Mentor & Mad Woman
MT (Mary Teresa) Rainey was born in Dumbarton in Scotland and educated at The University of Glasgow. She began her career in advertising as an Account Planner and in ‘83 was headhunted by Jay Chiat to join his eponymous agency Chiat/Day in California to work on a range of pioneering Silicon Valley accounts, including the small agency team that helped Steve Jobs launch the Macintosh in 1984.
She became Head of Planning at the agency, across three U.S. offices, and was named Advertising Woman of The Year by Adweek in ‘88. She started her own agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe in the UK in ‘93 at a time when the advertising industry and its business model was changing. The agency grew quickly with clients like Virgin, BT, Simple Skincare, Vauxhall and Times Newspapers. She sold the agency to Y&R in ‘99, and went on to build RKCR/Y&R to a top 5 UK agency, now part of the WPP Group.
Since leaving advertising, and inspired by the potential of new media to create significant public value, MT has devoted some of her time to building a social enterprise in the digital arena called horsesmouth.co.uk, an online social network for safe, informal one-to-one mentoring which now has over 95,000 members.
In 2008, MT became an investor in and Chair of the Newcastle based digital strategy agency Think Ltd, and helped them expand through opening an office in London. The company has since grown significantly and is now one of the top independent digital agencies in the UK, with clients like Warner Bros, Atom Bank, New Look and The Cabinet Office. MT stepped down as Chair at the end of ’15 but remains as an adviser.
MT is a Non Executive Board Director of Channel 4, a Non Executive Board Director of Pinewood Studios, and a Non-Executive Board Director of Hays plc.
In a voluntary capacity, MT has been Vice Chair of Creative Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Creative Industries, since 2010.
She is a former Chair of the Marketing Group of Great Britain and a former President of The Thirty Club of London. In 2015 MT was awarded an OBE for Services to Advertising.