In memory of Carolyn Watts, Smith & Milton

I write with sad news for those many friends and colleagues within the design industry of the tragic loss of Carolyn Watts, who battled unflinchingly against a wicked and inevitable demise from cancer.

Carolyn possessed a formidable and insightful mind. From her early account management experience, where she distilled the best of the creative thinking at Michael Peters Group, and then channelled it to meet the commercial demands for her time at DIA – she produced an awareness for brand-building that became a match to any recognised agency planner.

She joined Smith & Milton as a freelance planner in 1994 to mould the consumer relationship programme for the newly developed PPP Healthcare. She proved herself indispensable, going on to become planning director and font of all brand knowledge at the company.

Carolyn had a huge appetite for work and would produce streams of logic from seemingly incomprehensible data. She wasn’t afraid to give her opinion and the phrase ‘would not suffer fools gladly’ could have been her motto.

Yet her creativity constantly won over both clients and colleagues. She found time between 1998 and 2001 to complete a degree course in ceramics at Goldsmiths, and still delivered on some of the most intellectually tortuous communications programmes for HSBC, Nestlé, Sainsbury’s and the Central Office of Information.

She developed a strong team-building culture within Smith & Milton, organising life-drawing classes, creative breaks and vision days for personal growth. Perhaps her lasting legacy at Smith & Milton will be the daily 9.30 – a schoolroom-style get together, where all S&M staff congregate for five minutes to share news, good or bad. Last week, the talk was of Carolyn.

We wish Simon and all Carolyn’s family our sincerest sympathy.

Howard Milton, Smith & Milton, London EC1

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