As well as seeing through the group's current projects, which include supporting the IPA's summer school, Whitson is keen to update the IPA's DM charter, produced in 2004. He also plans to remove the word "futures" from the group's title and will aim to encourage direct marketers to embrace a wider set of skills, especially in response to the explosion of digital channels.
Whitson said: "It's an exciting time to be working in our industry and I'm honoured to be taking the chair of the IPA Direct Marketing Group in the middle of it."
Whitson started his career at Faulds and Navigator in Edinburgh, before joining Bates UK. He then became the planning director at Clark McKay & Walpole, where he set up the agency's planning department.
In January 2005, he co-founded Stephens Francis Whitson with Ben Stephens and Neil Francis.