Newspaper Society challenges IPA’s hold on provision of legal advice

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.

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

deals.’



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.



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