Philip Circus, the outspoken legal affairs director of the
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, is to quit the agency trade
He will end his 20-year tenure of the job in March to concentrate on
other activities and expand his role as an advisor to the Newspaper
Society, which is making its advertising law service available to other
organisations (Campaign, 28 November 1997).
The decision by the blunt-spoken barrister follows a number of
controversial comments which have put him at odds with the advertising
establishment.In September 1996, he went on radio and television to
criticise what he claimed was a lack of accountability at the
Advertising Standards Authority after its decision to ban the
Conservative Party’s ’demon eyes’ poster.
More recently, he is understood to have been unhappy about what he
believed was the IPA’s failure to take a more robust stance against the
Government’s assault on tobacco advertising.
It is believed that one of the reasons Circus, 46, has chosen to resign
is so that he can speak out more freely on industry issues about which
he feels strongly.
But he said: ’The overriding reason for leaving the IPA is that I’ve
been doing a full-time job which provides only a third of my income.
’David Newell, the Newspaper Society’s director, has come up with an
expanded role for me and the NS is an organisation I’ve long
Circus currently divides his time between the IPA, the Institute of
Sales Promotion, for which he acts as legal advisor, and his partnership
in Lawmark, a marketing law advisory service.
’It was getting too much,’ he added. ’If I had stayed at the IPA, there
would have had to be a huge change in my working arrangements.’
The IPA is advertising for Circus’s replacement and may follow the
increasingly common practice of having senior positions filled by
Nick Phillips, the IPA’s director-general, will serve as Circus’s
temporary replacement on the Committee of Advertising Practice, which
determines Britain’s advertising codes.
He said: ’Philip combines huge knowledge with speed of action, but he
does get frustrated at times and will always say what he thinks.’