DMU student wins inaugural marketing award


The winner of a new marketing award for students at Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU) has been announced this month (August).

Set up in memory of the founder of a Leicestershire marketing agency, the inaugural Alastair Campbell Marketing Mentor Award is given to a third-year student on one of the university’s marketing courses. Alastair set up and ran the Ideal Marketing Company in Market Harborough from 2003 until a heart attack in 2017 left him with a brain injury before his death in 2019.


Competition winner Beth Hunt

Entrants were asked to submit a real-world marketing plan which was judged by current Ideal Marketing Company owner and MD Jess Shailes. The selection process included shortlisting three finalists. The criteria used for evaluating the plans included professionalism, viability of practical implementation, evidence of referencing a client’s specific objectives and the inclusion of realistic measurements and timelines.

The eventual winner of the award was third year Fashion Buying with Marketing student Bethany Hunt. Beth’s prize includes work experience at the Ideal Marketing Company plus a choice of a subscription to Drapers, or freelance membership of the Chartered Marketing Association for a year, or a six-month membership to Campaign Magazine.

Jess said: “As marketers, the starting point for any activity is understanding our clients’ businesses, their aims and customers so that our advice is credible and impactful. All the finalists submitted strong plans, but Bethany’s stood out. It took me on a journey from the initial analysis of the business through to a well-reasoned marketing strategy which included comprehensive competitor analysis. She also demonstrated a good use of statistics and research which helped add credibility to her recommendations.”

Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell (pictured above) set up The Ideal Marketing Company in 2003 with his wife Helen. In addition to running the agency, he was also active in the local business community, helping to establish and run various non-profit networking organisations as well as being the president of the Market Harborough Chamber of Commerce.  

Having worked at Ideal Marketing since 2013, eventually becoming Head of Digital Marketing, current MD Jess bought the company in 2019 after Alastair’s wife Helen stepped down to focus on a new career direction.

PR jess shales

Jess (pictured above) explains why she was so keen to do something in Alastair’s memory. “Alastair was a motivational leader in many ways, not least his enthusiasm for supporting young marketers via work experience, apprenticeships, employment or just advice.

“He was also an important mentor to me personally, believing in me when I was unsure which career direction to take and encouraging my professional development. That ethos of nurturing the next generation of marketers is one that I hope to continue through the Ideal Marketing Company. I see it as a way of paying forward the support that I received from the inspirational boss.”

Kaye Herriott, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Promotion and Fashion Buying with Marketing at De Montfort University found the collaboration with Ideal Marketing very useful for her students.

She said: “Although our marketing courses here at the university are very highly regarded by the industry, there’s no substitute for real experience. Now more than ever this generation of graduates need all the support and mentorship that they can access. I’m delighted by Bethany’s achievement and by the standard of all the students’ entries.”  

De Montfort University has around 27,000 students on its city centre campus. The Fashion Buying course at DMU is recognised as excellent for learning experience.


Posted on Wednesday 26th August 2020



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