The Advertising Association has hired the former adman Rae Burden to take up the newly created role of chief operating officer, to help drive its efforts to promote the communications industry.
Burden has experience as a client, at Nestle, but has spent his career mainly in creative agency account management. He worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Erickson, Lowe and JWT, where he ran the Diageo account.
Burden will work closely with the AA's chief executive, Baroness Peta Buscombe, to represent the interests of advertisers, agencies and media owners.
Since joining the AA, Buscombe has made it the Association's mission to help government and the public recognise the importance of advertising. However, the industry has come under pressure from groups attacking food and alcohol advertising.
Buscombe said that Burden would provide invaluable support in the AA's drive to improve the environment for advertising. "We've changed our relationship with government and opinion formers significantly over the past few months, but there's still much more we can do. I need help. And what we've lacked here so far is someone with fantastic advertising credentials."
Burden said he was attracted to the role because it "is fundamental to a business that has been good to me. This is a fantastic industry and I don't like seeing it bullied."