The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances. The ASA is not funded by the British government, but by a levy on the advertising industry.
Its role is to "regulate the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK" by investigating "complaints made about ads, sales promotions or direct marketing", and deciding whether such advertising complies with its advertising standards codes. These codes stipulate that "before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation" and that "no marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise". The agency has also restricted ads featuring scantily clad women.
Guy Parker has been chief executive of the ASA since June 2009; his salary for this role is £120,000.
|Advertising Standards Authority|
|Headquarters||Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London|
|David Currie, Baron Currie of Marylebone|
|ASA Council and Board|
In 1961 the Advertising Association established the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to draft the British Code of Advertising Practice (the CAP Code). In 1962 the industry set up the Advertising Standards Authority (so named even though it is not a public authority in the usual sense) to adjudicate on complaints that advertisements had breached the new Code. The ASA operated under an independent chairman who was to have no vested interest within the industry.
Not long after the inception of the ASA the Molony Committee considered but rejected proposals to introduce a system to regulate the advertising industry by statute. The Committee reported that it was satisfied that the industry could be regulated effectively from within by the ASA. A guarded comment within the report, however, warned that the self-regulatory system depended upon the satisfactory working of the ASA and the maintaining of acceptable standards.
Typically, advertisements that fall in paid-for spaces in newspapers (both national and regional) and magazines published in the UK fall within the ASA's remit. This category covers reciprocal arrangements not involving actual payments of money. Advertorials are also within the bodies remit as long as a reciprocal arrangement of some kind is in place and control over the content of the advertorial lies with the advertiser. If the editor of the publication maintains control over the advertorial, however, the piece is likely to be seen as editorial rather than advertising.
In November 2004, control of the regulation of broadcast advertising, formerly undertaken by state bodies, was handed over to the ASA on a provisional two-year contract. Sponsorship credits are considered to be part of programming content and therefore fall outside the ASA's remit. Claims on shopping channels can generally be considered by the ASA, but complaints about non-delivery of items are unlikely to be taken up by the ASA unless there is evidence that the shopping channel has misled people or that the non-delivery is a widespread problem.
Direct mailings, circulars, leaflets, unsolicited emails, brochures and catalogues are all typically within the ASA's remit. Items such as timetables and price lists are, however, usually outside its remit. Private correspondence, such as a doctor's letter or a bill, is also outside its remit, though a leaflet included with the private correspondence would be covered if it promotes a new or different product.
The ASA's remit has since March 2011 covered claims that appear on a company's own website, as well as covering claims that appear in paid-for spaces on the Internet, including pop up ads, banner ads and sponsored links. The non-geographical nature of the Internet can make it hard to determine whether the ASA's remit applies. Online sales promotions (see below) are within the ASA's remit as long as they appear in "British web space".
The Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP), working to the same code as the ASA, can refer complaints to the ASA when it believes that there has been a breach of the rules on sales promotions rules. There has been no clear definition of what a sales promotion is for the purpose of the code, but examples include:
Not all offers that give the consumer something free with a particular purchase may be considered sales promotion. For example, a mobile phone deal that offers a free Bluetooth headset may be considered as part of a package deal rather than a sales promotion.
The ASA typically considered only advertisements that have appeared within the previous three months, although there are some exceptions to this rule, namely in cases where it was not possible for the complainant to know that the advertisement was misleading at the time it appeared, such as an advertisement for a long-term investment.
The ASA needs the full name and address of the complainant to ensure that the complaint is legitimate. These details are never disclosed without the complainant's permission, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The only cases where the ASA might ask the complainant for their permission to be named relate to complaints that a consumer has not yet received goods or wishes to be removed from a marketer's database. Even in these cases the ASA can reveal details only with the express permission of the complainant.
If the complaint comes from a competitor or someone with a trade or vested interest with the advertiser about which they are complaining, the ASA requires the company to agree to be named. This, according to the ASA, limits the number of petty or retaliatory complaints. The ASA proceeds only with the express permission of the complainant for their organisation to be named.
The ASA begins an investigation by contacting the advertiser for its views on the advertisement and, where appropriate, substantiation of claims made in it. The ASA may on occasion seek advice from industry experts on more complex issues.
