King secures AA crown and pledges to fight for talent

Annette King portraitNew Advertising Association chair Annette King has vowed to help the industry grow its influence by continuing the fight to attract new talent, with the Publicis Groupe UK CEO banging the drum for diversity and inclusion as well as further action on climate change.

King joins the AA Board and will work closely with chief executive Stephen Woodford and president Alessandra Bellini, the chief customer officer and executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion at Tesco who was appointed in October 2021.

She succeeds PHD’s Philippa Brown, who has completed a three-year term, which saw the launch of initiatives Ad Net Zero and All In, as well as the industry battle the Covid-19 pandemic and set out its recovery.

The appointment comes as the AA adds global ambitions to its joint climate initiative with the IPA and ISBA, Ad Net Zero; deals with a series of regulatory issues including the Online Advertising Programme and continues to represent the UK advertising industry at national and international levels, working with Government and members to secure the next decade of advertising’s export growth.

Since joining Publicis Groupe UK in 2018, King has been credited with revitalising the company, streamlining the structure, bringing in new capabilities and expertise and accelerating growth.

She has introduced flexible-working and a company-wide mental health programme, as well as a series of people-focused initiatives such as a menopause policy, a set of family-friendly policies and disability and trans inclusion policies.

Her role as AA chair will be to help support the strategic direction and delivery of the association’s work and its wider remit, reporting to its 14-strong board on behalf of its tri-partite industry membership.

Woodford said: “Annette is one of the most impressive voices in UK advertising today and we are delighted to welcome her to the AA’s distinguished board. She brings vast experience and strong work on creating a more inclusive workplace, an area especially relevant to us as we launch the next three actions of the All In Action Plan as well as announce our first wave of All In Champion organisations.

“Thanks must also go to Philippa for her excellent work steering the industry through the pandemic and its extraordinary recovery. I look forward to working closely with Annette, alongside our president, the AA Council and board as we work hard to tackle the challenges faced by our industry, from climate change to the talent crisis.”

King added: “The AA is an impressive organisation with an agenda to drive change. The work the AA is doing on diversity and inclusion and climate change, and in other important areas, is very close to my heart and something I’m committed to accelerating. It’s an honour for me to represent the industry that I love, and to help ensure we continue to grow our influence and salience.”

Philippa Brown concluded: “The work of the association is central to the future health and prosperity of our industry and, as importantly, the value of the economic and social contribution, that it can make to all our lives.

“The three-year term as chair has passed by quickly, disrupted in so many ways by the pandemic, but I know the AA, led by Stephen, is determined to make good on the industry’s promise to build back better and bring about meaningful change on many important areas. I urge every company in our industry to support the work as much as you can to ensure maximum uptake and impact to the benefit of all.”

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