The Advertising Association (AA) has appointed Konrad Shek as its Strategic Policy Advisor – a newly created role in the Public Affairs team led by AA Director of Public Affairs Sue Eustace – where he will help the organisation meet the challenges of Brexit, as well as working on other key issues including international trade, data and e-privacy.
Konrad’s career spans the Foreign Office and with Asia-focussed conglomerate Jardine Matheson. During that time, he spent 10 years based overseas in the Far East. Shek is no stranger to the AA having been independently advising them on Brexit and international trade prior to assuming his new role.
The move comes as the Advertising Association steps up its lobbying of Government on key areas of importance as Brexit negotiations continue. The organisation’s position is that there are two essentials the Government must negotiate as a bottom line for the advertising industry: adequacy-plus on data to guarantee continued cross-border data flows and equivalence of broadcasting rules.
Another key area of concern is free movement of labour and ensuring there is continued access to the brightest talent from overseas who wish to work in the advertising industry in the UK. Konrad will have a key role in developing the AA’s position and lobbying of Government across all these areas, as well as looking forward to the future international trade opportunities presented by the UK’s departure from the EU.
Stephen Woodford, chief executive, Advertising Association, commented: “Konrad brings a wealth of international trade and public policy experience, and is a great addition to the team, particularly as the UK tries to forge new trading relationships post-Brexit. It cannot be overstated how important it is for us to be positioned to take advantage of those trade opportunities as they arise.”
Konrad Shek, strategic policy advisor, Advertising Association, commented: “I’m excited to be joining the Advertising Association at this time of huge change for the UK and the industry.
“We are in a fortunate position that the UK is a global leader in advertising but we can’t take that for granted and Brexit is creating a huge paradigm shift. Ultimately, this means we need better preparation to respond to global trends that can impact our industry and its potential to create trade barriers.”
Konrad has extensive knowledge of international trade and public policy with experience of working in both the public sector and for multinationals. Konrad is also fluent with new technology having worked in the IT industry during the early part of his career. He developed a deep understanding of Asia after spending 10 years in the Greater China region and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Konrad previously worked at Asian-based conglomerate Jardine Matheson for 5 years in Shanghai where he was involved in government relations and policy analysis. Prior to this he had a nine-year career as a diplomat with the FCO, serving in London, Taipei and Chongqing. He was also responsible for trade policy and market access issues in Taiwan.
Konrad is a non-executive director at Sustenir, a Singaporean-based Series A funded vertical farming start-up. And in 2017 he was made an honorary member of the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai for his contribution following the end of his elected two-year term on its Executive Committee.