Once the investigation is complete, a draft recommendation is sent to both the advertiser and the original complainant for any comments, with a request to keep this confidential until publication of the final report. The draft recommendation is then submitted to the independent Advertising Standards Authority Council, which adjudicates on ASA investigations. The ASA Council then discusses the complaint and the draft recommendation, and votes on whether to uphold the complaint or not. The adjudication in full is subsequently posted on the ASA's website, and made available to the press and the general public.
If there are grounds for an appeal against an adjudication, the case is reviewed by the Independent Reviewer.
A request for an independent review must be made within 21 days of the adjudication, and in writing direct to the independent reviewer, stating the grounds for appeal. Only the advertiser or the original complainant may request an appeal.
There are two grounds upon which an appeal can be lodged:
The Independent Reviewer's decision as to whether or not to accept an appeal is final. Similarly, the ASA Council's adjudication on a reviewed case is also final.
The ASA publishes weekly adjudications on its website every Wednesday.
The ASA can order advertisers not to advertise unless the CAP Copy Advice team has seen the advertisement first and allowed the advertisement to go ahead. For example, the ASA told French Connection UK Ltd, which makes the FCUK branded clothing, to have all its advertisements pre-vetted by the CAP Copy Advice team.
The CAP Compliance Team is the enforcement arm of the ASA and CAP. The Compliance Team works to ensure that advertisers remove their problematic claims. The Compliance Team does not report back to complainants, nor does it publish the results of its work. However, part of its work does involve contacting media owners and telling them not to take any advertisements from problematic advertisers until the CAP Copy Advice team has pre-vetted the advertisements.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has powers to fine companies and bring legal actions against them. If the ASA has trouble with a repeat offender, it can refer the matter to the OFT under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988.
The ASA can also refer problematic broadcast advertisers to Ofcom. Broadcasters have ultimate responsibility for advertisements shown on their channels and are therefore directly answerable to Ofcom, their licensing authority. Ofcom has powers to fine or revoke licences. For example, following more than 1,000 complaints to the ASA about the shopping channel Auction World.tv, the ASA referred the matter to Ofcom, which found the company in breach of its licence and fined it. Auction World.tv ended up in administration and went out of business.
Apple has been involved in two major rulings by the ASA; its claim to be selling "the world's fastest personal computer" in 2004, its Power Mac G5 system, was judged to be unsubstantiated. The complaints against two other claims made in advertising for the product were not upheld. Later, in August 2008, an advertisement for the iPhone was banned because of false claims that it could access "all of the Internet"—due to its lack of support of major plug-ins such as Flash.
On 21 January 2009 the ASA ruled that an advert campaign, stating "There is probably no God", did not breach the code. Religious groups including Christian Voice had complained that the Atheist Bus Campaign broke the advertising code on the grounds of substantiation and truthfulness.
The ASA said that the British Humanist Association's campaign did not breach the advertising code or mislead consumers and that it therefore would not launch an investigation.
"The ASA council concluded that the ad was an expression of the advertiser's opinion and that the claims in it were not capable of objective substantiation," said the ASA. "Although the ASA acknowledges that the content of the ad would be at odds with the beliefs of many, it concluded that it was unlikely to mislead or to cause serious or widespread offence."
In July 2009 the ASA banned an Israeli tourism poster following complaints. Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and 442 members of the public complained about how the map on the poster displayed the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights as part of Israel. The Israeli tourism ministry responded to the criticism, saying the map was a "general, schematic tourism and travel information map" and was not meant to be a political statement.
In 2011, two additional makeup ads for L'Oréal's were banned after British Liberal Democrat politician Jo Swinson lodged complaints about ads for foundation products made by L'Oréal-owned brands, Lancôme and Maybelline, featuring actress Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington. The 2011 complaints stated that L'Oréal ads were not representative of the results that the products can actually achieve. ASA confirmed that both ads were misleading, without the aid of before and after shots. It ruled that the two ads breached advertising standards code for exaggeration and for being misleading, and banned them from future publication.
