Debbie has spent the last 30 plus years immersed in the advertising industry. She began her career as a planner in several regional ad agencies, moving onto the client side for a short spell and then joined ISBA in 1989 – where she is now Director of Consultancy & Best Practice and part of the management team which runs this client side trade body.
She manages a team which looks after the practical consultancy needs of ISBA’s British advertiser members who represent 3000 brands spending approx. £10b annually on communications activities. She delivers more than 1500 consultancy projects and conversations with advertisers each year, including running 80 plus agency pitches, helping to create and negotiate multiple agency contracts, including framework media terms which are challenging media transparency issues. Benchmarking fee structures and being involved in numerous discussions on how to improve client/agency relationships.
Via a constant dialogue with CMO’s and Procurement teams she has her finger on the pulse of all key trends in client/agency relationships from in-housing, production de-coupling, influencer marketing to marketing transformation and much more.
She has an in-depth knowledge of the UK agency marketplace and beyond and monitors key trends in the communications industry on a global basis, speaking at conferences and providing commentary on key issues in the press.
She is a pro-activist in the development of industry best practices/guidance and was instrumental in developing and negotiating model framework agreements for creative services to reflect the more converged services of our contemporary communications world. Responding to the trend in use of influencer marketers she also created the world’s first set of framework agreements for brands working direct with social talent, this work won a WFA Presidents Award in 2018 for excellence in industry Leadership, her third award for industry leadership activities.
She also works very closely with the UK agencies' trade bodies to develop guidance on how clients can obtain the maximum effect from relationships with communications suppliers. Current projects include an initiative involving the 6 media agency networks, CMO’s and procurement heads to improve trust and sustainability in client media agency relationships, following a turbulent few years with transparency issues driving he agenda.
She works closely with academics tracking trends through studies into agency remuneration and contract management, agency relationships & evaluation, marketing resources structures etc.
Debbie holds an honours degree in Fine Art, qualifications in Marketing and has attended and is now part of the Hyper Island Alumni. She is also a member of the elite women’s group WACL.
"I was delighted to agree to judge the business awards. Much of my time is spent advising advertisers on their commercial negotiations with their agency partners so I know how important it is for an agency to have a great commercial backbone and be run effectively and efficiently . Our communications world is ever evolving so I will be looking in particular for evidence of progressive and innovative or new ways of managing the agency business which reflect the realities of the new dynamic communications world."