ASA Complaints

The ASA is the UK’s main advertising watchdog, that maintains high quality standards for the general public in advertising.  Their aim is to maintain standards in all media areas, also containing principles to guide the ASA to published standards of service. The ASA receive no government funding and therefore it is free for the tax payers. They offer employment oppotunitys which are varied to job roles and salaries, supporting individuals throughout their career development. 
The ASA council is a jury that concludes whether advertisements have broken the advertising codes. There are two different types of panels within the ASA council these are, broadcast and non broadcast.
 
 
 
The ASA has been rapidly filled  with complaints regarding Christmas adverts are being broadcasted to early. Infact argos was bradcasting 2 months before chritsmas and also implying that santa may not be real. This is highly unfair to young children who may still believe in santa claus. Boots and Woolworths are also involved within the complaint, but not the the significant extent of argos. There has been several complaints regarding the adverts as ‘missleading’ and ‘offensive’ towards the public because of their early launch. Also, socially iresponible becuase of all the financial strains around christmas time.
An ASA spokes person said ‘”Advertisers are able to chose when they wish to begin their seasonal advertisements and, if potential customers are aggravated by those scheduling decisions, this is a risk that the advertiser must accept.”‘
“Whilst we appreciate that some people will find it frustrating to see advertisements for Christmas appearing so early in the year, this is not an area that we regulate,”
The Argos advert however, only resulted in having 15 complaints. These mainly consisted of parents and they also mentioned, they feel the innocence is being taken away from their children. As you can see the ASA could not do anything about these complaints, as it is after all down to the companies when they want to start broadcasting there seasonal adverts.
This complaint was involving Asda. Asda had agreed that if customers were to find their shopping cheaper in another high street supermarket, namely ‘Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose. They had promised to refund the difference in price during their next shop. However, both Tesco and Morrisons decided to complain mentioning that the adverts were very misleading and the ad suggests that Asda is generally cheaper than their leading supermarkets. They had ensured to re-inverse a minimum of 10%refund guarantee. This complaint was launched last April.
The Advertising Standards Agency went on to say this, “We told Asda to ensure their adverts did not suggest their price guarantee applied to all items, including non-grocery items and items that were specifically excluded; or that their savings claims referred to shopping generally rather than specific items, if that was not the case.” Overall this complaint campaign received a total of 9 complaints and the ASA did not take this no further.
 
Kentucky Fried Chicken advert

This is a fast food tv commercial that consists of call center staff singing with their mouths full. The ASA received a massive 1,671 complaints because of the KFC advert. The advert was promoting their new zinger crunch salad, The public thought that it set a bad example to young children, and some people had even said that it could picture call center workers in a bad and unhealthy way. Although despite the huge amount of complaints the ASA could not ban the advert due to it not breaking any of the advertising rules. A spokesman from kfc said ‘The ad was always intended to be humorous and we apologized to those who felt that it wasn’t’

 
This is a BT advert. BT had concerned several customers with the concern that they were not getting issued the amount of internet Meg that they were supposidly paying for. The advert is misleading customers with the speed of their specific broadband. Many complaints were made from rival companies including Virgin Media and BSkyB. BT company claimed that they were able to provide Meg consistently even during peak hours. They also had provided us with the frequent faster broadband throughout the day. BTs increasingly bitter broadband wars is still present between UK’s internet providers. The advert cause objections and curiosity between other providers including Talk Talk as well. The speed that was being demonstrated in the advert was faster and an impossible speed for anyone to achieve, at any time of the day.
The ASA had said that, BT could undoubtily not back up its claim that the apparent garenteed 20MbPs (mebabytes a second), they agreed that their advert was ‘likely to mislead’. It was ensured that the advert would not be shown again in its present form.
Although BT argued that the new service they were providing when the advert was broadcasted was in fact faster than the old one. The internet speed shown in the advert was never intended to be an comparision to their provider, causing their to be no intention to mislead customers. ASA replyed stating that any demonsatration or examples that are representing their services, represent the benefits that are  available to them. This certainly was not the case.
Watchdog had also got involved with this false advertising by BT said that the company should have done a lot more to make it clear that a wide amount of the population could not get the service they were selling. They again reminded BT to ‘ensure they held robust documentary evidence to prove all claims capable of objective substantiation.”
This got a total of 17 complaints.
 
 
 
17 complaints
 
 
Last year alone the ASA received a huge 29,000 complaints. They throughly asses every concern, having to investigate the ads that appear to break the standerds of advertising. Consequently appromatly 2,4000 adds were altered or banned. 
To complain to the ASA you would need to (complaints are free), 
The easiet way of complaining would be to complete their ‘online complaints form. which can be found at this web address ‘http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints/How-to-complain/Online-Form/Step1.aspx‘.Or, you could write to them, sending it to this address; although when posting ensure you include evidence of the advert you are complaining about. They would also like you to send details to inform them of the concern and where/when they have seen it.

Advertising Standards Authority                      Tel: 020 7492 2222
Mid City Place                                                       Fax: 020 7242 3696
71 High Holborn
London
WC1V 6QT

They only accept complaints over  the phone only if its about TV, radio or cinema commercial, or a poster or national press ad. 

Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) – The advertising rules are written by the advertising industry through two Committees: the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (B CAP).

 
 
 
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