Former Ogilvy Sydney MD and Clemenger BBDO Sydney GM Melinda Eskell passes away in UK

MELINDA-ESKELL.jpgThe Australian ad industry will be saddened to hear of the passing of Melinda Eskell, who sadly died in London yesterday, aged 60.

Eskell will be remembered by her Australian colleagues as a great suit, having been managing director of Ogilvy Sydney from 1992 to 1999 before a five year stint at Clemenger BBDO Sydney as general manager.

In 2005 she headed to Europe where she had stints client-side at Unilever and Heineken before landing the plum managing director role at Strawberry Frog, Amsterdam in 2010. Late last year she formed her own consultancy and only last month joined Weber Shandwick as head of digital and integrated communications, Europe, based in Amsterdam.

Her recent career highlights have included - on the client - side bringing Knorr global communications into the digital space and introducing digital innovation into Heineken's marketing mix. On the agency side, Eskell oversaw a multi-market digital platform for Pampers and the development and introduction of "Hello Tomorrow," a new integrated global brand platform for Emirates.


Knew her well said:

WTF? How?

Juliette said:

It's not only the Australian Ad industry that will miss her... I am in shock. Always loved her for her wicked sense of humour but this is not funny. RIP Melinda.

kev T said:


She really was a stand out person in advertising and a great person to have a beer with.
A very sad day.

Greidy said:

Way too early for such a sharp lady.

Condolences to her family.

Booker. said:

Shhhhhh .......A lady has left the building.

Sad loss said:

Melinda was a wonderful woman. Strong, purposeful, intelligent, loving and fun.
That she headed to Europe in her 50's clearly demonstrates Melinda was a woman who lived for the future not the past. To all her family and friends, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anita - wish I knew her longer! said:

Wonderful, talented and just an awesome lady - so shocked and saddened.

margot said:

Wonderful Melinda
Best suit I ever met
Great friend I will remember forever
RIP you gorgeous one.

Jonny said:

I learned so much from her. Enjoyed her cooking and her humour. Sadly missed.

Cathy Z said:

There is one less star shining in the sky tonight.
A very special lady.

Patsy Peacock said:

The world has lost a great mother, wife, person, friend, and huge contributor to our industry. Love and sympathy to all her family. A huge loss, today the world is a sadder place. Travel safe dear Melinda, we will miss you heaps.

Sad said:

I got my first ever dressing down in advertising from Mel. Smart, funny, tough, but deep down, a wonderful and nice human. She'll be missed.

Joy Clark said:

This is a very sad time for everyone who knew Melinda. I had the pleasure of working with her at Lintas and she remained a dear friend following that time. She was great to be around, such fun (wicked), incredibly kind-hearted, a fabulous cook and a devoted Mum. My heart goes out to you Ray, Remy and Louis. RIP Mel xx

Mick Hunter said:

Melinda was a great suit, one of the best I've ever worked with.
But she was far more than that. She was fun. She was crazy. She was loved by her people and she loved them in return.
She called a shovel a spade. And she was a lovely person.
I'm glad I crossed paths with her.x

Alex said:

Melinda was an incredibly smart strong and direct woman, an amazing ball of energy and force who helped me massively in the past year....
Completely shocked that a woman who had so much life in her could pass away.
Melinda, you will be greatly missed.

Matt Smith said:

We meet a lot if people in advertising but some are keepers. I met Melinda poolside at Cannes 2005 and immediately sparked a great friendship. She was so funny and loved to party and was incredibly generous. She loved Ray and her boys. I'm going to miss her. She was one of the great ones. Rest in peace Melinda we are going to miss you x

gerry weekes former director Dibsdall Weekes said:

my wonderful friend melinda, what an inspiration to all women. She encouraged and supported everyone and was one of the fairest people I know. My love to ray and the boys and David and I will miss her terribly. Tragic news.

Amanda Williams Gilkeson said:

Vale lovely Melinda - love & thoughts to your family & friends.
You will be greatly missed!

Simon said:

Very very sad news. Vale Melinda. x

lynda gray said:

A powerhouse personality, wonderful friend and culinary queen.
RIP Mel. x

Tara said:

An inspiring woman and leader, respected by all. Hugely missed.

