EACA names BMP's Best as president

James Best, the BMP DDB group chairman, is to be the next president of the European Association of Communications Agencies - the body charged with representing the industry's interests to Brussels legislators.

The EACA leadership is looking to him to help drive their soon-to-be-launched university education programme and draw on his experience to ensure its voice is heard as the European Union pushes ahead with new consumer protection safeguards.

Best, whose appointment will be rubber-stamped at the EACA's annual meeting in Brussels in October, will hold the presidency for a year with the option of continuing for a further year.

He will succeed Bernd Michael, Grey Europe's deputy chairman, who has held the post since October 2001.

Best was the president of the Advertising Association in the UK for six years until 2002 and EACA chiefs believe his experience will be useful as the EU turns its attention increasingly to consumer issues.

They also want to use his knowledge of multinational advertisers to help make member agencies more aware of major client concerns, such as sustainability and corporate responsibility.

At the same time, Best is seen as the right man to help oversee the EACA's plans to establish four-year degree courses in commercial communication at major universities throughout Europe.

The EACA has been working on a pilot scheme with a Spanish university for more than two years. The scheme will be formally unveiled to university representatives at a meeting in Barcelona next week.

Best said: "The EACA is an increasingly active and forceful body, as it needs to be if we are to ensure that agencies' interests are well represented in Brussels when there is so much new regulatory pressure on our business."

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