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Boots' CMO, Pete Markey, appointed Advertising Association's Front Foot Network Chair

Advertising Association

5 min read Partner content

London, 21 February 2023: The Advertising Association has announced the appointment of Pete Markey (Chief Marketing Officer, Boots UK) as the new Chair of Front Foot, the Advertising Association’s unique network of advertisers, media owners, agencies and tech companies. Together, they provide the resource and leadership to advance the voice of the UK advertising industry, leading on the delivery of key workstreams including Public Trust, All In and Ad Net Zero, while also funding Credos, UK advertising’s thinktank.

Founded in 2010, over 90 companies make up the Front Foot network, drawn from all corners of the industry with a shared interest in shaping the future of responsible advertising. As Chair, Pete Markey will lead the network’s voice – particularly around the issues of public trust, talent, inclusion and climate action – facets which complement the Advertising Association’s new 3-year strategy which puts trusted, inclusive and sustainable advertising at the heart of its mission. He takes over the role after a successful tenure by Mark Evans, former Managing Director of Marketing and Digital, Direct Line Group.

Pete Markey became CMO of Boots UK in 2021 and is responsible for all marketing activity across the UK and Ireland, including brand, marketing communications, data, and loyalty.

Markey has been the recipient of four ‘Marketer of the Year’ Awards, as well as a retained spot on the Campaign Power 100 list. As well as being an Executive Sponsor for Boots UK’s Marketing for Change initiative, which helps to foster diversity and inclusion across its marketing activity, Markey is also the Executive Sponsor for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Pride Alliance (LGBT+) business resource group in the UK.

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association said: “Pete is one of the UK’s most admired marketers and it gives us great pleasure to welcome him as the new Chair of Front Foot. As we implement our new 3-year strategy, with a focus on ‘making the case for advertising’, Front Foot’s growing and dynamic network will be a vital, driving force behind securing a sustainable, inclusive, and trusted future for our industry. I also want to pay tribute to Mark Evans for his sterling leadership of Front Foot over the recent years, steering the network through the Covid-19 pandemic. Both Pete and Mark are visionary business leaders and are well known for going ‘above and beyond’ in their work. I look forward to working with Pete as we work to address the challenges we face, from continuing to rebuild public trust in advertising to addressing talent shortages, helping to bring all parts of the industry together in common causes.”

Pete Markey, Incoming Chair, Front Foot and CMO, Boots said: “It’s a huge privilege to be taking on this role at such an exciting time for Front Foot and the advertising industry as a whole. I’ve been really impressed with the work done to date under Mark’s leadership and can’t wait to get started with the fantastic team at Front Foot as we help to deliver our exciting plan.”

Mark Evans, Outgoing Chair, Front Foot, said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to Chair the Advertising Association’s Front Foot for the last four years. It’s a superb body that supercharges the work of the Advertising Association so effectively, to the benefit of the advertising industry and everyone within it. 

I am proud of the way in which we have navigated through some choppy waters and emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever. Whilst it is with a tinge of sadness that I am now stepping down I couldn’t be happier to be handing over to Pete who I know will take things up a level or two.”

Front Foot’s funding of industry thinktank Credos has produced world-leading work on the value of advertising to the UK economy and society and most recently on the issues affecting the flows of talent into the industry. Markey becomes Chair at a critical time for Front Foot, as it advances its campaigns on behalf of the industry in tackling the talent shortage, an issue which was identified in the Association’s latest report, Investing In Our Talent’s Future.

Members of the Front Foot network receive a range of exclusive benefits, such as early access to research, invitations to exclusive events and access to Public Affairs briefings and regulatory advice. The network has provided a valuable conduit during the Covid-19 and cost-of-living crises to provide members with up-to-date advice directly from Government and allowing Government to hear direct from industry.

About Pete Markey

Pete Markey is Chief Marketing Officer for Boots where he is responsible for brand and marketing for the UK and ROI. Pete is also the Exec Sponsor for Marketing for Change and the Boots Pride BRG network as well as co-Exec sponsor for the Boots/Macmillan partnership.

Pete has previously held senior leadership roles at TSB, Aviva, the Post Office, RSA and MORE TH>N with his early career at One.Tel, the AA and British Gas. He has experience of working across a range of disciplines including marketing, sales, digital, data & analytics, customer experience, operations and strategy.

Pete has been awarded four prestigious Marketer of the Year awards and is a Fellow of the Marketing Society and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Pete is very active in the marketing industry and is Vice President at ISBA. He has regularly featured in the “Hall of Fame” in the Campaign Power 100 and the Marketing Week Top 100 most effective marketing leaders.

Pete has been recognised for his extensive work on diversity and inclusion winning both the Diversity Ally award at the European Diversity Awards in 2019 and the Corporate Ally award at the Rainbow Honours Awards in 2022. Pete is also a mentor for The Marketing Academy and Solent University.


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