The Portman Group chief executive Jean Coussins is to leave after a decade at the drinks industry body, following the creation of the new independent charitable Drinkaware Trust, which is aimed at changing the UK’s drinking culture.
Coussins is due to leave her role in September. She is tipped to replace Andrew Brown as director-general of the Advertising Association. He is retiring after 13 years.
A spokesman for The Portman Group confirms her departure and adds: “She is leaving as a consequence of changes at The Portman Group and the setting-up of the Drinkaware Trust.”
The Portman Group has been heavily criticised for being too closely involved with the industry, resulting in its shake-up and the formation of the new trust.
The trust, voluntarily funded by the alcohol industry, was given an official go-ahead last week by public health minister Caroline Flint. In its new format it brings together the alcohol industry, lobby groups and medical professionals to address alcohol misuse. The Portman Group will become a branding watchdog.
Coussins career began at the United Nations, followed by a spell at the National Council for Civil Liberties and Child Poverty Action Group. She joined The Portman Group in 1996.