In March 2011, 3GA's advertisements for a digital jukebox known as the Brennan JB7, which can import content from CDs and cassette tapes, were found to be in violation of ASA guidelines for glorifying illegal acts, because it implied that it was acceptable to rip music, since "[it] repeatedly made reference to the benefits of the product being able to copy music but did not make clear that it was illegal to do so without the permission of the copyright owner". 3GA denied the claims, stating that the copies of music stored on the device were intended to improve accessibility, and are incidental copies without economical significance. Making private copies of audio CDs is illegal under United Kingdom copyright law.
In January 2013, 3GA was also found to be in non-compliance in another set of ads for the JB7 which promoted an optional dock for attaching an MP3 player such as an iPod. The ASA found that their advertisements did not make clear that the dock was not included with the JB7, and did not adequately mention that it is only compatible with older iPod models (such as the iPod Classic) formatted for use on Windows and could not be used with newer Apple devices such as the iPod touch and iPhone.
In September 2011, the ASA launched a formal investigation into TripAdvisor after receiving a complaint submitted by online investigations company KwikChex and two hotels, that its claims to provide trustworthy and honest reviews from travellers are false. The ASA found that TripAdvisor "should not claim or imply that all its reviews were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted", and as a result of the investigation, TripAdvisor was ordered to remove the slogan "reviews you can trust" from its UK web site. It changed its hotel review section slogan to 'reviews from our community.'
Advertising Standards Authority may refer to:
Advertising Standards Bureau (Australia)
Advertising Standards Authority (Ireland)
Advertising Standards Authority (New Zealand)
Advertising Standards Authority (South Africa)
Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom)Agent Provocateur (lingerie)
Agent Provocateur is a British lingerie retailer founded in 1994 by Joseph Corré and Serena Rees. The company has stores in 13 countries.Clearcast
Clearcast is a non-governmental organisation which pre-approves most British television advertising. It came into being on 1 January 2008 and took over the responsibilities of the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. Clearcast is now owned by six UK commercial broadcasters: ITV, ITV Breakfast, Channel 4, Channel Five, British Sky Broadcasting and Turner.
Clearcast approval is applied both to scripts and to the final commercials. Clearcast has to check that commercials comply with the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) code (rules) that applies to television advertising. These include both good taste and decency criteria, and also a variety of technical and even medical constraints (advertisements may not, for example, contain flashing which would set off attacks of photosensitive epilepsy).The Managing Director of Clearcast is Chris Mundy. The current Chairman is Mark White.Criticism of Tesco
Criticism has been directed at Tesco from various groups, including national organisations, trade bodies, individuals, consumer groups and watchdogs, particularly since the early 2000s. One of the biggest criticisms it faces is the perceived threat it poses to small private owned businesses due to the monopoly it imposes over products. Other controversial areas concern the treatment of staff, trading deals with suppliers and customer relations, as well as their approach to foreign businesses. There is also a belief that they use aggressive tactics to gain land and/or planning permission for building new stores.
Allegations against the company are varied, including:
Chicken welfare controversy
Dishonest corporate policy
Eco-towns and the environment
Faking price cuts
Bullying suppliers and farmers
Local opposition to new stores and corporate expatiation
Health and safety issues
Child labour accusations and other overseas casesThe Tesco supermarket chain is often involved in litigation, usually from claims of personal injury from customers, claims of unfair dismissal from staff, and other commercial matters such as the treatment of suppliers. The public perception of the company as behaving unethically has led to the formation of pressure groups such as "No Tesco In Stokes Croft", minor consumer product boycotts and several lawsuits.Cuadrilla Resources
Cuadrilla Resources is an oil and gas exploration and production company founded in 2007. It is headquartered in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, and has operations in the United Kingdom. The company intend to develop shale gas in the UK by using hydraulic fracturing. Its chairman is Roy Franklin, OBE, Deputy chairman of the Board of Statoil ASA and the chief executive is Francis Egan.
Cuadrilla caused two earthquakes in April 2011 when they fracked the Preese Hall site on the Fylde in Lancashire. Their attempts to frack at Balcombe in 2013 were met with strong resistance, which forced the company to back down. Efforts to pursue fracking on the Fylde have continued and have also been met by fierce local opposition. After their application to prospect for shale gas at the Preston New Road site was initially turned down by Lancashire County Council, Cuadrilla appealed and in October 2016, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid overturned the local decision, thus giving the company approval to frack. Construction of the site began in January 2017 and has been met by daily roadside resistance by the community and a series of direct actions which have blockaded the site. In July, grassroots direct action collective Reclaim the Power took daily action to blockade the site, during a month of Rolling Resistance.
