Commercial Alert’s Ruskin Steps Down

BOSTON Citing his ongoing battle with Lyme disease and related illnesses, Gary Ruskin said he has stepped down after more than eight years as executive director of Ralph Nader’s consumer advocacy group Commercial Alert.

Robert Weissman, one of the group’s longtime top advisers, takes the title of managing director. Mark Wittink becomes campaign director.

Ruskin said he would continue to serve on the board of directors of the group he co-founded.

In recent years, Commercial Alert has been a staunch critic of junk food ads aimed at kids and marketing efforts that target youngsters at school, among other anti-advertising efforts.

“Every day, I have had the pleasure of talking with many of the finest people in our nation and across the world,” Ruskin said in a statement. “With your help, Commercial Alert will keep growing, and we will protect our children and communities from commercialism.”

Ruskin has made frequent media appearances to further his cause and contributed columns and commentary to trade and mainstream publications.

Commercial Alert is based in Portland, Ore.