Led by ASA Chairman, Lord Smith of Finsbury, 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
Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury
Chris Smith was appointed ASA Chairman by the Advertising Standards Board of Finance in July 2007. From 2008 to 2014 he was the Chairman of the Environment Agency.
Chris Smith was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, and Pembroke College, Cambridge where he took a double first in English. He was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard, and completed his Cambridge PhD in 1979. Chris was a Labour councillor for the London Borough of Islington for five years, and was chairman of housing from 1981 to 1983. In 1983 he became MP for Islington South and Finsbury. In 1992 he joined the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Environmental Protection, and two years later moved to Heritage, then Social Security and Health. He held the post of Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport between 1997 and 2001, entered the House of Lords in 2005 and sits on the cross-benches. In October 2015 he also became the Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge.
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.
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.
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.
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 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. He sits on the Panel in his capacity as an ASA Council representative.