PPA names first Head of Digital, plus Chair of Digital Collective and AI taskforce

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The PPA today appointed Mel McVeigh as its first Head of Digital to support members digital growth strategies, and it named John Barnes Chair of the PPA Digital Collective and AI taskforce.

PPA appointments

McVeigh is an experienced product and technology leader, multi-disciplinary visual artist and arts trustee at Photoworks UK.

Working in collaboration with Sajeeda Merali, PPA CEO, McVeigh will be responsible for shaping, creating and implementing the PPA’s member focused digital strategy and keeping abreast of digital innovation and legislation as the industry continues its evolution to multi-platform and digital first.

McVeigh has worked for several global publishers including Telegraph Media Group, Which?, TimeOut and Lonely Planet.

She was previously VP Digital Product – Brands & Commerce, Condé Nast. It was here that she led the digital product portfolio across nine brands in ten markets.

She also spearheaded several transformative digital product launches. This included establishing the first dedicated commerce product teams which resulted in digital e-Commerce products and platforms across Retail Media, Storefront and Affiliate.

On the consumer product side McVeigh reimagined the digital experience of the Met Gala and Vogue World as global multi language digital livestream experiences, launched Vogue’s Storefront, Architectural Digest Designer Directory and Condé Nast Travelers redesign and affiliate booking integration.

Additionally, she will work alongside the newly appointed Chair of the PPA Digital Collective and AI taskforce, John Barnes.

John Barnes

Barnes is currently Chief Digital Officer at William Reed and will chair the group of digital product strategy leaders from across member businesses who come together to discuss industry challenges and opportunities around technology and digital innovation.

He has over 30 years experience in B2B media. Previously, John was Managing Director of VNU, Chief Digital Officer at Infopro Digital and Incisive Media. He was Chairman of the AOP from 2011 to 2016.

Sajeeda Merali, CEO, PPA, said: “Today’s publisher is multi platform and multi revenue, and this appointment is another reflection of the future forward strategy that the PPA is focused on delivering.

“With a fast-evolving digital landscape and new emerging technologies, it’s important that we have a dedicated resource focused on members’ digital agendas.

“With Mel’s experience and understanding of our industry, and a skill set that combines high level creativity and adopting cutting edge technology alongside continuous commercial growth, she’ll be a great addition to our team and resource for PPA members.”

McVeigh said: “With the light speed change and impact of technologies to publishers’ organisations, I am excited to help shape the PPA’s future digital strategy.

“It’s important the PPA supports members as they evolve their digital growth strategies across multiple lines of business as well as helping them stay true to what makes publishing and media so unique, editorial voice and curation.”

Barnes said: “The PPA Digital Collective is an influential platform for the industry to foster debate and address the challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies and the evolving digital landscape.

“We have ambitious plans for the Collective, and we’re looking forward to welcoming and tapping into Mel’s experience as we continue to confront conventional thinking and help members transform their digital media businesses.