In spring 2018, the local community organised a 3 month campaign; the United Resistance of Love and Defiance. Multiple direct actions shut down the site, including an women's march which remembered 100 years since women over 30 won the vote and a "Caravan of Love" action where the bellmouth was blockaded for over 48 hours.
Cuadrilla took out an injunction in June 2018, that criminalised all direct action protests along the A583. However, this was challenged.
In October 2018, the company began fracturing again but were forced to suspend operations due to 0.76- and 1.1-magnitude seismic events.In March 2019, it emerged that the Preston New Road site was leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas.Great British Circus
Great British Circus Ltd was a company that specialised in circus entertainment. Unusually for a UK-based circus company it included wild animals such as tigers, camels and lions in its acts. Martin Lacey, was the company's owner and Circus Director, and in 2012, at the age of 70, he announced he would retire, and the Great British Circus would not return for a 2013 season.Gucci
Gucci (, GOO-chee; Italian pronunciation: [ˈɡuttʃi]) is an Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods. Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany, in 1921.
Gucci generated about €4.2 billion in revenue worldwide in 2008 according to BusinessWeek and climbed to 41st position in the magazine's annual 2009 "Top Global 100 Brands" chart created by Interbrand; it retained that rank in Interbrand's 2014 index. Gucci is also the highest-selling Italian brand.Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide as of September 2009, and it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores. In the year 2013, the brand was valued at US$12.1 billion, with sales of US$4.7 billion. In the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands list, Gucci is ranked the 38th most valuable brand, with a brand value of $12.4 billion as of May 2015. As of January 2015, the creative director is Alessandro Michele.History of advertising in Britain
The history of advertising in Britain has been a major part of the history of its capitalist economy for three centuries. It became a major force as agencies were organized in the mid-19th century, using primarily newspapers and magazines. In the 20th century, It grew rapidly with new technologies, such as direct mail, radio, television. In the late 19th century, home-based British agencies were swallowed up and became branches of international firms, but London remains one of the world's most important advertising centers. Radical changes have come recently because of the new roles for the Internet and smart phones. For current conditions see Advertising.John Buchan, 2nd Baron Tweedsmuir
John Norman Stuart Buchan, 2nd Baron Tweedsmuir CBE, CD, FRSE, FRSA (25 November 1911 – 20 June 1996), commonly called Johnnie Buchan, was a Scottish peer and the son of the novelist John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir. He was a colonial administrator and naturalist, but also a true-life adventurer. He has been described as a "brilliant fisherman and naturalist, a gallant soldier and fine writer of English, an explorer, colonial administrator and man of business."Juwelo UK
Juwelo UK (formerly Rocks & Co) was a falling-price auction-style home shopping channel specialising in jewellery, the primary competitors to other shopping channels. The channel broadcast live from 08:00 to 23:00 daily on Sky channel 681, Freesat channel 814, Freeview channel 92 (2:00–5:00) and Freeview channel 271. The channel was rebranded to Juwelo on 15 May 2018. It was closed on 13 March 2019.Money Gap Group
Money Gap Ltd (trading as CashLady) is UK-based financial services company and a short-term loan broker operating in London, England. Founded in 2008, Money Gap works with various payday and short-term loan providers, matching applicants with lenders. MGG acts as an intermediary in this capacity.My Talking Tom
My Talking Tom is a virtual pet app released by Slovenian studio Outfit7 in November 2013. It is similar to Pou and the fourteenth app of the Talking Tom and Friends series overall. A similar app called My Talking Angela was released on December 3, 2014. Another similar app called My Talking Hank was released on January 12, 2017. A sequel, My Talking Tom 2, was released on November 3, 2018.
The official English slogan is "Customize Your Tom!".
