The ASA Council is the jury that decides whether advertisements have broken the advertising rules. Those ads that break the rules have to be withdrawn or changed.

The Council is actually two Councils: broadcast and non-broadcast, led by ASA Chairman, David Currie.  There are 12 members, excluding the Chair, and they all sit on both.  Two-thirds of them are independent of industry and the remaining members have a recent or current knowledge of the advertiser, agency or media sectors. Members are appointed through an open recruitment process, with all positions advertised. 

Collectively, the members offer a wide range of skills and experiences, representing the perspectives of a wide cross section of society, including young people, families, charities and consumer groups.

While it would not be appropriate to publish details of deliberations, the parties to a complaint are made aware of the collective decision of Council, along with detailed reasoning. This information is also made publicly available in our detailed weekly rulings. 

The ASA Council also operates as the Board of the ASA.
 

ASA Council members

  • David Currie

    David Currie

    ASA Chairman

    David Currie is an economist who has enjoyed a career spanning academia, business, government and the voluntary sector. He was a professor in the University of London, Deputy Dean at London Business School and Dean of Cass Business School. He is among the UK’s most experienced regulators, having been the founding Chair of Ofcom and more recently the Competition and Markets Authority, before taking the chair at the Advertising Standards Authority. He sits as Lord Currie of Marylebone on the cross benches in the House of Lords.

  • Neil Stevenson

    Neil Stevenson

    Independent member

    Neil Stevenson is the Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. 

    His past experience includes 11 years at the Law Society of Scotland and being a founder Director of the Scottish Arbitration Centre. He has a keen interest in equality, and is Chair of Changing the Chemistry, a peer network supporting people from diverse background into non-exec roles in the board room.

  • Alison Hastings

    Alison Hastings

    Independent member

    Alison is a former daily newspaper editor who has sat on the Boards of a range of regulators including the BBC Trust, the British Board of Film Classification, the Gambling Commission and the Press Complaints Commission.

    She is currently a lay member of Durham University Council,  a member of the Press Association Trust and a non-exec at Motability Operations PLC. Alison sits on the ASA Council as an independent member.

  • Tess Alps

    Tess Alps

    All media industry background member

    Until December 2020, Tess was the Chair of Thinkbox, the central marketing body for commercial TV on all platforms, an organisation she set up in 2006 and of which she was the founding CEO. 

    Prior to Thinkbox she was a director of media agency PHD for 13 years, latterly as Chair, having begun her career within ITV companies.  She sat on the editorial advisory board of BBC magazines for eight years and worked closely with Guardian Media Group during their evolution online in the ‘90s and early 2000s.  She is a member of BAFTA.

  • Aaqil Ahmed

    Aaqil Ahmed

    Independent Member

    Aaqil Ahmed is the former Head of Religion and Ethics at both the BBC and Channel 4.  At the BBC his role included commissioning religion TV, running in house TV and radio production in Salford and Belfast as well as being the Head of Religion internally and externally.

    At Channel 4, he was also the Head of Multicultural Programming, winning numerous awards from BAFTA, Emmy to Royal Television Society, as well as nominations including Grierson and Oscar.

    He is Professor of Media at the University of Bolton and a published writer, speaker and leader in media, diversity, religion, demographics and culture.

    Aaqil is a member of the OFCOM Advisory committee for England, a council member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and a member of the Rugby Football League Diversity and Inclusion board. 

    His company, Aaqil Ahmed Media specialises in Television and digital media production, religion and diversity strategy as well as programming consultancy for a number of broadcasters and festivals. 

  • Nita P. Woods

    Nita P. Woods

    Independent Member

    Nita is a Sustainability Strategist and Social Entrepreneur. She has over 18 years’ experience working for corporate clients, specialising in purpose-led business strategy, conscious capitalism, sustainability strategy and communications. She wants to solve our biggest social challenges by bringing diversity of thought and representation at C-Suite and Board level.

    She has been the lead consultant at Planet Communications, providing sustainability consultancy for agencies and large corporations, and is also founder of Out Of The Woods, helping small businesses create their sustainability strategies or innovation-led businesses. As a side hustle, she co-founded CAYA, a coffee shop and co-work space in South London and serves the Mayor of London as a business advisor on the London Economic Action Plan.

