Magazine article Marketing

Salvation Man: Julius Wolff-Ingham, Head of Marketing, Salvation Army

Magazine article Marketing

Salvation Man: Julius Wolff-Ingham, Head of Marketing, Salvation Army

Article excerpt

Julius Wolff-Ingham likes a tipple of wine and isn't a regular church-goer. Not your usual advocate for The Salvation Army but then Wolff-Ingham spent almost a decade working for agencies before switching sides to take on the marketing brief for the Sally Army.

It is quite a job. The organisation is commonly perceived as an out-dated, hymn-singing, bible-bashing bunch of amateur do-gooders, harking back to Victorian Britain. The reality is different. The Salvation Army runs five substance abuse detoxification centres, works in conjunction with social services to help abused children, helps the homeless and looks after many elderly and lonely people.

Wolff-Ingham's task is to try to get other aspects of its work over to the public. For the first time in its 133-year history, the organisation is using marketing savvy by promoting its charitable activities through a billboard poster and press campaign designed to coincide with an annual round of fundraising events.

To the world of commercial venture, the campaign signifies little. To the Salvation Army, it is an important milestone marking a rebirth and the embracing of commercial instincts.

Wolff-Ingham, 34, may not be a life-long Sally Army man but he is still the epitome of middle-class respectability, ideally suited to the post of head of marketing with the organisation. Brought up in one of the bastions of the middle-classes, Cheltenham, he was educated at Keeble College, Oxford, has a taste for choral music, opera and fine wine and has apparently never deviated from the path of conformity. Not even in his youth.

At an age when many teenagers are indulging in fags and fumbles behind the bike sheds, Wolff-Ingham was drawn to attend church because of an interest in organ and choir music. This led to a deeper interest in Christianity and the eventual completion of a Master's degree in theology. The step to wanting to become priest was a short one.

Given his nature - sensitive, considerate, compassionate - and an urge to withdraw from the world tempered by the need to make a living, he would have been suited to the profession.

However, after two years in Italy teaching English, he concluded that a life devoted to the cloth was an onerous commitment and not one that he felt capable of.

His interest in marketing started in the mid-80s. On his return from Italy he wanted a career that would let him be creative with a "degree of freedom". …

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