Advertising Association picks Tory frontbencher as new DG

LONDON - The Advertising Association has sprung a major surprise by reaching beyond the industry to appoint the Tory shadow minister, Baroness Peta Buscombe, as its new boss.

As the AA's chief executive and director-general, she will become the first woman to run an ad industry body when she steps down as the Conservative education spokesperson in the House of Lords before the end of the year.

A former commercial lawyer, Buscombe, 52, will succeed Andrew Brown, who is stepping down after 13 years in the job. Her links to the industry include having been legal adviser to the IPA for three years from 1984, and being a shadow minister covering the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Buscombe's political contacts will be at a premium as the industry comes under intensive fire over its alleged role in fuelling obesity.

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