Miranda Hipwel

celebrating brilliant account women

Nice People Win: Miranda Hipwell

The CEO of adam&eveDDB is our latest star to feature in our celebratory account people series

By creative salon

Being nice is a business strength. It's Miranda Hipwell's superpower. The 'newish' adam&eveDDB CEO's superpower is widely acknowledged to lay the foundations of loyalty, trust and openness - both at the agency and with her clients.

Hipwell (or Miri to those who know her well) was promoted to CEO in November last year, elevating from her role as chief client officer. A key part of adam&eveDDB’s success over the 12 years she has been at the creative agency, Hipwell has played a key role in taking the business to the next level while always ensuring that the people around her are genuinely cared for.

The agency's client Phoebe Barter, Aviva’s group brand director, has this to say about Hipwell: "I was once told that the secret to building high performing teams is hiring people who are both immensely talented and nice – in equal measure. Miri is well and truly both of these things, with an added dose of aspiration and ambition.

"A great people person who gets the best out of her team and clients by a mix of interest, challenge, innovation, as well as being genuinely caring. Miri is as at home in the detail as she is in the strategy, as she is in asking about the family. She’s a delight to work with, professionally and personally, which I think just about sums up a brilliant account person."

For over a decade, the freshly appointed CEO has flourished in adam&eveDDB’s account department, starting out as an account director in 2012 and rising to group managing director and chief client officer in 2021 and 2023 respectively. Before joining the creative agency in Bishops Bridge Road, Hipwell held account director and manager roles at Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide.

While we are celebrating the account woman in Hipwell, her peers are constantly reminded of her love and commitment to all areas of the business, “which come through in everything she does,” Tammy Einav, executive chair, adam&eveDDB, adds. "Miri is the definition of brilliant. Passionate about creativity, compassionate towards people, consummate with clients and just all round a wonderful person. Whenever she is around, everything feels better."

Tell us about one experience you’ve had as an account person that made you really proud.

One memory that springs to mind is from the early stages of my career, long before I joined Adam&Eve/DDB. This was in the dawn of digital marketing, and we were far from the measurement, optimisation, and AI chitchat of 2024. At the time, we were making highly inefficient microsites for each campaign we created. When a beauty client came to us asking for a brand-new evergreen website in eight languages by the end of their fiscal year, which was but a few months away, it was a pretty overwhelming brief. 

The initial design phase was a breeze, but when it came to transforming it from wireframes into a living, breathing site across multiple languages and markets, that demanded a huge amount of hard graft from everyone involved. I remember lengthy Saturdays of inputting shade numbers into content management systems and uncovering the inevitable peppering of languages we hadn’t even briefed across the myriad of pages of content. 

There were times when it felt like an insurmountable task, but our tenacity prevailed, and we launched the site (pretty much) on time. I still feel a sense of pride in that project and it also provided some great early lessons in how to make difficult things happen. 

I also feel great pride when others are successful, especially when I’ve worked with someone for a long time and really got to know them. For example, when Caroline Grayson was made managing director of VCCP New York, I was delighted. Caroline, who previously led the John Lewis account when she was Business Director at Adam&Eve, has always been a stellar account person and her rise in the Big Apple is a testament to that. The days we spent working together on John Lewis were golden, and often filled with Pret brownies and laughter as we toiled away to land campaigns such as “Man on the Moon” and “Buster the Boxer”. I always feel happy and proud when people I’ve been lucky enough to work with are successful. 

What’s been the biggest learning you’ve had in your career? 

When I was working on Head & Shoulders for Saatchi & Saatchi, we had the most amazing team. In between discussing the freedom one derives from being dandruff free, we were each other’s mates and life counsellors. I remember one particularly challenging day, when Caroline Gammage, who was the regional client lead, told us about something she had read – that when the going gets tough, we should all get curious. This would help us remove emotions and objectively explore where a challenge might take us. From then on, we would respond to tricky requests with “how curious!” and this is something that has stayed with me since. 

With that in mind, I’d say the biggest lesson I’ve learnt in my career so far is to remain inquisitive and embrace discomfort, because that’s when you learn the most. Feeling ever so slightly exposed and occasionally swimming in ambiguity is what it’s all about, and it’s working through the good, the bad, and the ugly that builds resilience, enhances your experience, and builds your ability to take on the next challenge that is thrown at you. 

What’s that one skill that the best account people you know have?

The ability to think broadly while also going deep into detail. You have to be everywhere all at once, because a good account person is thinking about the past, present and future for all of their clients all of the time. 

You also need to be agile and ensure you have enough focus and knowledge to make the right decisions and provide the right counsel, moving fast but in an informed manner. 

In practice, this can mean working on a robust, five-year strategy, alongside getting a reactive social post out within hours before it loses its impact. Both of these tasks are important and must complement each other, but they require different skills. This means you’re constantly oscillating, which can feel exhausting, but I think the best account people thrive on it and find it drives momentum. 

Being tapped into the living, breathing reality of multiple clients and the agency is always a fast-paced and often challenging job, but it's also eternally interesting. 

What makes for a strong, productive client/agency relationship?

Communication. This involves seeking to understand more deeply through all means, including listening in a one-to-one conversation or grasping the bigger picture though a company’s annual report, press coverage, or business results. It’s important to think beyond the immediate. With clear communication you can diagnose what’s behind the brief, figure out motivations and use your own professional and personal insights to create a fuller picture. 

With all of these ingredients and the richer understanding and context, you can then guide the agency to better work and make the client happy at the same time. Knowledge provides much needed insulation from the inevitable challenges of the creative process, and it is, most definitely, power. 

What advice would you give to people wanting to be a brilliant account person?

My top advice is to never assume anything. A good account person needs to be open to ambiguity, constantly curious and committed. You’re in it for the long haul so it’s important to look to the future for your clients while also remaining focused on the details. Having a long-term vision will drive evolution and growth for you, the agency and your clients. But it’s the details that make the difference between being good and being outstanding, and all of the best account people strive to be outstanding.


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