It’s a ‘miserable day’: Tess Alps retires as chair of Thinkbox

It’s a rare press release that starts with “we are reluctant and miserable to announce,” but Thinkbox has done just that with a statement about Tess Alps departure from the TV marketing body.

Alps was the founding CEO of Thinkbox in 2006, and before that she was chair of Omnicom’s PHD Group in the UK, a position she earned through her many years of hard work in the media. She started her career in 1977, when it really was a man’s world, particularly in media sales.

All the way through, Alps has been enthusiastically involved in the wider industry, and is never afraid to speak her mind about women’s issues, ageism, and harassment (she is a founder of the TimeTo movement). Not to mention her wealth of knowledge about all things media and advertising.

Alps says: “I don’t want to come over all Theresa May, but it truly has been the honour of my life to be part of Thinkbox for the last fourteen years. I only meant to stay for three, but TV has been in such an exciting and dynamic phase for all that time that it’s been hard to drag myself away.”

Thinkbox CEO Lindsay Clay says: “This is obviously a sad moment for us, but also a wonderful excuse to shower praise upon a peerless person – something she’ll hate. No one has done more to champion TV, and advertising more widely. And no one has done so with more passion, integrity, conscience, wit, and success. Tess is a one-off, a wonder and we’ve been incredibly lucky to keep hold of her for so long.”

Alps — who describes herself as a “wise old bird” on her Twitter bio, is still a council member of the Advertising Standards Authority, so all that experience is not entirely lost to the industry just yet, but she is planning to spend a lot more time with her husband in her Chilterns home, where she wants to focus on writing and gardening.

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