Women to Watch 2007

Carole Walker

Masterfoods USA

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"Full-contact" communications is Carole Walker's mission. Since being promoted to marketing services director last January at Masterfoods USA, Ms. Walker, 48, has been hard at work inspiring collaboration between agency partners.

Carole Walker, marketing services director, Masterfoods USA

"The way the media marketplace has evolved requires a blending of all the different disciplines and a lot of collaboration," Ms. Walker says emphatically. "I don't want our brand folks to act as referees between the agencies and their great ideas."

Ms. Walker's goal is to create an atmosphere that doesn't pit agencies against one another, but rather one where "it's hard to know which agency an idea came from," she says.

Such full contact, she believes, will result in "remarkable programs for all of our brands." Ms. Walker points to Pedigree dog food's successful "Dogs rule" campaign. The cause-marketing effort focused on dog adoption and pulled together teams from agencies and the brand to get the message out at every contact point.

Ms. Walker's "expertise in media and promotion ... [has] allowed her to make extraordinary contributions to our business," says Michele Kessler, VP-marketing.

These days, roughly 60% of Ms. Walker's time is spent on so-called "new media" and on taking traditional media to the next level in areas such as branded entertainment. The M&M's spokes-candies, for example, have broken out of their traditional role in TV spots to appear in other venues, most recently as guest reporters on "Entertainment Tonight."

Ms. Walker says that creative efforts like that -- what she calls "appointment creative," where consumers put your ads on YouTube -- are increasingly crucial. "It's great to have consumers living ... your ad messages."
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