Liz Ainslie said:

This is one party you left way too early. Goodbye Melinda - I'll never forget you x

Helen Winter said:

Melinda will be greatly missed. She had such a big heart, she shared it with all of us. When we all spoke with Melinda She made us feel special it was like we were the only ones in the room. Melinda had that wonderful knack of making us feel happy, confident and special all rolled in to one. We are so lucky to have known Melinda. she fed us well with her wonderful cooking. Her greatest love was for Ray, Louis and Remy. Our thoughts are with you through this difficult time. Take care
RIP beautiful lady.
Luv Helen & Joe

Lucy Martin said:

I've known this amazing creature since she was 11. We went to boarding school together, and she was one of my most cherished friends. She leaves a legacy of mountainous proportions - much of which has been covered above - razor sharp intelligence, humour and style, an amazing cook, generous to a fault, an incredible zest for life, fit as a buck rat (begs the question HOW & WHY could she be snapped away like this). Never shied away from clipping us all over the ears either, when the urge arose! But to me she was the most loyal and steadfast friend, godmother to my son, never to be forgotten. RIP you lovely gal, will always love you.xx

shelley said:

Shocked and terribly saddened by this news. Farewell to a wonderful lady. xo

John O'Shea said:

Oh dear. Terribly sad news. A lovely lady, total professional and a person of great integrity.

Nicky Bell said:

I loved Melinda. She inspired in me a passion for this business that I’ll always be grateful for and became a friend who I was lucky to have. She was naughty, funny and smarter than anyone I’ve ever met. My heart aches that we won’t have any more time with her. My thoughts are with Ray and the boys at this terrible time. RIP my friend, the world feels so dull without you in it. x

Naomi Parry said:

Vale Melinda Eskell. A magnificent, larger than life human being; a ball of talent, energy and fun. It's almost impossible to believe you're gone and my heart breaks for Ray, Remy and Louis. You have left a yawning hole in our lives and we will never forget you.

Nelson Leong said:

Onwards and upwards dear Melinda. We love you and so shall those that fly up ahead! Fly on well...

Rob Nichol said:

Mel, thanks for everything you did for me...the break at Clems, for teaching me not to take life, the industry, or myself too seriously, the share advice, the scary car rides, the advice, and the networking - I still get calls saying 'Melinda said I should give you a call..' I just can't believe you are gone. Travel well dear Mel, my thoughts are with your family xxx

an old friend said:

I hope Melinda's family - in particular, Ray, Louis and Remy - take some comfort from the comments posted on this blog. She was everything you remember and loved about her and then some more. What a wonderful woman and a role model for men and women alike.

Mike Preston said:

How tragic. Melinda was a wonderful person who always had a twinkle in her eye.
She will be sorely missed.

guy winston said:

This is such sad news. Melinda was a great girl. She was incredibly smart and was enormous fun to work with. One of the best, she will be missed. My sympathies go to Ray and the boys.

Amanda L'Estrange said:

Hard to be believe that we'll never see or speak with Melinda again. A wonderfully talented, spirited, smart, generous friend and sister-in-law, with a razor-sharp tongue and wit. Taken from us far too soon, and so suddenly. Just too sad for Ray, Remy, Louis and all her many, many friends. Vale Melinda. xox

Darren Crichton-Browne said:

Worked with Melinda at Singleton Ogilvy and Mather from 95-99 a very strong lady who knew exactly what she was doing.

A great lady and I am sure she had a great life.

Vale Melinda.


Paul S Friedmann said:

We will miss our dinners and parties with Margot and Ian, Kim and Naomi, Kim and Julia, Louise and Chris, Richard and Amanda, Whitney, you, Ray and the boys. We are raising a toast very very high to a glorious lady and a good friend. Rest peacefully.

Noel Magnus said:

So very, very sad.

Melinda was a brilliant suit - and an even more brilliant friend.

I will miss her greatly - and my heart goes out to Raymondo, Remy and Louis.

Vale Melinda, you were truly one of a kind.

Matt Donovan said:

I knew her very little. But that very little was a wonderful experience. And some people that I respect a great deal always quoted her as one of their mentors. This is clearly a great loss. Best wishes to her family, friends and former colleagues at this tough time.

Bruce Davidson said:

It's still hard to believe that a wonderful friend of over thirty years has gone. Loyal friend and confidant, this is a gap that won't be filled. It's too sad and awful. Love and thoughts to Ray, Remy and Louis. RIP Melinda xxxx

Sandy Oldham said:

So very sad .....

