Helen Calcraft has been handed the new-business task at Abbott Mead
Vickers BBDO with a brief to help attract clients to the agency for the
She steps in to fill the business development role vacated by Chris
Thomas, who quit to become managing director of Ammirati Puris Lintas
(Campaign, 22 August).
The former drama student becomes only the third new-business director in
the 20-year history of the agency, which relied on its high-profile
creative work as its main new-business tool until 1992.
A more proactive approach was signalled by the arrival of Cilla Snowball
- now head of client services - from Ogilvy & Mather as AMV’s first,
formal new-business head.
Andrew Robertson, the managing director of AMV, said that although
Calcraft would have day-to-day responsibility for the agency’s business
development and publicity programme, her key role was a long-term
’We have a focused new-business programme and we know exactly which
clients we would like to work with in the next five years,’ he added.
’Helen’s role is to develop and implement plans to make that possible.
Despite being a very large agency we still have a surprising number of
Calcraft’s new role will result in a scaling down of her account
responsibilities, which include Dulux, Ovaltine and Kiss FM. She will
also combine the job with her studies for an MBA at the London Business
The agency considered appointing an outsider before opting for
’The job involves working closely with people within the agency so it’s
easier to make an appointment from within,’ Robertson said.