The Advertising Association has appointed Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer at Tesco, as its new president.
Taking over the hot seat from Keith Weed, who departs following a three-year tenure in the role, Bellini’s arrival signifies a new strategic direction for the trade association for advertisers, agencies, media and research services.
Focused on promoting responsible advertising, Bellini will work with chair Philippa Brown of PHD and chief executive Stephen Woodford to redouble efforts on its Trust campaign to rebuild public confidence in the profession.
Bellini’s in-tray will also be dominated by efforts to support inclusion through the trade body’s ‘All In’ initiative, as well as positioning the UK as a global hub for advertisers and liaising with the government over the introduction of new gambling and online advertising regulations.
It is climate change, however, that provides the most pressing concern for Bellini ahead of next month’s Ad Net Zero summit to coordinate action to reduce carbon emissions. Taking place during Cop26 in Glasgow, the initiative is backed by Google, Channel 4 and Unilever, and supported by a new training qualification.
Woodford said: “I am hugely excited now to welcome Alessandra, a greatly respected leader in the advertising and marketing spheres, as our new president. Her international experience in board-level positions across the world make her perfectly placed to advocate for the strength and economic position of the UK’s advertising industry as we recover from the pandemic.”
Bellini benefits from a broad understanding of the needs of the profession from her Tesco role, which combines marketing, advertising, innovation, loyalty and insight to build customer relationships. Prior to this Bellini served 20 years with Unilever holding a variety of marketing and management roles, having begun her career at JWT Milan.
Bellini said: “At a time when the industry is emerging from the pandemic and customer behavior is evolving, responsible advertising has never been more important.”
A keen scooter rider, Bellini brings a touch of Italy to the streets of London with her baby-blue Vespa and also finds time to chair Teens Unite, a charity helping young adults to live with cancer.