Advertising chief Mendelsohn: UK must beat Mad Men

Nicola Mendelsohn

Nicola Mendelsohn

The first female president of the UK's main advertising body has expressed her hope that British firms can rival Manhattan's Mad Men.

Nicola Mendelsohn, a well-known figure in the advertising industry, took on the top job at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) this week after being nominated for the role in December.

The appointment puts her at the forefront of a body which deals with more than 80 per cent of Britain's advertising agency business.

The chairman and partner of creative advertising agency Karmarama, Ms Mendelsohn grew up in Manchester and studied at Leeds University.

The golden age of advertising, as seen on the series Mad Men

The golden age of advertising, as seen on the series Mad Men

The mother-of-four, who spent four years as deputy chairman of advertising agency Grey London, chairs the corporate board of Women's Aid.

In her inaugural speech to the IPA she promised to create "a new generation of creative pioneers" and announced plans for partnerships with Google, Facebook and the BBC.

Noting the tendency of advertising companies to retreat to nostalgia and look "longingly at Mad Men", Ms Mendelsohn added: "I want the leading creative lights of the Valley and Hollywood to think of the UK first, before they think of Madison Avenue.

"I want to see the UK as a hotbed for innovation as we seek better connections with these industries."

    Last updated: 12:30pm, April 7 2011