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  • The new Big Cheese

    Posted on March 9th, 2009 admin No comments
    £140k - You'd look cheerful too

    £140k - You'd look cheerful too

    Christopher Graham, 59, the head of the Advertising Standards Agency, is set to be the next Information Commissioner later this year. FoI News gives you ten things you might not have known about Mr Graham.

    1. In December 1971 he became Britain’s youngest city councillor when he was elected for the Liberal Party in St Michael’s ward, in Liverpool.

    2. He was a one-time wanna-be MP and while a councillor he stood for, but lost, two parliamentary elections.

    3. A history graduate, he joined the BBC as a trainee journalist in 1973.

    4. He was a TV current affairs producer, deputy editor of The Money Programme and managing editor of  BBC News programmes.

    5. He rose to become the Corporation’s secretary, head of internal complaints unit, working closely with Lord Birt.

    6. While director general of the ASA he banned a poster advertisement which featured a naked Sophie Dahl promoting Opium perfume. He said it was sexually suggestive and likely to cause “serious or widespread offence”. 


    Naked Sophie left the new man unamused

    Naked Sophie left the new man unamused


    7.Under his watch the ASA has had a number of run-ins with the budget airline Ryanair. In 2008 he referred the matter to the Office of Fair Trading saying:’It is very disappointing, but absolutely necessary, that we have had to take this course of action. The ASA has given Ryanair every opportunity to put its house in order and ensure that its advertising adheres to the codes. Instead, they have continued to mislead consumers and denigrate competitors.”

    8. Ryanair didn’t take the criticism lying down calling the ASA an “out of touch, clueless…irrelevant quango”.

    Does Ryanair fly to Wilmslow

    Does Ryanair fly to Wilmslow


    1. 9. Speaking of his proposed move away from the ASA he said: “Director general of the ASA is one of the best jobs in the world, but I’ve been doing it since April 2000. It’s time for somebody else to take things forward to the next level. Meanwhile, the information commissioner is so much at the centre of debates on information security, privacy, better government and the right to know that I am keen to take on this new challenge.”

    10. As Information Commissioner he is expected to be paid a salary of around  of £140,000.

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