Ministers have blocked plans to install Caroline Marland, a senior
Guardian executive, as the chairman of the Advisory Committee on
Advertising, which supervises government advertising.
Brian Nicholson, who retires as chairman of the ACA at the end of the
year, proposed he should be succeeded by Marland, the managing director
of the national newspaper division of the Guardian media group and its
former advertising director.
Nicholson told Peter Kilfoyle, the minister responsible for the Central
Office of Information, that Marland was the most experienced member of
the ACA, which monitors the COI’s media buying and campaign
Kilfoyle vetoed Marland’s appointment. Her husband, Paul, was a
Conservative MP for 18 years before losing his seat in the general
A Government source said: ’The minister felt this was a cosy little
club, with one member handing the chairmanship to another. The ACA was
told to go back to the drawing board.’ The source denied it was because
of her husband’s political affiliations.
It is understood that Nicholson will now draw up a shortlist of three
names, including Marland, and two serving members of the ACA, which is
made up of senior media and marketing professionals.
Kilfoyle’s intervention suggests ministers may want closer supervision
of government advertising. The ACA has little influence over non-COI
Marland told Campaign: ’The committee does a great deal of excellent
work and I would be delighted to chair if asked. Otherwise I will
continue to be an active member of this valuable group.’