Minister vetoes ACA appointment

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.

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

shortlists.



Kilfoyle vetoed Marland’s appointment. Her husband, Paul, was a

Conservative MP for 18 years before losing his seat in the general

election.



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

accounts.



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.’



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