Following restructuring of its communications function, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has appointed Gary Ward as head of communications, a newly-created post.
Ward was previously communications manager at Mentality, a mental health charity which he helped to set up. Prior to that, he was senior press and PR officer for the Health Education Authority.
His predecessor at the ASA was Chris Reed, who left the organisation to go travelling. Reed, who was external affairs manager, reported to communications director Caroline Crawford. When Crawford left to set up her own company, the ASA decided to reorganise its communications structure and create the post Ward has taken up.
The ASA is the regulator for all non-broadcast advertising within the UK. Ward reports directly to ASA director general and former BBC company secretary Chris Graham, who himself was appointed only six months ago.
Ward said that the forthcoming Government White Paper on communications, due to be published within the next few months, was of particular interest to the ASA.
Prior to his appointment, the ASA made a submission to the White Paper development process, focusing on advertising regulation.
Another high-priority project would be the process of updating and redesigning the ASA web site.
Other changes at the ASA include the internal promotion of Donna Mitchell from the investigations team to the position of press officer. Mitchell has been with the ASA for three years.
Another newcomer in the past two months is communications executive Debra Huntley, who previously worked in event management.