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 Those ads that break the rules have to be withdrawn or changed.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 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.
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.
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 married with two children.
Elizabeth Gordon is a Non-Executive Director of NHS Lothian Health Board and a Member of two Integration Joint Boards (Edinburgh and East Lothian), statutory bodies with oversight of health and social care.
Her past experience includes being a Director of a large independent provider of NHS dentistry in Edinburgh and prior to that, Elizabeth was a Solicitor in a leading Scottish law firm, working in the field of occupational pensions.
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.
Claire is Managing Director, Virgin Brand, 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.
Mark Howe retired as Google’s MD of Agencies & Ad Industry Relations EMEA in December 2022, after 17 years.
During these 17 years Mark held numerous Senior Sales Management roles within the UK, Northern Europe & EMEA and was seen as the Media Industry face of Google. Prior to that he held senior roles in TV sales.
Mark is also very well known to us through his long-standing role as an Asbof Board member and, since 2020, EASA Board member. Mark was instrumental in arranging the deal with EASA, signed in late 2020 and renewed at the end of last year, via which Google funds European ad self-regulatory bodies, including the ASA.
In his spare time Mark enjoys open water swimming, having now raced the Classic Escape from Alcatraz swim in San Francisco Bay three times. In 2019, he took on his first 10km marathon swim & the famous Hellespont swim, the world’s oldest swim from Europe to Asia.
He was educated at University College London & lives in Surrey, with his wife and sometimes his three children when they come home.
Rotha Johnston is director of Wildflower Property and previously owned a foodservice business with her husband.
Rotha is chair of NIE Networks the electricity transmission and distribution operator for Northern Ireland. In addition, she is 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.
Richard Lloyd joined the ASA council in April 2020. He has been Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority since 2019. He is also Deputy Chair and Chair of the Policy Committee at the Financial Conduct Authority.
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.
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.
Dr Rebecca Rumbul
Rebecca is the Executive Director and CEO of the Rust Foundation, a global non-profit stewarding the Rust programming language. She holds a PhD in Politics and Governance, and has worked as a consultant and researcher with governments, parliaments and development agencies all over the world, advocating for openness and transparency, and developing tools to improve digital participation.
In addition to her full-time and consultancy roles, Rebecca is a Non-Executive Director of OpenUK, and a Trustee of the Hansard Society.
Krystle has been a Barrister for more than 15 years and is the General Counsel and Deputy Director of Business Services 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 Local Councillor and the Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Public Health at Enfield Council, a trustee for a mental health charity, a Management Board member of a pupil referral unit and a local authority school governor.
Nita P. Woods
Nita is a Sustainability Strategist and Social Entrepreneur. She has 20 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 is Client Impact Director at Anthesis Group, one of the largest consultancies dedicated to sustainability, and is the co-founder of both Planet Communications and Out of The Woods, providing strategic advice to everyone from big brands through to small and micro 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 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.
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.