Advertising Association names Gavin Patterson as president

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Gavin Patterson is the new AA president
Gavin Patterson is the new AA president

The Advertising Association has named Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT Retail, as its new president, replacing Penny Hughes, the former president of Coca-Cola UK & Ireland, who steps down after completing two three-year terms of office.

Patterson has set out an agenda emphasising that advertising has a crucial role to play if Britain is to retain and build its competitive edge in the digital and creative industries.

He said: "I hope to do my bit to further understanding about the ways in which advertising helps the economy and assists development. If you look, for example, at the digital revolution, there is evidence that the internet is creating jobs. Advertising has its part to play in a revolution like that, by increasing awareness and understanding of what's possible online."

He also promised to champion the role of advertising and protect its rights. He said: "We probably spend too much time and effort worrying about what advertising is doing to people and not enough thinking about how advertising might work for people. Responsibility in advertising is non-negotiable but it must work for the consumer in every sense."

Patterson joined BT in 2004 and was appointed to the board in 2008. He is a former managing director of the consumer division of the now-defunct Telewest and has also worked at Procter & Gamble where he was European marketing director for its Pantene brand.

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