The Market Research Society (MRS) has announced today that its next President is to be Rita Clifton, Chairman of Interbrand. She will take up the appointment in April following the completion of Jeremy Bullmore’s five-year term.
Rita Clifton has deployed research throughout her career in advertising, planning, and branding.
After graduating from Cambridge University, her career began at DMB&B, followed by an appointment at J.Walter Thompson.
In 1986, Rita joined Saatchi & Saatchi, progressing in 1992 to Director of Strategic Planning and in 1995 to Executive Planning Director and Vice- Chairman. During her time with the company she worked with a wide variety of prominent clients including Procter & Gamble, British Airways, Visa International, PowerGen and British Telecom.
In 1997, Rita Clifton joined Interbrand, first as Chief Executive in London and subsequently as Chairman in 2002. Interbrand is a leading brand consultancy and pioneer of brand valuation, brand equity tracking and brand futures.
It also publishes the widely quoted annual league table of the world’s 100 most valuable brands. Rita’s writing includes the APG’s ‘International Account Planning’, ‘The Future of Brands’ and most recently, The Economist book ‘Brands & Branding’.
Rita Clifton has a wide range of business and policy interests, including involvement in several Government projects on environmental and communication issues.
She served on the Sustainable Development Commission with Sir Jonathon Porritt for five years and is a Trustee of WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature). She has also been on the Board of Advisers for the Judge Business School at Cambridge University and is on the Business Advisory Board for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
She has chaired several industry committees. In addition to full membership of MRS, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, of the Marketing Society and of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
She also holds various non-executive directorships, including DSG international plc (formerly Dixons Group) and as Chairman of Populus, the reputation research consultancy and pollster to the Times. In 2007, she was appointed Visiting Professor at Henley Management College.
Commenting on the appointment, MRS Chairman and Managing Director for Logistics at Ipsos MORI, Rowland Lloyd, said:
“Extending the MRS brand values of professionalism, research excellence and business effectiveness more widely into the client community of research users is high on our priority list – as is building on the new discipline of insight management which integrates data from multiple sources. Rita Clifton’s extensive experience combined with her knowledge of market research will be invaluable in positioning MRS to achieve its full potential.”
David Barr, MRS Director General, added:
“Over many years, MRS has benefitted enormously from the contribution to strategic direction made by distinguished Presidents. We have been extremely fortunate in many key debates of the last five years to have had access to the knowledge, wisdom, and humour of Jeremy Bullmore. Now we look forward to having Rita Clifton as our President during the next important phase of our development.”
Commenting on her appointment, Rita Clifton said:
‘I am delighted to have been invited to take up this role and I have great respect for the work of the MRS. I very much look forward to getting formally involved, although stepping into Jeremy’s rather large shoes will be a test! It does seem to me that there are some big challenges and opportunities for the research world over the next few years and it will be exciting to be able to contribute what I can”.