    When she's not busy burning through her bucket list, she's probably thinking up new business ideas, reading a book on a beach in Bali, and alliterating.

  • Zaid Al-Qassab

    Zaid Al-Qassab

    Advertising industry background member

    Zaid is the Chief Marketing Officer for Channel 4.

    Zaid's career has been spent in commercial, marketing & advertising roles, including as Managing Director of the Health & Beauty division of Procter & Gamble (UK & Ireland), as Chief Brand & Marketing Officer for BT Group, and as CMO of HouseTrip, a digital start-up.

    Zaid has a degree in PPE from Oxford University, and has completed the FT Non-Executive Director Diploma. He is committed to achieving social good and inclusion, is Channel 4’s executive leader for inclusion and diversity, a Board member of Creative Diversity Network, and a Trustee of WaterAid. He is married with two children.

  • Kirsten Miller

    Kirsten Miller

    Agency industry background Member

    Kirsten has over 17 years’ experience in digital media, having begun her career at Advertising.com, one of the world’s first algorithmic based digital ad networks.

    Most recently, Kirsten spent seven years at Group M agency Maxus, where, as a member of the leadership team, she established the agency’s first technology team.

  • Krystle Sargent

    Krystle Sargent

    Independent Member

    Krystle has been a Barrister for over a decade and is the General Counsel at UK Sport, the government agency responsible for investing in Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK. Prior to that she was at the Criminal Bar and has worked for OFGEM, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Serious Fraud Office.

    Krystle has also been a Councillor and the Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Public Health at Enfield Council, a trustee for a local mental health charity, a Management Board member of a pupil referral unit and a local authority school governor.

  • Richard Lloyd

    Richard Lloyd

    Independent Member

    Richard Lloyd joined the ASA council in April 2020. He is Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, senior independent director at the Financial Conduct Authority, and vice chair of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

    Richard led Which? as executive director from 2011 to 2016. Prior to this he was chief executive of the world federation of consumer organisations, Consumers International; head of policy at the housing charity, Shelter; and worked for two years in No10 Downing Street as a special adviser to the Prime Minister. He was awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to the economy and consumer rights.

  • Dr Rebecca Rumbul

    Dr Rebecca Rumbul

    Independent Member

    Rebecca is Head of Research at mySociety and a leading global expert in digital democracy, consulting with governments and parliaments all over the world to develop digital tools for participation, transparency and accountability.

    Rebecca is frequently invited to speak at international events as a leader in the field of civic technology and citizen engagement, and has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. She holds a PhD in politics and governance, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, and is a political commentator in Wales.

  • Claire Hilton

    Claire Hilton

    Advertising Industry Background member

    Claire is Global Brand Director for Virgin, responsible for the overall Virgin masterbrand strategy & direction. Claire & her team work closely with the 40+ Virgin companies globally, providing direction on how to embed the brand across areas such as culture, people & customer experience, purpose & sustainability.  

    Claire previously worked at BT and Barclays in various roles including Chief of Staff, UK Marketing Director and Managing Director, Global Brand & Insight. 

    Claire is a Non-Exec Director at Virgin Start-Up & Virgin Enterprises Limited, a member of Women in Advertising & Communications London (WACL) and a member of the Marketing Group of Great Britain. She also mentors a number of young female talent within the industry. Claire is married and has one daughter. 

  • Rotha Johnston

    Rotha Johnston

    Independent Member

    Rotha Johnston is director of Wildflower Property and previously owned a foodservice business with her husband. 

    Rotha is chair of NIE Networks the transmission and distribution operator for Northern Ireland. In addition, she is a member of KPMG’s Northern Ireland Advisory Board, a director of QUBIS Ltd, and a director at the charity, Ulster Garden Villages Ltd. 

    In the past she has been a BBC Trustee for Northern Ireland, Pro-Chancellor at Queen’s University Belfast, a member of the Industrial Strategy Council, a Belfast Harbour Commissioner, Deputy Chair of Invest Northern Ireland and a director of AIB UK. In 2016 she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the Northern Ireland economy and public service.

 

Register of interests and remuneration

Council Members are appointed for a maximum of two three-year terms and receive a payment of up to £19,000 p.a. A combined Register of Council Members’ Interests is available for download.