ASA Guidelines for Members

As of 1st March 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have extended their remit to cover marketing communications on organisations’ own websites and any other non-paid for space under their control (eg Facebook). Full details of their new remit can be found here

You can also watch a webcast explaining the details of the digital remit extension with practical examples.  This can be found on the Copy Advice home page (free registration required).

The ASA’s remit has been extended to ensure that advertising and marketing materials on websites, as with other advertising, is decent, legal, honest and truthful. The CAP Code (and the BCAP Code for broadcast advertising) is written and revised after wide ranging consultations with stakeholders in order to ensure the integrity of advertising, promotions and direct marketing.

The ANLP Code of Ethics already encourages similar levels of responsibility, so providing you are complying with these, you are already well on the way to complying with the regulations.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) are working with business owners and agencies to provide guidance and advice for complying with the current and new regulatory remit. The ASA enforces the Code, and the CAP Copy Advice Team advises advertisers on how their advertising complies with the Code and where necessary, suggests changes.

 ANLP have been working with CAP to provide some general and specific advice for their members.

The ASA prefers to work by persuasion and consensus and, where appropriate, they will resolve issues informally.  Reassuringly, 63% of potentially problematic complaints are resolved informally. If the ASA determines there are grounds for complaint, then in the first instance, they will contact the advertiser/business owner, talk to them, and arrange for the claims to be amended.

However, if an advertisement raises concerns under the Advertising Codes, the ASA can conduct a thorough investigation in which all sides are given the opportunity to comment.  Advertisers will be asked to provide their rationale or relevant evidence to support their advertising approach for the claims they have made.  Final adjudication decisions are made by the ASA Council and are published on the ASA’s website in full each week.

To access the ANLP advice for members, please go to the ASA Gudelines for Members page.

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