Neilson joins the Periodical Publishers' Association on 16 October as director of legal and public affairs.
She will represent the industry's interests to policy makers on intellectual property, advertising, data protection and online content. She will report both to PPA deputy chief executive Nick Mazur and CEO Ian Locks.
Neilson joined the Advertising Association in May 2005 from Brussels-based PA consultancy Europe Analytica.
The association has promoted UK head of public affairs Sue Eustace to director of PA, taking responsibility for UK and EU lobbying as well as its Food Advertising Unit. Eustace joined the organisation in 2003 and previously spent 13 years working on public affairs issues at the ITV Network Centre.
It is also hunting a European PA manager as a result of Neilson's departure. Her exit comes as the European parliament puts together a compromise amendment to its TV without Frontiers directive, which aims to ensure ‘free movement of broadcasting services within the internal market'.
The Advertising Association - which represents advertisers, agencies and media - is awaiting Ofcom's verdict on whether to impose restrictions on broadcast advertising to children.
At the PPA, Neilson replaces Dave Thomas, who is understood to be relocating to the North.