AANA appoints interim CEO

Former Free TV chief steps in as interim CEO following departure of John Broome in May

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has confirmed former CEO of Free TV Australia, Julie Flynn, as its new interim CEO.

The news comes two weeks after former AANA CEO, John Broome, stepped down from the position after a four-year term.

In a statement, AANA chair, Martin Brown, said the board was thrilled to have someone of Flynn’s calibrate to step in and lead the AANA secretariat at such an important time for the industry. Flynn spent more than 15 years at the helm of Free TV Australia from 2001 – 2016. More recently, she was the CEO of Freeview Australia for over a year until July 2020.

Julie FlynnCredit: AANA
Julie Flynn


“Julie is a highly respected leader in our field and brings deep experience across the commercial, regulatory and public policy aspects of the media and advertising landscape, most notably through her roles leading Free TV and Freeview Australia,” he said.

“The AANA has had a strong start to 2021 with the latest evolution of our marketing capability programs and the launch of the new Food and Beverage Code. Julie is ideally placed to help us advance our plans for the second half of the year as we search for a permanent CEO.”

The AANA said has commenced a search for a permanent CEO.

Flynn said she was happy to join the team to help the AANA, its board and members with 2021 programs of work, highlighting the AANA Reset conference as well as continued rollout of capability programs as key areas of focus.

Last week, the association unveiled its updated F&B Code aimed at reducing the exposure of children to advertising promoting occasional food or drinks. The key change is that advertisers can now only show ads for occasional foods when the proportion of children is 25 per cent or less of the total audience. Previously, this figure sat at 35 per cent. The policy applies to both traditional and digital media.

The changes also include a unified F&B Code incorporating the previous AANA Code and two other initiatives covering quick service restaurants and packaged foods found in supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as extension of the code to sponsorships.

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The AANA said the definition of ‘occasional’ foods will also now be determined by the application of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion. In addition, the new code will incorporate a specific reference to a requirement that only healthier options be marketed to children, so that brand owners do not advertise occasional foods near places where children congregate.  

The new F&B Code applies from 1 November 2021.

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