Editorial: Graham has met the highest standards

Christopher Graham, stepping down this week as the Advertising Standards Authority chief executive, will take a large amount of industry gratitude along with him.

For the past nine years, he has directed the day-to-day running of the watchdog with a combination of quiet efficiency and diplomacy. The latter is an essential pre-requisite because the ASA must constantly steer a middle course between aggrieved advertisers and agencies that think it is too tough and politicians who think it isn't tough enough.

Graham, however, will be best remembered for the way he avoided the logistical and organisational nightmare that could have ensued when the regulation of all UK advertising was brought under the ASA's control.

Five years on, work remains to be done before the statutory and self-regulatory codes co-exist perfectly within a single organisation. Far better that, though, than a regulator enfeebled by internal chaos. That's not happened. And Graham can take much of the credit.