We assess every concept, script or finished commercial against both the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA’s) Advertising Codes of Practice and the television broadcasters’ own specific term, conditions and rules.
ASA Codes of Practice
The ASA’s Codes cover the entire range of advertising activity and are developed in consultation with advertisers, consumer groups, government departments, communications agencies, the media industry and other interested parties.
The Codes include a Code of Ethics, which is the overall philosophy covering fairness, respect for people, and honest practice, plus a number of Codes covering either particular issues (e.g. advertising to children) or product areas (e.g. advertising financial services).
The function of the Codes is to complement, not to replace, the laws of the land.
Note (2 July 2018): The ASA has announced a new Advertising Standards Code which comes into force on 1 November 2018 and will apply to all advertisements in all mediums. The new Code is a consolidation and replacement of the existing Advertising Code of Ethics; Code for Comparative Advertising; Code for People in Advertising; Code for Advertising Food; Code for Environmental Claims; and Code for Advertising Vehicles.
CAB House Rules
In addition to the ASA’s Codes, the broadcasters have adopted a number of voluntarily policies and rules specifically for their medium. These cover everything from advertising adult services to advertising soft drinks to kids.
To make it easier for you to understand the various rules, we publish a list of what we call the CAB House Rules. While this list is primarily an internal document, we make it available to advertisers as it contains loads of practical advice on everything from which swear words are currently acceptable to using guns as props in commercials.