Advertising Standards Authority

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An independent body set up and paid for by the advertising industry to ensure that its system of self-regulation works in the public interest. The ASA must have an independent chairman, who appoints individuals to serve on the council, two-thirds of which must be unconnected with the advertising industry. The ASA maintains close links with central and local government, consumer organizations, and trade associations. All advertising in the non-broadcast media (including electronic media) must conform to the Code of Advertising Practice (CAP), which is administered by the ASA; the Authority operates separate Codes for television and radio commercials. The Codes' requirement that adverts be legal, decent, honest, and truthful applies not only to what it said in an advertisement, but also what is shown. If it is claimed that one bar of chocolate contains one pint of milk, then the chocolate bar must contain that amount of milk. If the advertisement makes no claim, but shows a pint carton of milk, then the chocolate must still contain this amount of milk. The ASA controls the contents of advertisements by continuous monitoring of publications and by dealing with complaints from members of the public (now mainly via its website).

http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/ Website of the ASA: includes text of the CAP code

Subjects: Business and Management.

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