Advertising Association names Stephen Woodford as chief executive

The Advertising Association has ended its hunt for a new chief executive after alighting on former IPA president Stephen Woodford to fill the vacancy created by Tim Lefroy’s decision to exit by the end of the year.


A champion of ethnic diversity within the industry Woodford is best known for overhauling the IPA’s qualifications for new industry entrants which have now been sat and passed by over 15,000 people.

AA chairman James Murphy, who led the search, remarked: “Big changes – political and economic – mean that more than ever, all of us with a stake in advertising must look forward together. Stephen is a proven leader, an outstanding advocate and brings with him a wealth of experience on diversity, access and skills. We’re delighted to have got him.”

Woodford added: “I am a great admirer of the AA’s work promoting the vital role and the responsibilities of our industry - a tribute to Tim and the AA Board’s leadership and the terrific team at the AA. I look forward to driving this agenda further and faster and am delighted to be joining at such an exciting time.”

Woodford currently serves on the board of Creative Skillset, the skills body overseeing film, TV, advertising, publishing and fashion and will take up his new post on 1 November.

Trade organisation ISBA has welcomed Woodford's arrival. Ian Twinn, director of public affairs for the trade body, said: “We at ISBA know Stephen Woodford well, and have real pleasure in welcoming him to the chief executive role at the UK Advertising Association.

“Stephen brings a wealth of knowledge and deep understanding of the advertising business, whether that is from his direct experience in the agency world, or his appreciation of clients’ interests and those of the media. We look forward to working closely with him and the AA.” Ian Twinn, director of public affairs "

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