Now known as Lord Smith of Finsbury, Smith will succeed the current chairman, Lord Borrie, on 1 July 2007. His appointment is for an initial term of four years.
The ASA chairman appoints members of the ASA board, which decides if ads comply with the advertising code.
"The ASA is an example of self-regulation at its best," Lord Smith said. "It has a distinguished record of keeping the work of advertisers and advertising on the right road."
His appointment was widely welcomed within the industry. Malcolm Earnshaw, the outgoing director-general of ISBA, said: "Lord Borrie's chairmanship has been both successful and distinguished, but in Chris Smith, the ASA and the industry have secured an equally outstanding appointment."
Hamish Pringle, the director-general of the IPA, said: "This is a pivotal role. Its incumbent is vital to the integrity of the UK self-regulatory system. We're delighted to have secured Chris Smith."
Comment, page 48.