The CAB Story

The Commercial Approvals Bureau (CAB), was set-up in 1989 to approve the content of all television commercials before they are broadcast on any television or digital media outlet in New Zealand.

CAB's purpose is to protect the reputation of broadcasters and minimises compliance risks for advertisers by vetting all television ads before they are broadcast. Without CAB's approval a commercial will not be broadcast in New Zealand.

Each year we approve approximately 15,000 commercials. When an ad is approved it is given a classification which determines the times of day it may be broadcast.

Our authority comes of exercising the right of broadcasters to decide on what is acceptable to be broadcast on their stations.

CAB is supported by all the major television stations, advertisers and media industry associations including the Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand (CAANZ) and the Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA).

Self regulation in New Zealand

Advertising in New Zealand is self regulated by the communications and media industry. At the heart of the system is the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which is responsible for setting and enforcing the standards that govern advertising in all media.

All advertising in New Zealand is required to comply with the ASA's Advertising Codes of Practice.

Any individual, company or organisation may lodge a complaint with the ASA about any advertisement that they have seen. The ASA's remit covers every possible form of marketing communications from TV commercials to billboards to direct mail to videos on YouTube.

Complaints are heard by an independent Advertising Standards Complaints Board (ASCB). In the event that the ASCB rules that there has been a breach of the Codes of Practice the advertiser, agency, and media are requested to withdraw the advertisement. To date there is a 100% compliance with these requests. ASCB decisions are also released to the media.