Unilever chief nets top job at Ad Association

Niall FitzGerald, the chairman and chief executive of Unilever, the UK’s biggest advertiser, is to be the next president of the Advertising Association.

Niall FitzGerald, the chairman and chief executive of Unilever, the

UK’s biggest advertiser, is to be the next president of the Advertising

Association.



FitzGerald takes over from Sir George Bull, the chairman of J Sainsbury,

who has held the presidency since 1996. FitzGerald’s presidency begins

on 22 May.



He said: ’I am honoured that Sir George approached me at such an

exciting and challenging time for the advertising business and for the

Advertising Association, which plays a central role in its

representation.



My own company is a committed believer in the value of brands and the

way in which advertising investment builds business.’



Andrew Brown, the director-general of the Advertising Association, said

that one of the most significant issues FitzGerald would confront was

the challenge posed by new technology. Convergence would, he said, raise

questions over how the industry should be regulated in the future.



Other issues Brown flagged were the completion of a single market across

Europe and the UK implementation of the European legislation that

governs the industry.



Brown said: ’There are a lot of regulatory matters facing the industry

at the moment. FitzGerald brings experience across a lot of markets. I

am delighted that the Advertising Association is in the privileged

position to be guided through these times by a person of FitzGerald’s

calibre.’



FitzGerald’s acceptance of the presidency is regarded as a coup.

Unilever spent about pounds 250 million on advertising last year and is

involved in new areas such as interactive advertising and web marketing.



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