Ministers Offer UK Government Ad Watchdog More Say

22 July 2002

The watchdog that oversees advertising by the British government may get greater power in a bid by the Cabinet Office to prevent a revolt.

The Advisory Committee on Advertising was furious that ministers ignored its opposition to the decision by the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions to deal with agencies without the help of COI Communications (the administrative interface between the government and its agency roster).

Members of the ACA last week held talks with two ministers – Lord Macdonald of Tradeston and Douglas Alexander – to try to resolve the dispute. The government is keen to avoid any more upheaval after the resignation of committee chairman Derek Dear over the DTLR row.

To improve relations between the two sides, ministers are offering the ACA a greater role (the nature of which is undisclosed), though some committee members expressed doubts that this would make any difference.

However, Macdonald and Alexander would not budge on the DTLR breakaway, which they insist cannot be overruled.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff