Industry mourns WWAV chief Ward

The direct marketing industry has paid tribute to WWAV co-founder Rinalda Ward – one of the leading figures in the formation of today’s business – who passed away on December 29, following a lengthy illness.
Rinalda started her career in the early days of direct mail, working for British & International Addressing in the Seventies which ultimately became DDM – the agency where Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray (now Proximity) founders Chris Barraclough and Simon Hall began in the business.
She met John Watson at the Montreux direct marketing symposium and joined Trenear Harvey Bird & Watson in the late Seventies. Rinalda then joined with John Watson and Chris Albert to establish WWAV in 1981.
By the mid-Eighties, WWAV (now Rapp, pictured) had become the largest DM agency in the UK. Watson said: “A great deal of credit must be given to Rinalda’s enormous professionalism in direct mail, list buying and data processing, where her experience and attention to detail established DM as the prime medium for organisations such as NSPCC and The Salvation Army.”
At WWAV, she was instrumental in establishing an account management structure that attracted some of the brightest people in the business.
While there, she helped to establish the china collectables company Compton & Woodhouse, which, following the sale of WWAV to Omnicom in the Nineties, became independent. Rinalda (by then Rinalda Demetriou) continued to run Compton’s as managing director until she retired in April 2008.
Watson added: “She will be sorely missed by many people in the business.”
Compton’s director Ivor Samuels said: “Rinalda very strong lady, indeed. When she ran Compton & Woodhouse, she earned the respect of some of the most chauvinistic males in the Potteries by demanding standards higher than those of their industry. Competitors like Franklin, Danbury and Bradford all regarded her as highly as did her colleagues.”
The Compton & Woodhouse brand has faced tough times over the past few years after Compton & Woodhouse Limited went into administration in May 2009. The firm was bought by Haroldrex Ventures, led by former Flying Flowers chief Mark Dugdale, although, following financial issues it went into liquidation in September 2011.
However, the Compton & Woodhouse brand was bought and revived earlier in 2010 by Samuels and has been operating ever since at http://www.comptonandwoodhouse.co.uk/.

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1 Comment on "Industry mourns WWAV chief Ward"

  1. Charlie says: A really lovely lady who will be sorely missed. It is easy to forget the pioneers of UK direct marketing but there is little doubt that Rinalda and her co-founders at WWAV were a major force in turning what was once a cottage industry into one of the driving forces of the UK economy…

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