Led by ASA Chairman, David Currie, two-thirds of the 13-strong Council are independent of industry and the remaining members have a recent or current knowledge of the advertising 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, and has recently taken the chair at the Advertising Standards Authority. He sits as Lord Currie of Marylebone on the cross benches in the House of Lords.
Suzanne has held a number of senior public sector positions and is currently Chairman of Depaul UK and the Standards Committee of the Institute of Fundraising.
She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of London, and a Non-Executive Director of the Senet Group, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors UK and Ireland Regulatory Board and the Human Tissue Authority.
Shireen is a solicitor with over 20 years’ experience. She specialises in intellectual property law and is a partner in the firm of Harbottle & Lewis LLP.
Shireen is a CEDR trained mediator and has served on the International Trade Mark Association’s Panel of Neutrals as well as its Enforcement Committee. She has also been appointed by the Court to act as an independent supervising solicitor on a number of occasions.
Kate is a multi-platform journalist. She’s currently a broadcast journalist with BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live.
She has previously worked as a journalist in local radio at BBC Oxford and BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
Sam Younger, CBE
Sam is currently Chair of CILEx Regulation, Vice Chair of Voluntary Service Overseas and was until 2014 Chief Executive of the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
He also held the position as Chair of the Electoral Commission and Interim CEO of Shelter. He’s also been Managing Director at BBC World Service and Director General at the British Red Cross. He’s previously been an Independent Member of the Standards Committee for the Greater London Authority and Chair of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Alan Bookbinder is Director, Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a management and advisory role in the UK’s largest charitable family foundation.
Alan's tenure on the Council will end on 27 April 2018.
He has previously held senior management positions at the BBC including Head of Religion and Ethics and Chief Advisor, Editorial Policy. Alan sits on both Councils as a lay member. Appointed to the ASA Council in April 2012.
Wesley is a retired Director of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
He is currently an Independent Assessor with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland, a Member of Mutual Energy and an Education Speaker for Cats Protection, the national animal charity. Previously he served as a Lay Representative for the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency and was a Public Director with the Lagan Canal Trust.
Rachel currently works as the Home Education English Lead for The Reintegration Service in West Berkshire. Appointed to the ASA Council in May 2011.
Rachel's tenure on the Council will end on 27 April 2018.
She also sits on the Independent Complaints Panel for The Portman Group. A former Junior School Headteacher, Rachel brings extensive experience of working with children and young people. During her last 20 years in education she has been a teacher, literacy adviser, head teacher, governor, examiner and child protection officer.
Neil Stevenson is the Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. He currently sits on the Board of the General Dental Council and is Chair of its Remuneration Committee.
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 for five years was a member of the advisory group on diversity to the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.
Reg is a member of the British Board of Film Classification Consultative Council and a Non-Executive Director of the Children’s Media Foundation.
He is also 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.
Tracey is Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at The Future Laboratory.
She has 20 years’ experience in advertising; agency side at Cogent, McCanns, Lowe and VCCP, rising to CSO at J Walter Thompson; and client side as International Advertising Manager at T-Mobile and Head of Consumer Communications at BT.
Roisin Donnelly is Brand Director at Procter & Gamble for the UK and Ireland. Appointed to the ASA Council in April 2012.
Roisin's tenure on the Council will end on 27 April 2018.
She was President of the Marketing Society from 2009 to 2011 and is a former President of WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications London). Roisin sits as an Industry Member with an advertising background on both the non-broadcast and broadcast Councils.
Tess Alps is the Chair of Thinkbox and was its first CEO.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society, a member of BAFTA and currently sits on the corporate board of The Royal Academy of Arts. Her advertising background includes ITV companies Television South-West, Yorkshire TV and Tyne-Tees TV and thirteen years as a director of PHD Media, latterly as Chair.
David has over 35 years’ experience in magazines as a writer and editor and is a director of independent media company, Mixmag Media Ltd, publishers of MixMag. He sits on the Panel in his capacity as an ASA Council representative.
He was Editorial Director of EMAP Consumer Magazines from 1983 to 2002, where he was responsible for the editorial launches of Just Seventeen, Q, Empire, Mojo, More and Heat. Prior to that he was editor of Smash Hits magazine from 1981-1983. He writes and speaks on media issues and is a regular broadcaster on BBC radio.
Aaqil's appointment to the Council will be effective from 27 April 2018.
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 co-founder and Board member of Princes Trust youth mentoring organisation Mosaic, a council member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and a Trustee of disaster relief agency Muslim Aid.
His company, Aaqil Ahmed Media Consultancy specialises in Television and digital media production, religion and diversity strategy and training as well as international development training in media and religious literacy.
Nita's appointment to the Council will be effective from 27 April 2018.
Nita is a Corporate Communications and Sustainability specialist.
Through her business Planet Communications, she has worked with a number of well-known companies helping develop and deliver their sustainability communications.Nita is also the co-founder of new coffee shop and co-working space in Brixton, CAYA, providing a multi-purpose venue for freelancers and nomad workers to eat, work and share space in a flexible fashion. This is her first Board position.
Zaid's appointment to the Council will be effective from 27 April 2018.
Zaid is the Chief Brand & Marketing Officer of BT Group, which owns EE, Plusnet and BT, the UK’s 4th most valuable brand.
He was educated at Oxford University, where he read PPE (Philosophy, Politics & Economics), and has also completed the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma. He spent 20 years at Procter & Gamble, in marketing & commercial roles, including as Managing Director of the Health & Beauty division for the UK & Ireland. Before joining BT, Zaid was the Chief Marketing Officer of HouseTrip, a digital start-up which was bought by TripAdvisor in 2016. Zaid has also been a special advisor to Brandwatch PeerIndex and a SeedCamp mentor.
Zaid is committed to achieving social good and inclusion, and has helped WaterAid, Oxfam, the men’s health charity Movember, and is BT’s ethnic diversity sponsor. He is married with two children.