Tory Party picks former ad exec to head marketing as rebrand looms

The Conservative Party has hired former ad agency account director Anna-Maren Ashford as its chief marketer as the party looks set to undergo a major rebrand featuring a new-look logo.

Ashford, who joins from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, where she worked on the Virgin Mobile and Powergen accounts, will have the title head of brand. She is thought to be the party’s first marketing chief since former 02 marketer Will Harris was hired by former leader Michael Howard in 2003 as director of marketing, only to leave the role nine months later.

It is understood Ashford, who has already joined the party, has been hired by Steve Hilton, director of communications for The Conservative Party. Hilton, a former M&C Saatchi advertising executive, was appointed by leader David Cameron and is one of the coterie of Tory modernisers surrounding Cameron, who are known as the “Notting Hill set”.

One source says the party is concentrating on getting its brand right before launching any new policies. But he warns: “The challenge of coming in to this marketing role is that the party is not really a marketing-led organisation. Change has to run across all aspects of the organisation and its points of contact with ‘customers’, but the party constitution puts power into the hands of constituency organisations.”

There is speculation that the torch logo of the Thatcher era is to be axed. An oak tree is thought to be the favoured replacement.

Ashford is expected to play a key role in hiring an ad agency for the party’s next election campaign. In 2005 the Conservatives worked with Immediate Sales, a division of M&C Saatchi. Although the campaign ended in the Tories’ third successive defeat, the agency claimed it had helped the party secure its “biggest electoral success for 22 years”.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here