Unilever’s crusading CMO Keith Weed becomes Ad Association president

Advertising Association (AA) hires Keith Weed as president

The Advertising Association (AA) has secured Keith Weed, Unilever CMO, as its president. He will help guide the body in its mission to champion the UK ad industry.

Weed, whose current mission sees him pitted against influencer fraud, replaces Andy Duncan, chief executive of Travelopia, whose stint is coming to a close. He will lead the body chairman, James Murphy of adam&eveDDB, and chief executive, Stephen Woodford.

With Brexit shaping much of the discourse around the UK ad industry’s skill availability and client budgets, Weed takes the lead at a integral time for the AA.

Woodford said: “Keith is a highly influential leader of marketing and advertising on the world stage and his strategic guidance on the biggest issues we face as an industry, not just here in the UK, but as the leading global hub for brands, media owners and agencies could not come at a better time. I know he will bring great insight and energy to our work over the coming years.

“It is a vital time as we work through the digitalisation of our industry, the shifting political sands and the changing expectations of our workforce and the wider society from advertising. I also want to say a heart-felt thanks to Andy Duncan who has been a wonderful President, providing clear and principled advice every step of the way during his tenure; he has been a real guardian of the best that we can be as an industry united.”

On his appointment, Weed added: “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.”

Weed at Unilever has drawn the line under influencer fraud, as a result, it won’t work with influencers who buy followers, has said its own brands will never buy followers and said it will prioritise partners who increase their transparency. This is likely to be one of the issues he will tackle at the helm of the AA.

AA is currently championing British creative talent and recently conducted its first ever sexual harassment workplace conduct survey and campaign in light of the MeToo revelations.

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