The ASAThe Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independentregulator of advertising across all media. We apply theAdvertising Codes, which are written by the Committees ofAdvertising Practice. Our work includes acting on complaints andproactively checking the media to take action against misleading,harmful or offensive advertisements.
What does the ASA represent?Each year, the UK public sees many millions of ads, direct marketingand sales promotions about products, services, causes andawareness campaigns. The vast majority of ads comply with theadvertising rules. The ASA are there to take action against thosethat don’t. Last year the ASA dealt with 31,458 complaints and thoroughlyassessed every one of those concerns and investigated ads thatseemed to breach the rules.
What is the ASA’s role and functionTheir mission is to ensure that advertising in all media is legal,decent, honest and truthful, to the benefit of consumers,business and society.The ASA aim to achieve their mission by getting better atregulating ads in all media, and in particular by:-Making a success of regulating online ads-Being an effective part of the response to societal issues shownto be affected by advertising-Placing more emphasis on prevention rather than cure-Being more efficient and in tune with consumers, business andsociety
Procedures and standard of service The ASA’s procedures are transparent and open to scrutiny. They also work to published standards of service. They commit to: -Being accessible to members of the public and the advertising industry -Resolving complaints without undue delay, whilst recognising that complex complaints can take longer than the average -Being effective in meeting the needs of our customers, whether members of the public or industry -Delivering a high quality and professional service -Being open about our procedures and our decision making, and accountable for our performance
CAP CodesTo analyse adverts to see if they are okay to air on television, theASA check them by looking for CAP codes. If an advert use a singleCAP code then the advert will be deemed inappropriate and bescrapped straight away.
What are the Cap Codes?There are many codes that need to be addressed when producing anadvert, and many precudures need to be put into place. There areregulation and terms documents and downloads on the ASA’s website.Producers of adverts would have to look at these and produce theiradvert accordingly.A few examples of codes and terms in which adverts need to follow, are;Misleading customersHarmful and offensive advertsChildrenPrivacyDistance SellingEnvironment ClaimsGamblingAlcoholMotoringTobaccoEach section above has its own rules regarding what they can show inadverts;
Below, are the different sections of rules that adverts need to applyto, each section can be downloaded and viewed online. Businesseswould need to look at these in detail to ensure that their advert isappropriate.
How is the ASA important in AdvertisingConsumers and customers are the main priority of any business, ifthey’re not happy then the business wont achieve or succeed. TheASA is important as it ensures both partys are happy. They look intoadverts and analyse them to make sure that no consumer will bemislead or offended. A succesful advert is one that sells a product orservice, attracts the market and consumers, and puts the business’name out there. These things need to be remembered for the rightreason, and the ASA’s aim is to do so.