Heckel will be tasked with helping to increase the charity’s £90m annual turnover from its shops and pet insurance services, which help fund its veterinary care and advice services.
PDSA has used direct marketing, digital and PR to help raise funds in recent years. A spokesman for the charity says Heckel’s appointment means its media strategy is now “under review”.
The charity has been without a marketing director since John Cole left in June 2012. Director general Janice Lynn McLoughlin has been leading activity in the interim.
Heckel joins from Circle Housing Group where she was executive director. Prior to this, she held senior marketing positions at several brands including Dunlop, Nissan, Virgin Trains, National Trust and Thomson, where she is said to have launched online sub brand Thomsonfly.