Pete Markey to lead AA’s ‘voice of industry’ Front Foot

markeyThe Advertising Association has drafted in Boots chief marketing officer Pete Markey as the new chair of Front Foot, the network of advertisers, media owners, agencies and tech companies which aims to advance the voice of the UK ad industry.

Founded in 2010, over 90 companies make up the Front Foot network, drawn from all corners of the industry with a shared interest in shaping the future of responsible advertising.

Together, they lead on the delivery of key initiatives, including public trust, All In and Ad Net Zero, while also funding UK advertising thinktank Credos.

Markey takes over the role from Mark Evans, former managing director of marketing and digital at Direct Line Group, who has held the post for the past three years.

As chair, Markey will lead the network’s voice – particularly around the issues of public trust, talent, inclusion and climate action – facets designed to complement the AA’s new three-year strategy which puts trusted, inclusive and sustainable advertising at the heart of its mission.

Markey, who has held senior roles at OneTel, More Th>n, the Post Office, Aviva and TSB, became CMO of Boots UK in 2021 and is responsible for all marketing activity across the UK and Ireland, including brand, marketing communications, data, and loyalty.

As well as being an executive sponsor for Boots UK’s Marketing for Change initiative, which helps to foster diversity and inclusion across its marketing activity, Markey is also the executive sponsor for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Pride Alliance (LGBT+) business resource group in the UK.

AA chief executive Stephen Woodford said: “Pete is one of the UK’s most admired marketers and it gives us great pleasure to welcome him as the new chair of Front Foot. As we implement our new three-year strategy, with a focus on ‘making the case for advertising’, Front Foot’s growing and dynamic network will be a vital, driving force behind securing a sustainable, inclusive, and trusted future for our industry.

“I also want to pay tribute to Mark Evans for his sterling leadership of Front Foot over the recent years, steering the network through the Covid pandemic. Both Pete and Mark are visionary business leaders and are well known for going ‘above and beyond’ in their work.

“I look forward to working with Pete as we work to address the challenges we face, from continuing to rebuild public trust in advertising to addressing talent shortages, helping to bring all parts of the industry together in common causes.”

Markey added: “It’s a huge privilege to be taking on this role at such an exciting time for Front Foot and the advertising industry as a whole. I’ve been really impressed with the work done to date under Mark’s leadership and can’t wait to get started with the fantastic team at Front Foot as we help to deliver our exciting plan.”

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