Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) vice-president Malcolm Earnshaw has beaten director of advertising and media Bob Wootton to the job of director-general when John Hooper steps down later this year.
Earnshaw’s appointment ends months of speculation about Hooper’s successor.
It comes as a bitter blow to Wootton, who some observers believe will now be forced to seek another role.
Several high-profile candidates, including former BBC marketing director Sue Farr, were invited to apply for the post.
Earnshaw, a former president of the World Federation of Advertisers, spent 20 years in marketing with Mars and Pedigree Mastercare, where he was franchise development director. He is believed to have impressed the ISBA Council with his depth of experience.
Earnshaw is expected to spend the next few months learning his new role before taking over in November.
Earnshaw says: “It was always my wish to take up an industry position of this sort on my retirement from Mars.”
In a separate development, Halifax Retail Financial Services chief executive Dick Spelman was this week elected president of ISBA for a two-year term. He replaces Bacardi Martini executive director Chris Searle.