Women to Watch 2009

Maureen Linder

VP-Global Advertising, Campbell Soup Co.

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- When Maureen Linder* took over as VP-global advertising at Campbell Soup Co. in January, she familiarized herself with the company's advertising "across the portfolio, to understand the insights driving the advertising" and how effective that advertising was "at both building the brand and driving the business."

Maureen Linder

Ms. Linder, 46, hasn't made any agency changes since starting her job, but she said there are some differences to the brand's advertising, changes made as the economy has worsened and consumers are eating more at home. For instance, Campbell's has focused on deals for $1 and disseminated recipes that sing with a can of condensed soup.

"In this economy we need to communicate the value of our brand to our consumer, and that's more than just price. It's what value we're bringing at an affordable price," Ms. Linder said. "Part of the value we can offer consumer today is around recipes and how they can utilize our soups to make affordable meals for their families."

The company is also in the midst of a multiyear push of its reduced-sodium soups.

In her role, Ms. Linder oversees Campbell's agencies and worldwide advertising output. Brand Campbell's primary agencies are BBDO and Y&R, both New York. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Campbell's spent about $554 million in measured media during 2008.

'Perfect recipe'
"Maureen is a terrific partner," said John Osborn, president-CEO, of BBDO New York. "Her approach to communications is a perfect recipe that blends passion for the business with strong creative instincts to create an environment of collaboration, teamwork and excellence." He added that Ms. Linder "has an uncanny ability to distill the essence of an idea and to see where science and the art of an idea intersect. She encourages the agency in a way that brings out the best in our ideation process."

Ms. Linder has been at Campbell's since 1997. She previously held the same position at Pepperidge Farm. She has also worked on the adult-snacks business. Ms. Linder also has worked for Barilla, Quaker and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

These days, Ms. Linder has been thinking about the "the changing media marketplace and what leverage there might be for Campbell's in that softening market space." The company, which has been increasing and decreasing marketing spending on its flagship soup business to accommodate numerous launches, has lately focused its TV spots on getting consumers online, where they can learn about the portfolio, find recipes and download coupons.

Ms. Linder admits to a career-long fascination with the food industry. "There are changes, but there's a lot that's stable," she said. "Our brands have been around for 140 years, so there's a lot that's stable. But there's a lot that changing with science and daily consumption habits. ... It's a dynamic industry."

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In an earlier version of this story, Ms. Linder's name was misspelled.

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