Fiona Carter

Omnicom Group

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5 of 26 > GO TO Next 2006 Woman to Watch

The challenge of running the consumer business for a marketer as big as Bank of America would intimidate many, but not Fiona Carter. After all, she has the pedigree to work for a brand that big.
Fiona Carter, exec VP-integration director for BofA, Omnicom Group


Before she recently moved up to Omnicom Group's corporate level as exec VP-integration director for BofA, Ms. Carter worked on one of the biggest corporate brands there is, as worldwide account director for BBDO Worldwide's relationship with General Electric Co. Ms. Carter, 37, cut her teeth on one of her native Britain's most prestigious companies, supermarket giant Tesco. And along the way, during stints at Lowe, London, and D'Arcy, she's worked on Tylenol, Campbell and Procter & Gamble Co. brands.

For BofA, whose $600 million integrated marketing account Ms. Carter helped Omnicom land last year, she's charged with helping craft big ideas that stretch across various marketing disciplines. Ms. Carter says her Omnicom perch, from which she helps to coordinate a core team of eight agencies including BBDO, will free her from the disciplinary entanglements that often limit channel-agnostic thinking.

"This is the way the business is moving, but there are few people who have the license to be liberated to do that because most of us are in individual advertising or direct agencies," she says.

Both her old boss and her new boss say Ms. Carter's holistic thinking is what makes her stand out. "She's not a knee-jerk thinker," says John Osborn, CEO of BBDO, New York. "She's good at coming up with marketing solutions, not just advertising solutions."

"She's very smart and very strategic, and I think that comes from the fact that she didn't just grow up in account management," adds Omnicom Exec VP Susan Smith Ellis, referring to Ms. Carter's pre-BBDO stint at Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve.

Ms. Carter decided to get into advertising shortly after graduating from Oxford. At Bates, she got an early taste of working on big integrated accounts, with its Compaq business that included above- and below-the line work.

"I relish working with brands of scale," she says. "It's a chance to help produce work that really affects people. If you do it right, people around the world will talk about your work at the water-coolers and pubs."
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