Cruickshank takes IPA DM role

The IPA has confirmed the appointment of LIDA chief executive Mel Cruickshank as the new chairman of the Direct Marketing Group, succeeding Stephens Francis Whitson planning partner Chris Whitson.
The aim of the DM Group is to enable IPA members to share knowledge about direct marketing issues, expand the industry’s understanding of how to engage intelligently with the consumer, and provide training opportunities in DM for IPA members.
Cruickshank said: “I’m really keen to get started. I believe our role is to provide better customer understanding. I would like us to produce thought pieces and best practice guides to support this, and to promote fantastic creative that is driven by great customer insight. We will also have a focus on training and how we can develop this further with the IPA.”
Cruickshank joined LIDA in 2000, having worked at many of the DM industry’s founding agencies, including MRM, Smith Bundy, GGT Direct and TBWA/GGT. She is credited with being integral to the growth of LIDA, winning clients such as Boots, IKEA, Mini and RAF. Cruickshank was promoted to chief executive from managing director last summer after LIDA co-founder Lisa Thomas took on the role of M&C Saatchi Group chief executive.
Under Whitson’s leadership, the DM Group pioneered the IPA Summer School which promotes marketing and advertising to undergraduates and has helped to find new upcoming talent for the industry, with over 40 per cent of Summer School students now pursuing careers in agencies.
He also championed the ‘fair marketing promise’ concept in the belief that in addition to financial services, all companies should seek to build trust with consumers based on openness and clarity, rather than small print and confusion.

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