The prospect of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
’contracting out’ its legal advice service to a law firm - or even
another trade body - has grown with the imminent departure of Philip
Circus, its legal affairs director.
Circus is to be an advisor to the Newspaper Society, which has begun
approaching 100 of its recognised agencies offering them the chance to
avail themselves of its legal advice unit. It claims the unit is
’unmatched by any trade association and more than equal to the very best
specialist law firms’.
The move is part of efforts to generate extra funding and raise the
profile of the NS, which is talking to a number of media trade bodies
interested in farming out legal services. Circus said: ’We very much
hope a number of organisations, including the IPA, will see this as an
opportunity of increasing membership benefits by agreeing package
Nick Phillips, the IPA’s director-general, is hopeful it can keep its
legal services in-house with the appointment of Circus’s successor. But
he does not rule out handing them over to consultants.
’It wouldn’t be my first choice, but we have been approached by a number
of legal firms since news broke of Philip’s departure,’ he said. ’If for
any reason we don’t find the right person to replace him, there are many
other options. That may include using major law firms, which may have
better resources than the NS.’
The NS, which has a team of six lawyers as well as experts on ad copy,
sales promotion and employment law, plans to offer packages which would
mean agencies paying a ’plug-in’ fee plus access to specialist legal
advice at about half the normal cost.