left Rapier Stead & Bowden, its newly appointed
agency, without a marketing director to report to throughout the period
of its pounds 25 million consumer launch advertising campaign.
The autumn launch campaign will be co-ordinated by Helen Burt, head of
brand communications, who will report to Greg Clarke, the chief
Blakemore left as a result of the axing of her marketing director’s
role. After an internal review, it was decided that the marketing
department should report to Clarke rather than directly to the chief
executive, Graham Wallace.
Wallace said: ’Ruth has laid the foundation for a successful launch of
the CWC brand. She has worked tirelessly to do so and we wish her every
success wherever her considerable skills take her.’
A CWC spokeswoman added: ’Ruth didn’t want to stay without a fully
fledged marketing director’s role.’ The present structure will continue
at least until the launch period is over.
Blakemore is known as a marketing maverick. Her choice of Rapier, an
agency with little experience of major above-the-line work, raised
eyebrows earlier this month when Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
and HHCL & Partners lost out after a competitive pitch (Campaign, 4
Blakemore was made the marketing director of CWC earlier this year,
after the company was formed from the merger of Cable & Wireless’s
Mercury Communications, Nynex CableComms, Videotron and Bell Cablemedia.
She had been the marketing director of Bell Cablemedia since 1995.
Before that she was the marketing director of Virgin Atlantic Airways,
where she hired Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe to the account.
Leader, page 19.