Lord MacGregor of Durris

Lord MacGregor of Durris

Self-regulation in the fields of advertising and the press was one of McGregor’s abiding interests. He was a doughty and indefatigable defender of press freedom. In 1975 he was appointed Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Press. The Commission’s Report of 1977 set out an authoritative statement of the institutional preconditions for freedom of the press, including the reform of the then Press Council. From 1977 onwards, he served as Chairman of Reuter’s Founders’ Share Company and in 1990 he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission.

The Report of the Royal Commission on the Press had emphasised the close institutional and financial connections between newspapers and the advertising industry. McGregor’s involvement in the management of advertising followed logically from his commitment to the principles of freedom and self-regulation of the press in commercial activity. During his ten years of outstanding service as Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority from 1980 to 1990 he played a key role in the revision of that industry’s codes of practice in protecting the public interest and in dealing with complaints.