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 Those ads that break the rules have to be withdrawn or changed.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.
Wesley is a retired Director of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
He previously served as an Independent Assessor with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland, as a Lay Representative for the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency, as a Public Director with the Lagan Canal Trust and as a Member of Mutual Energy. He also acted in a voluntary capacity for many years with Cats Protection (the national animal charity) in the roles of Education Speaker and Education Team Leader Northern Ireland.
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.
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.
Reg is the Chair of the YMCA charity in England & Wales, and a member of the British Board of Film Classification's Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing.
He was formerly a Non-Executive Director of the Children's Media Foundation and a member of the expert panel of the Advertising Association’s Media Smart project. Reg worked for thirty years in fast moving consumer goods marketing, on brands ranging from Homepride to Danish Bacon via Del Monte. As former Chief Executive of Mothers’ Union, Reg was appointed by the government in 2011 to review the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. His recommendations, including around parental controls for internet enabled devices and advertising in the public space, were all accepted by government and, on the latter point, prompted a direct response by the ASA. He was appointed CBE in 2013 for services to children and families.
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 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 is a Sustainability Strategist and a Small Business champion. She has over 18 years’ experience working for corporate clients, helping them to understand how to innovate their business model to meet the pressing demands of a low-carbon economy. She specialises in purpose-led business strategy, conscious capitalism and 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 also the founder of Out Of The Woods, a digital business providing expert sustainability at half the price to individuals and small businesses. She is the lead consultant at Planet Communications, a sustainability consultancy for agencies and corporates, and co-founder of CAYA, a coffee shop and co-work space in South London. She serves as Managing Director for SEIDS, the social enterprise of Caritas Westminster, and is a Trustee of Social Enterprise Mark, the only international accreditation body for social enterprises.
She serves the Mayor of London as a business advisor on the London Economic Action Plan, a business representative on the London Recovery Board, and a business advisor to the Mayor of Newham on the Royal Docks Programme Board. She also sits on the Steering Committee for the cross-functional partnership between the GLA and Cass Business School supporting educational training programmes to support London businesses to recover and grow post pandemic.
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 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 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 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 joined the ASA council in April 2020. He is interim Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, senior independent director and Chair of Risk 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
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.
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.Register of Council Members' Interests