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Hail to the King
Annette King has been crowned a Dame for her contribution to the industry and we applaud
17 June 2023
"A working-class girl from Swindon". That's how Annette King describes herself in her quote accompanying the announcement that she has been made a Dame.
It's a typical understatement (while that may be true of her background, she's much more than that) although her achievements, of which her new Damehood - announced today - is the latest, should provide inspiration to others from similar humble roots.
'Competitive' is the one word that most people associate with Dame Annette. But she's also a force of nature (and one to to be reckoned with), no-nonsense, kind, tough, industrious, compassionate, and great fun.
Her DBE is in acknowledgment of her service to the creative industries and she joins a small and exclusive group of individuals who have received similar recognition for their contribution to the advertising industry - Dame Cilla Snowball, Sir Nigel Bogle and Sir John Hegarty immediately spring to mind.
Dame Annette, the incoming global lead for Accenture Song Communications, has risen from the sometimes sleepy backwater of Direct Marketing to become one of the most powerful women in advertising.
As chair of the Advertising Association she has been a vocal and passionate advocate of the value of advertising to people, society and the economy., while also ensuring that it is trusted, inclusive and sustainable.
She was made the first country manager of Publicis Groupe in the UK, which brought all of its agency brands under her remit and which she left earlier this year in very good shape. She sits on the UK Investment Council representing the creative industries, and is a former chair of the Creative Industries Trade & Investment Board.
Her new role will see her work across Accenture Song’s suite of creative and tech offerings, and comprises leading scores of agencies including Droga5; David Droga, CEO of Accenture Song, commented: “We knew our King was incredible long before the new King did".
In short, Dame Annette isn't frightened of hard graft and, incidentally, she has been doing all this - and more as the mother of two children - while dealing with her own health issues this year.
Dame Annette's commitment to people-focussed initiatives (perhaps informed on those streets of Swindon) have included championing neurodiversity, inclusion for those with disabilities, gender and race equality and LGBTQ+ programmes.
Of her elevation to Damehood, she said: "I couldn’t be happier. The future is bright for our industry and I’m looking forward to continuing to play my part in defining what’s next."
Not bad for a "working-class girl from Swindon". So raise a glass (or two) of Chardonnay to Dame Annette King: one of the best and one of our own.