Talk to anyone who's met MT Rainey and the same characteristics come up again and again: cool, intelligent, very Scottish, intensely private. For a marketer very much in the news this week, few people really know the person behind the calm exterior. Marketing set out to find what makes this marketer tick.
After an hour's interview, the woman behind the mask begins to emerge. Marie Theresa Rainey came to advertising from what she describes as a "totally noncommercial" upbringing in Scotland. After a psychology degree from Glasgow University she took an Msc at Aston in Signal Detection Theory. Her dissertation was eventually published by NATO - a rare distinction for academics, let alone someone in the adworld.
She got her first job as a marketing executive on Motorboat and Yachting magazine. It was while at IPC that she became interested in advertising - mainly from leafing through the pages of Campaign - and after a flurry of letters to prospective employers, landed a job as account executive at Davidson Pearce.
In the late 70s, she moved to TBWA where she made her mark as an account planner with industry stars Bartle, Bogle, and Hegarty. In 1980, Barry Pritchard, now of the Planning Partnership, was setting up the planning department of Gold Greenlees Trott. "I wanted the best I could lay my hands on," he says. With Damian O'Malley, Charlie Robertson and Simon Clemmow he scored pretty well and then appointed Rainey (by now calling herself the more user-friendly "MT") to his first planning team. "She always had her own distinctive style", says Pritchard. "She understands good advertising and what planning can do to achieve it."
The respect of clients will be a crucial asset in her new venture with ex GGT managing director Jim Kelly and top creative duo Campbell and Roalfe, part of the original founding team of the Banks Partnership. The new agency, which opens its doors next Monday, October 4, is one of the first start-ups for years - a brave move while the recession's chill still lingers.
"What you've got to ask is why these four people should want to do this," demands Rainey. Each of the protagonists behind Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe has given up a comfortable living in a well-respected agency to risk their reputation - and their shirt - on their self-proclaimed mission to "reinvent the advertising agency."
In the face of a journalist's natural scepticism, Rainey supplies the answer with conviction: "It's because we believe in it."
But what sort of character is the new agency's joint head? Pritchard testifies to her ability to enjoy herself, but adds enigmatically, she is very much a "west of Scotland person" - very driven." She has also developed the reputation of finding it difficult to work with advertising creatives. But it's her capacity to think ahead that remains in Visage Business TV director Kevin Gavaghan's memory. As the former marketing director of Midland Bank he switched the bank's account from Allen Brady Marsh to Chiat/Day in 1989. …