The game was known for having had advertised inappropriate advertisements for adult services. In 1999, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that advertising for an adult web site was delivered to underage children via the app. The ASA noted that Outfit7 "had a strict advertising policy" but that the company "had not been able to identify which ad network had served the ad."Myofascial release
Myofascial release (MFR, self-myofascial release) is an alternative medicine therapy that claims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.Fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue that wraps most structures within the human body, including muscle. Fascia supports and protects these structures. Osteopathic theory proposes that this soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow.The use of myofascial release as a treatment is not supported by good evidence; as a replacement for conventional treatment for cancer, it risks causing harm.Nocton Dairies controversy
Nocton Dairies is a British company which was formed by Devon farmer and cheese-maker Peter Willes and Lancashire milk producer David Barnes in order to construct an 8,100-cow dairy at Nocton Heath in Lincolnshire, objectors to which claimed that it would have been the largest in Western Europe.Paddy Power
Paddy Power is an Irish bookmaker founded in 1988 in Dublin, Ireland. The company conducts business through a chain of licensed betting shops in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and by operating Ireland's largest telephone betting service. On the internet, it offers sports betting, online poker, online bingo, online casino and online games. It merged with Betfair to create Paddy Power Betfair on 2 February 2016.Press Complaints Commission
The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) was a voluntary regulatory body for British printed newspapers and magazines, consisting of representatives of the major publishers. The PCC closed on Monday 8 September 2014, and was replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), chaired by Sir Alan Moses.
The PCC was funded by the annual levy it charged newspapers and magazines. It had no legal powers – all newspapers and magazines voluntarily contributed to the costs of, and adhered to the rulings of, the Commission, making the industry self-regulating.The PCC received extensive criticism for its lack of action in the News of the World phone hacking affair, including from MPs and Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for it to be replaced with a new system in July 2011. The Leveson Inquiry was set up and reported in November 2012 but there since has been deadlock over its proposals for self-regulation despite the establishment of a Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press.
Lord Hunt was appointed Chairman of the Commission in October 2011.
In December 2011 Lord Hunt announced his plans to replace the PCC with a new independent regulator.Hunt also wants to introduce a voluntary, paid-for, 'kitemarking' system for blogs. The kitemark would indicate that the blogger has agreed to strive for accuracy, and to be regulated. Bloggers would lose their kitemark if complaints against them were repeatedly upheld. He plans to start the roll-out by targeting bloggers that cover current affairs.
When asked about his proposals in an interview Hunt said "At the moment, it is like the Wild West out there. We need to appoint a sheriff."Trial of Oscar Pistorius
The trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp and several gun-related charges (The State vs Oscar Pistorius) in the High Court of South Africa in Pretoria opened on 3 March 2014. On 11–12 September 2014, Judge Thokozile Masipa delivered a verdict that Pistorius was not guilty of murder, but guilty of the culpable homicide of Steenkamp and reckless endangerment with a firearm at a restaurant. On 21 October 2014, Pistorius received a prison sentence of a maximum of five years for culpable homicide and a concurrent three-year suspended prison sentence for the separate reckless endangerment conviction.Pistorius is a leading South African runner, who won attention as an athlete with a disability competing at a high level, including at multiple Paralympic Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Steenkamp, a model, was Pistorius's girlfriend. In the early morning of Thursday, 14 February 2013, Steenkamp was shot and killed by Pistorius at his Pretoria home. Pistorius acknowledged that he shot Steenkamp, but said that he mistook her for an intruder. Pistorius was taken into police custody and was formally charged with murder in a Pretoria court on 15 February 2013.On 25 February 2014, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo ruled in the High Court in Pretoria that the entire trial could be broadcast live via audio and that parts of the trial could be broadcast live via television, namely the opening and closing arguments, the testimony of consenting state witnesses, the judgment, and the sentencing if applicable.In December 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the culpable homicide verdict and found Pistorius guilty of murder. On 6 July 2016 Judge Masipa sentenced Pistorius to six years in prison for murder. On appeal by the state for a longer prison sentence, the Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubled Pistorius's prison term to 13 years and five months.Vanity award
A vanity award is an award in which the recipient purchases the award and/or marketing services to give the false appearance of a legitimate honor. Pitches for Who's Who-type publications (see vanity press), biographies or nominations for awards or special memberships can have a catch to them in which the honoree is required to pay to win.