The Advertising Association has announced Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer and Executive Sponsor for D&I at Tesco as its new President. She takes on the role from today following the completion of a 3-year tenure by President, Keith Weed. As President, Bellini will guide the strategic direction of the association’s work as it delivers on its mission on behalf of the UK advertising industry – to promote the role and rights of responsible advertising and its value to people, society, businesses and the economy.
The new President will work with the Chair, Philippa Brown of PHD, and Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford, to lead a council of industry leaders from media owners, agencies, brands, and trade bodies, that combine strength and work together on the issues that affect them. The association’s current workstreams include rebuilding public trust in advertising through its Trust campaign, building a fully inclusive workplace through ‘All In’ and taking positive action on climate change through Ad Net Zero. In addition, the President will support the direction of the association’s work around major regulatory issues and the promotion of UK advertising as a global hub for the world’s advertisers.
Bellini joins as the association holds its global Ad Net Zero summit next month to provide a platform around COP26 for a conversation about advertising’s response to the climate emergency, backed by the launch of a new training qualification. Furthermore, as the industry emerges from the pandemic, she will play a crucial role in advancing the position of advertising as a pillar of the UK’s £110bn creative economy, as well as continuing to engage with the Government on proposals and regulations affecting the sector’s digital markets.
Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank Keith for his enormous energy and commitment during his time as President. He has led the way, during a period of huge change to help our work in rebuilding trust in the industry and acted as the brightest bastion of the principles and responsibilities we take into the future. I am hugely excited now to welcome Alessandra, a greatly respected leader in the advertising and marketing spheres, as our new President. Her international experience in board-level positions across the world makes her perfectly placed to advocate for the strength and economic position of the UK’s advertising industry as we recover from the pandemic.
“Her strategic guidance on issues of key important facing the industry will be invaluable as we look to build out ‘All In’ work on inclusion, as well as push forward with support for Ad Net Zero, to ensure our workforce is best-equipped to respond to the climate crisis. It is a crucial time for the industry, as we face many challenges in the form of upcoming Government legislation on gambling, along with a review into online advertising – all of this tempered with rising digital adspend.”
Alessandra Bellini said, “I’m delighted to join the Advertising Association as President. At a time when the industry is emerging from the pandemic and customer behaviour is evolving, responsible advertising has never been more important. It’s a privilege to represent members and I look forward to working with Stephen, Philippa and the team as we build on the fantastic work over the last few years and set an example on the issues that really matter.”
Keith Weed said, ““Thank you to Stephen, the AA team, and the advertising industry leaders for all they have done. At a time of such change, it was important to make real progress on the big issues and opportunities in the industry. I wish Alessandra all the very best for her Presidency and the mission to continue to build trust and responsible advertising.”
Leading customer strategy for the UK’s largest retailer, Bellini joined Tesco as Chief Customer Officer in March 2017. With an international background in advertising and marketing, she has worked with a focus on developing people and growing brands, seeing these as the ultimate levers to a successful business.
Prior to Tesco, Alessandra worked for Unilever for over 20 years, holding different board-level positions in Marketing and General Management in Italy, Central & Eastern Europe, and the USA.
Alessandra started her career in Advertising at JWT Milan, as an apprentice straight out of School. She worked in Advertising for 12 years in Italy and the UK.