A right-wing hawk to lead the ASA

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A far right-leaning ex-MP has been appointed as the inaugural independent chair of the Advertising Standards Authority. Former ACT Party deputy leader Heather Roy takes up the role this week.

Roy currently chairs the Electricity & Gas Complaints Commissioner’s Scheme and Medicines New Zealand. As a former Minister of Consumer Affairs, she is well-placed to lead the ASA in further strengthening the effective model of advertising self-regulation it supports.

The industry may well welcome someone with Roy’s views on commerce – but it would also be aware she might undermine the self-regulation model by appearing to favour the business sector.

While the ASA Complaints Board and Appeal Board have always had public chairs, governance has been led by industry members. An external review in 2014 recommended an independent chair to lead the Governance Committee and an appointment process began in early 2015.

On behalf of ASA members, ANZA ceo Lindsay Mouat said: “As a leading industry regulator, the ASA has worked hard to develop a strong process for advertising self-regulation. Hon Heather Roy’s skills and experience will be invaluable in leading the ASA in today’s fast-changing advertising world.”

Roy said: “I look forward to leading the Governance Committee of the ASA which is committed to robust industry self-regulation, setting high standards for advertising and providing the public with a forum for complaints.”

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