A friend in Weed is a friend indeed!

On Thursday, we announced that our new President will be Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

Keith is a hugely renowned figure in the industry. To name just a few of his notable accolades, he was named as ‘World’s Most Influential CMO’ by Forbes in 2017 and 2018 and ‘Global Marketer of the Year’ by the World Federation of Advertisers in 2018.

Keith takes on the role from September 1 and as President will work with the AA Council and Board to guide the strategic direction of our work, as we tackle the challenge of rebuilding public trust in advertising, partner with Government to showcase UK advertising to the world and help to grow the wider UK economy with our SME advertising initiative.

Our Chief Executive Stephen Woodford commented: “I know Keith will bring great insight and energy to our work over the coming years, and we very much look forward to welcoming him as our new President.” Stephen also thanked outgoing President Andy Duncan for his hard work during his tenure.

Commenting, Keith Weed said: “It’s an honour to take on the role of President of the Advertising Association at such an exciting time for the industry. I look forward to working with Stephen and the team to continue to build trust in advertising and cultivate world-class talent across the UK.” The news was covered in Campaign, Marketing Week and The Drum among others.

Brum’s the word

Wednesday, we launched an exciting new advertising competition across the West Midlands, to help to grow the regional economy and boost the uptake of advertising services among SMEs within the region. Following on from the launch of its dedicated website last week, it is the next step in AAccelerate, our initiative to boost the growth and productivity of the UK’s 5.5 million SMEs, to help them advertise to a wider audience and reach untapped growth and new markets.

The competition – AAccelerate for Growth – will invite applications from SMEs across the West Midlands and lead to a two-day pitch event of ten short-listed SMEs in the region in early October. It will enable the SMEs to gain access to high quality advertising and media expertise, driving their company growth, and will be assessed via an independent evaluation of the business impact.

The competition is backed by many of the region’s biggest media players and has also received support from Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, who said: “As former Managing Director of John Lewis I understand the importance of good advertising in building a global brand. I’m really pleased that the Advertising Association has chosen the West Midlands for this important competition and look forward to seeing the benefits it brings SMEs in the region.”

For more information please contact Francesca Woodhouse the Project Director or our Comms team here at the AA.

China in your ad

On Wednesday, we were pleased to host a delegation of visitors from Zhejiang province in China (pictured right), including Xiang Jianzhong, General Director, Zhejiang Hualin Advertising Co Ltd, alongside representatives from universities, media agencies, and businesses in the region. Stephen Woodford welcomed the visitors and gave them an overview of the AA and the ad industry in the UK. Following this, Jane Eldridge, Head of Casework at the ASA, introduced them to the UK’s self-regulatory system and how this operates.

The visit was a further expression of our commitment to deepening business links between the UK and China. It also complemented the work that we are doing with Promote UK to encourage foreign businesses to take up UK ad services, following on from Promote UK’s presence at the Shanghai International Advertising Festival earlier this year.


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