Starcom Motive's Connolly takes ITV adjudicator role

LONDON - David Connolly, the former vice chairman at Starcom Motive, has been appointed as the independent adjudicator to oversee ITV airtime deals.

His appointment, made by Ofcom and the Independent Television Commission, is mandated by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry as a pre-condition of the forthcoming ITV merger.

Connolly will be responsible for examining disputes relevant to the sale of advertising airtime and is in a powerful position. His decision will be final and binding on Carlton and Granada while advertisers have the right of appeal to the courts.

The adjudicator will be based at Ofcom's headquarters and although a part-time role, Connolly is precluded from working anywhere else.

Connolly, 44, left Starcom Motive in the summer. He is a former joint media director at Leo Burnett, and group head at IDK Media. He also spent four years in sales roles with Scottish Television.

Connolly said: "I believe the breadth and depth of those protections are likely to ensure that disagreements are few in number. However, when I am asked to intervene, I will do so quickly and on the basis of the detailed technical facts presented by each party. This is an important and stimulating role and I welcome the opportunity."

Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter said that an independent, informed and credible adjudicator will be an important part of the new market structure.

"The CRR remedy offers the advertising community a comprehensive range of protections, with the right of recourse to the adjudicator as a backstop," said Carter.

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