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Jerome Letang UNIT 30
ASA
The ASA stands for The Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA applies the
Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. Our
work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action
against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements.
The five strands of our strategy are;
Understanding: We’ll be an authority on advertising and active on issues that cause
societal concern. We’ll be open to calls for regulatory change, acting purposefully
and in a timely fashion, while being fair and balanced in our assessment of the
evidence and arguments.
Support: We’ll provide support to advertisers to help them create responsible ads.
We’ll increase, improve and better target our advice and training so every business
has access to the information and support it needs.
Impact: We’ll spend more time on matters that make the biggest difference.
Focussing on our existing remit, we’ll spend less time tackling ads that cause little
detriment to consumers or on the vulnerable. But, where a complaint indicates that the
rules have been broken, we will always do something.
Proactive: We’ll be proactive and work with others. We’ll use a wide range of
information to identify and tackle problems to make sure ads are responsible, even if
we haven’t officially received a complaint.
Awareness: We’ll increase awareness of the ASA and CAP. We will make sure that
the public, civil society and the industry know who we are and what we can do, so
they can engage with us when they need to, and have confidence in our work.
The ASA protects children by following certain rules in ads.
Ads must not:
 Exploit their credulity, loyalty, vulnerability or lack of experience.
 Actively encourage them to make a nuisance of themselves to parents or
others.
 Encourage children to copy any practice that might be unsafe.
 Portray or represent children in a sexual way.
 Condone or encourage poor nutritional habits or an unhealthy lifestyle in
children.
 Collect information from children under 12 for marketing purposes without
the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
 Feature inappropriate sexual imagery in outdoor media where children are
likely to see it.
 Be targeted at children or likely to appeal to them if they are promoting age-
restricted products like alcohol or gambling.
Jerome Letang UNIT 30
Case Study 1
L'Oreal (UK) Ltd Date: 7 July 2010
Number of complaints: 4
Advert
A TV ad for a skin cream opened with the on-screen text "Inspired by the science of
genes". A male voice-over stated "Inspired by the science of genes, L'Oreal unlocks
Youth Code. Discover our first cream enriched with patented pro-gen technology". A
shot of the product was shown. The voice-over continued “Youth Code also re-
awakens skin's youthfulness". On-screen text stated "Over 70% of 229 women agree
...”.
Issue
Four viewers challenged whether the claim "Inspired by the science of genes" was
misleading because it implied the product had a basis in genetic science.
BCAP TV Code
5.1.2
Codes Broken
The advertising codes that L’Oreal broke was awareness because their research was
misleading causing people to complain.
Did the ASA agree with the complaints?
L’Oreal didn’t agree with the complaints because they said that the ad was inspired by
research and discoveries they made in relation to skins behaviour. The research
involved identifying which genes were responsible for the renewal and repair of the
skin surface and how it was affected by age. They took no action as L’Oreal knew
what they were talking about.
Case Study 2
Department of Health t/a NHS Date: 2 June 2010
Jerome Letang UNIT 30
Number of complaints: 2
Advert
A TV ad for a National Health Service (NHS) alcohol awareness campaign featured
two women sharing a bottle of wine. One woman was shown as semi-translucent so
her internal organs and skeleton were visible. The voice-over stated “If you’re a
woman drinking two large glasses of wine or more a day, you could be putting your
health at risk … you’re three times more likely to get mouth cancer.” On-screen text
stated “Women drinking 40g+ of alcohol/day. Source: Department of Health analysis
of ‘Corrao, 1999’”.
Issue
Two complainants challenged whether the claim "you’re three times more likely to
get mouth cancer" could be substantiated.
BCAP TV Code
5.1.15.2.1
Codes Broken
The advertisement code that the NHS broke was awareness.
Did the ASA agree with the complaints?
The ASA acknowledged the complainants concern that the Corrao study used to
support the advertised claims was a meta-analysis. However, we understood that
meta-analysis was highly regarded within the medical profession as a means of
assessing a large body of evidence, accounting for differences between trials, to form
conclusions based on a large sample size. We therefore did not object to the use of a
meta-analysis to support a claim, so long as the review itself was robust and relevant
and its conclusions were reflected in the ad.

