The Advertising Association has announced Mark Evans (Marketing Director, Direct Line Group) as the new Chairman of Front Foot, the Advertising Association’s campaign for advertising. Front Foot is a heavy-hitting network of advertisers, media owners and agencies that provide the resource and leadership to ensure advertising’s voice is heard loud and clear.
Founded in 2010, Front Foot provides the support, resource and leadership to make the voice of advertising authoritative, evidence-based and progressive. Drawn from all corners of the industry – advertiser, media, agency & tech - members are companies with a shared interest in advertising’s freedoms and its responsible practice. As Chairman, Mark Evans will lead the network’s voice, particularly around the issue of Trust in Advertising. He takes over the role after a successful tenure by Matt Barwell, Chief Marketing Officer of Britvic Soft Drinks plc.
Mark Evans started his marketing career at Mars Inc and worked for 10 years on several of their global brands in a variety of sectors and locations. Subsequently, he worked at 118118 and then HSBC. He joined Direct Line Group in 2012 and during the past six years has overseen the transformation of Direct Line Group's brands and marketing approach, including the award-winning reinvigoration of the Direct Line brand.
Evans was listed in the 2017 Marketing Power 100, the 2017 Marketing Week Vision 100 and was also the Financial Services Forum Marketer of the Year in 2015. In 2016, he founded the Sprintathon charity event in support of Stand Up To Cancer.
Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association said, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Mark as the new Chairman of Front Foot. Mark is an excellent ambassador for our industry, with a formidable reputation in the field of marketing, having worked at some of the leading names and brands in UK business. This is an exciting time to become Chair as Front Foot and the Advertising Association look to further grow the place of advertising in the UK economy and emphasise its positive role within society. It is all the more important as we enter into new territory with the departure of the UK from the EU and all the challenges and opportunities these changes may bring. I would also like to thank Matt Barwell for his outstanding leadership of Front Foot over the last few years. He has been a stalwart spokesman for the advertising industry and we are grateful for all his hard work on our behalf”.
Mark Evans, Chairman, Front Foot, said, “I am honoured to take up the mantle from Matt in chairing Front Foot at a key time for our industry, which plays such an important and positive role in the UK. It has never been more important to rebuild trust in advertising and it’s a privilege to be involved in this process. From my perspective, Front Foot is one of the most powerful networks for its members in producing compelling research and generating advocacy on the big issues that are affecting all of our businesses. I am looking forward to working with many of the industry’s leaders that comprise Front Foot to set the agenda, strengthen political and industry relationships and support UK advertising.”
Evans becomes Chairman at a critical time for Front Foot, which is campaigning on behalf of the advertising industry in a number of key areas. The campaigning is focused directly on growing public trust in the profession and is funding vital research into this issue.
Front Foot also funds Credos, the advertising industry’s think tank, which has produced world-leading work on the value of advertising to the UK economy and society, its potential benefits to SMEs; advertising’s place in the Scottish economy; and the importance of international talent to our industry.
There is also a significant plan to promote advertising among SMEs, with new pilot hubs for SME advertisers in Scotland and the West Midlands planned to explore the ways that advertising can help to grow businesses in the regions of the UK. Looking outside of the UK, the Advertising Association recently launched the Promote UK group as a new industry initiative to position the UK as the top global hub and centre of excellence for advertising as the post-Brexit transition period approaches.