Pillar of Left defects from CND to Saatchi

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The Independent Online
A doyenne of the Left who was chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, as well as a leading light at the Commission for Racial Equality, has moved to a senior job with the advertising agency that helped the Conservative Party win four general elections.

Marjorie Thompson, whose impeccably liberal-left curriculum vitae includes stints advising Aids and cancer charities, as well as 10 years with CND, is joining Saatchi & Saatchi to head up what it calls the UK's first "cause- related marketing" division.

As head of the CRE's marketing and PR effort for the last four years, Ms Thompson was herself a Saatchi & Saatchi client before taking the new job.

She worked for CND from its height in 1983, when it was targeted as an :enemy within" by the Thatcher government.

As well as working in marketing and PR for the CRE and CND, American- born Ms Thompson has worked as a parliamentary lobbyist for the Royal College of Nursing. Saatchi & Saatchi is her first private-sector employer.

"The people who did the Conservatives' advertising have left," said Ms Thompson yesterday. "Still, if Saatchi & Saatchi had ever offered to work for CND to convince people of the need for nuclear disarmament we would have signed up with them.

"Instead the Labour Party never explained its policies convincingly and nuclear disarmament was used as a convenient scapegoat for electoral defeat."

Ms Thompson's brief is to bring together private companies, who want to use good causes as an aspect of their marketing and advertising effort, and charities looking for promotional funding. Saatchi & Saatchi wants to be the agency that creates their joint campaigns.

Ms Thompson's appointment was announced at a Media Trust conference addressed by Peter Mandelson, the Minister Without Portfolio.