Women to Watch

Women to Watch: Cilla Snowball, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Group Chairman and Group CEO

By Published on .

Cilla Snowball is a fitting name for an agency boss who counts PepsiCo as a client -- the drinks giant used to make a drink called the Sno Ball.

Cilla Snowball
Cilla Snowball
But the real life Ms. Snowball is more than just a pretty name. She's the most powerful woman in British advertising, thanks to her role as group chairman and group CEO of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which has been sitting comfortably at the top of the U.K. billings league for the past 15 years.

She is also chairman and CEO of the four other companies in the BBDO U.K. group, a member of the BBDO Worldwide board, and chair of the Advertising Association. In 2009, Queen Elizabeth made her a Commander of the British Empire, honoring her services to advertising.

Despite the heavy workload, Ms. Snowball is well known for her approachable and down-to-earth personality. "It's not about being busy," she said. "It's important to me to feel that I've achieved something each day."

Andrew Robertson, president-CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said, "I do not know of any individual in our company . . . whose clients love them more than Cilla's love her."

Ms. Snowball -- whose integrity, Mr. Robertson added, is "simply impossible to top" -- inspires devotion from all around her.

What's something that surprises people about you?
I catch lobsters.

What's your favorite kind of music?
Anything classical, rousing and British (it's the Jubilee, after all).

What is your dream vacation spot?
Great Barrier Island, New Zealand or our holiday place in the Scilly Isles off Cornwall.

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