Always so full of life and joie de vivre - Mel had an impact on all who were lucky enough to know her. She certainly touched my life and will be greatly missed.
My heart breaks for Remy, Louis and Ray and all who loved her.

marrianne little said:

Sad, sad news-
For her beautiful family
And also a great loss for the industry too.

Vale Melinda, you gorgeous, generous, funny smart lady.

Jacqui Hing Hudson said:

My memory of Melinda was of a very kind, generous, warm and friendly person....always full of life.
She will be greatly missed....very sad.

My condolences to Ray and the her boys, Richard and Amanda.

Jacqui xxx

Cat Berrell said:

Melinda and I shared a bay with two other secretaries on the 1st floor at JWT (40 Berkeley Square) back in 1975, she newly arrived in London. She put up with us Sloaney girls and we thought she was rather too sexy and embarrassing to go shopping with at lunchtime - men walking into lamp-posts and wolf whistling off scaffolding! But amazingly she never took offence at anything, not even when hit on the head with a telephone directory - can't remember the exact circumstances of that particular incident! We became and remained great friends She was everything and more that has been written above. I just thought that we would spend time together in our old age. My love to Ray and the boys - Cat xxx

Sophie Kelly said:

Beyond sad. She was always a breath of fresh air, an individual who rewarded creativity and passion, and was repulsed by the ordinary. She always encouraged me to be exactly me and gave me the confidence to do so. She was a mentor, a friend and one of the givers in life. Love you loads Mel.

Sinead Twomey said:

Such a shock to hear the news and then realise there is no chance to see you again in this life. I feel lucky and blessed to have known you.

S xxx

Simone Bartley said:

Dear Melinda what an amazing legacy you leave behind. You have been such an inspiration for us all. Be at peace knowing that you touched so many so deeply.
I feel so blessed to have had you as such a good friend and support all these years.
Love and miss you. All my love to you Ray, Remy and Louis. x

Mike Retter said:

Rest in Peace Melinda!
Our paths crossed on only a handful of occasions in Sydney many years ago, but you made a very meaningful and lasting impression on me.
You were warm and impressive and your passing is incredibly sad. My best wishes go to your family and friends during this time.
Mike Retter

Terry Ellis said:

Very sad to hear of the loss of such a lovely person. Thank you for the help and encouragement you gave me when I first arrived in Australia.

Simon Canning said:

Too, too sad. One of the good people. Loved our conversations, always laced with a hint of conspiracy and a ready laugh. Vale Melinda.

Sylvianne said:

Melinda you were the fitness queen before Melinda Bridges,
the masterchef before there was a Masterchef,
the working-mother's inspiration before we all became working mothers;
I can't believe your gone. I loved personality so much.
Your food, your parties, your wicked motherly advice.
Seamus and I will always think of you kicking Dale's butt at Surry Hills at 7am before you kick butt at work. Ray I'm so stunned with sadness for you and the boys.
Sylvianne Heim

Colin & Gwen said:

All has already been said about this brilliant lady. So sad that we have lost her.
Wonderful memories.

Nick Bishop said:

Clearly and truly a very sad loss to all who loved Mel. Look at all these wonderful comments xx

David Sassoon said:

We were robbed! Far too early. An astonishing human being. Elegant, charming, compelling, majestic, entertaining and above all driven. It was a thrill to have known her. A gem

Judith Calov said:

I have never met such a strong and courageous person with such a soft and kind heart. Melinda was one in a million and we are all richer for knowing her. My heart goes out to Raymondo and the boys. With much love.

Ross Moyle said:

Oh Mel. I didn't know. I found out at lunch today. You would have enjoyed it.
The Gazebo in Sydney. A bunch of old advertising hacks reminiscing about the past.
How I admired you when we worked at Lintas, feisty, funny, fantastic! They don't make them like you any longer. RIP

lissie said:

Tell me I am having a bad dream !

Nelson Leong said:

I am very sorry to hearty old friend has moved onwards. She was a great suit, I was another creative and missed working with her over 25 - 30 years now. I'm very sorry to hear she has moved on. Yes, I worked at Lintas too, a long time ago. I was just thinking of her, so sad. Have a great another life Melinda.

paul martin said:

this came as a shock - I had some great, unforgettable times with Mel and Ray. You were the best!!!

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