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ASA Research Task

  • 1. Jerome Letang UNIT 30 ASA The ASA stands for The Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA applies the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. Our work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements. The five strands of our strategy are; Understanding: We’ll be an authority on advertising and active on issues that cause societal concern. We’ll be open to calls for regulatory change, acting purposefully and in a timely fashion, while being fair and balanced in our assessment of the evidence and arguments. Support: We’ll provide support to advertisers to help them create responsible ads. We’ll increase, improve and better target our advice and training so every business has access to the information and support it needs. Impact: We’ll spend more time on matters that make the biggest difference. Focussing on our existing remit, we’ll spend less time tackling ads that cause little detriment to consumers or on the vulnerable. But, where a complaint indicates that the rules have been broken, we will always do something. Proactive: We’ll be proactive and work with others. We’ll use a wide range of information to identify and tackle problems to make sure ads are responsible, even if we haven’t officially received a complaint. Awareness: We’ll increase awareness of the ASA and CAP. We will make sure that the public, civil society and the industry know who we are and what we can do, so they can engage with us when they need to, and have confidence in our work. The ASA protects children by following certain rules in ads. Ads must not:  Exploit their credulity, loyalty, vulnerability or lack of experience.  Actively encourage them to make a nuisance of themselves to parents or others.  Encourage children to copy any practice that might be unsafe.  Portray or represent children in a sexual way.  Condone or encourage poor nutritional habits or an unhealthy lifestyle in children.  Collect information from children under 12 for marketing purposes without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.  Feature inappropriate sexual imagery in outdoor media where children are likely to see it.  Be targeted at children or likely to appeal to them if they are promoting age- restricted products like alcohol or gambling.
  • 2. Jerome Letang UNIT 30 Case Study 1 L'Oreal (UK) Ltd Date: 7 July 2010 Number of complaints: 4 Advert A TV ad for a skin cream opened with the on-screen text "Inspired by the science of genes". A male voice-over stated "Inspired by the science of genes, L'Oreal unlocks Youth Code. Discover our first cream enriched with patented pro-gen technology". A shot of the product was shown. The voice-over continued “Youth Code also re- awakens skin's youthfulness". On-screen text stated "Over 70% of 229 women agree ...”. Issue Four viewers challenged whether the claim "Inspired by the science of genes" was misleading because it implied the product had a basis in genetic science. BCAP TV Code 5.1.2 Codes Broken The advertising codes that L’Oreal broke was awareness because their research was misleading causing people to complain. Did the ASA agree with the complaints? L’Oreal didn’t agree with the complaints because they said that the ad was inspired by research and discoveries they made in relation to skins behaviour. The research involved identifying which genes were responsible for the renewal and repair of the skin surface and how it was affected by age. They took no action as L’Oreal knew what they were talking about. Case Study 2 Department of Health t/a NHS Date: 2 June 2010
  • 3. Jerome Letang UNIT 30 Number of complaints: 2 Advert A TV ad for a National Health Service (NHS) alcohol awareness campaign featured two women sharing a bottle of wine. One woman was shown as semi-translucent so her internal organs and skeleton were visible. The voice-over stated “If you’re a woman drinking two large glasses of wine or more a day, you could be putting your health at risk … you’re three times more likely to get mouth cancer.” On-screen text stated “Women drinking 40g+ of alcohol/day. Source: Department of Health analysis of ‘Corrao, 1999’”. Issue Two complainants challenged whether the claim "you’re three times more likely to get mouth cancer" could be substantiated. BCAP TV Code 5.1.15.2.1 Codes Broken The advertisement code that the NHS broke was awareness. Did the ASA agree with the complaints? The ASA acknowledged the complainants concern that the Corrao study used to support the advertised claims was a meta-analysis. However, we understood that meta-analysis was highly regarded within the medical profession as a means of assessing a large body of evidence, accounting for differences between trials, to form conclusions based on a large sample size. We therefore did not object to the use of a meta-analysis to support a claim, so long as the review itself was robust and relevant and its conclusions were reflected in the ad.