The IPA has picked the former Saatchi & Saatchi vice-chairman Hamish Pringle to be its next director-general with a brief to take the trade body even further into the public spotlight as a defender of the industry.
Pringle, 49, currently the IPA's director of marketing strategy and with a long-time involvement in IPA affairs, was chosen from the four candidates shortlisted to succeed Nick Phillips when he retires in August.
With advertising under sustained attack from regulators and lobby groups, IPA chiefs are looking to harness Pringle's experience as an author and public speaker on advertising issues to maintain the proactive approach of the outgoing IPA president, Rupert Howell.
At the same time, he will be expected to continue Phillips' initiatives to make the IPA more responsive to the body's broadening membership, which now includes major media companies, direct marketing and sales promotion specialists.
Pringle, an ex-vice-chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and a founding partner of the former Madell Wilmot Pringle, said: 'Not only do we need to be increasingly conscious of the needs of our members but also to follow on from what Rupert has done to keep us on the front foot publicly.'
Pringle was chosen by a selection panel including Howell, the IPA president-elect Bruce Haines, John Bartle, a former president, and Ray Kelly, formerly a chairman of the IPA Media Policy Group.
Howell said: 'Hamish not only knows so much about the IPA but is ambitious for it. He was somebody who was in our mind but we weren't sure if he wanted it. Of all the candidates, he stood out.'