ASA’s Annual Report

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has released its 2018 annual report which highlights its work as the regulator of all ads in all media.

Significant projects in 2018 included the launch of the Advertising Standards Code, a substantial consolidation of six codes into one to support responsible advertising and the end of a five-year project to move from 14 codes of practice to a total of six.

The ASA also launched the AdHelp Information Service, a user pays service to help advertisers and agencies with compliance.

The ASA dealt with 1,338 enquiries during 2018, including 820 formal complaints about 425 advertisements and the report includes the top five most complained about advertisements.

In 2018 just under half of the complaints related to misleading claims in advertisements and 35% of complaints were concerns about the social responsibility of advertisements. Therapeutic and health products and services led the complaints by category, followed by food & beverages and household goods advertising. Complaints about television advertising led the media category, followed by advertiser websites and digital advertising (including social media).

In a world where advertising is evolving at an ever-increasing pace, the value of the ASA as a platform-neutral, responsive and robust regulator to set standards and assess compliance is clear.