Ofcom, the new supra-regulator appointed by the British government to oversee the provisions of its recently enacted Communications Bill, has hired former Starcom Motive vice-chairman David Connolly as the independent mediator between the merged ITV and advertisers.

The Ofcom appointment, made in conjunction with the Independent Television Commission, is intended to assuage the concerns of advertisers and agencies -- alarmed at the merged media mammoth's control of more than fifty per cent of the nation's TV advertising revenues.

Connolly (44), who left Starcom earlier this year, takes the reins on a part-time basis, although he is precluded from working elsewhere under the terms of his appointment. He is charged with ensuring the smooth working of the Contract Rights Renewal mechanism -- a procedure imposed on ITV by the Office of Trair Trading to ensure it does not abuse its dominant market position.

Says Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter: "The CRR remedy offers the advertising community a comprehensive range of protections, with the right of recourse to the adjudicator as a backstop."

Connolly is optimistic that advertisers' calls on his mediation services will be minimal. "I believe the breadth and depth of those protections are likely to ensure that disagreements are few in number.

"However, when I am asked to intervene, I will do so quickly and on the basis of the detailed technical facts presented by each party. This is an important and stimulating role and I welcome the opportunity."

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