David’s career was initially in marketing, one of his early jobs being brand manager for Marmite. He subsequently moved into advertising working his way up to becoming a group account director at Saatchi & Saatchi during its heyday, running around a fifth of the agency’s UK business. He later became Managing Director of Young & Rubicam, helping to double its turnover in five years and become the fifth largest ad agency in the UK.
WPP transferred him to Ogilvy & Mather, where he became Worldwide Client Services Director for the Ford Motor Company, and Chairman of Ogilvy One, a fast-growing digital marketing company. In 1997, he set up his own company specialising in customer retention for blue chip clients including Toyota & NatWest.
He joined the University of Exeter in August 2011 as Head of Marketing. In 2012, all the elements came together to make marketing the brand a joy. Exeter joined the Russell Group, reached top ten in all the league tables and was nominated by the Sunday Times as its ‘University of the Year’. Web traffic went up immediately by 80% and the following year, enrolments grew by over a third. In 2016, half of all AAA+ students short-listed Exeter.
In 2016, David succumbed to the urge to work for himself again, using his marketing skills and higher education experience within his own consultancy – Academic Programme Development Ltd. In an increasingly competitive HE market, he helps his university clients grow their reputations and achieve greater commercial success through best-in-class 21st Century marketing. 2017 HE clients have included Bristol, Lancaster and SOAS, University of London.