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IPA welcomes ASA/CAP 2014 Annual Report

The IPA welcomes the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Annual Report, published yesterday (27 May 2015).


The report reveals how their work has achieved some significant changes in advertising practice for the benefit of consumers and business. It also outlines the proactive steps they are undertaking to provide a responsible framework for advertisers to engage creatively with their customers.

Says Richard Lindsay,  IPA Director of Legal & Public Affairs, “Considering how many ads are published or broadcast each year across all media, the number of complaints brought and adjudications upheld by the ASA against ads, is a drop in the ocean. The public need to know that they can trust the ads they see and hear and, thanks to the ASA’s work and the professionalism of the industry, they can.”

Says Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General, “We very much commend the ASA in proactively engaging with the industry to increase awareness and have more impact with their work. Ultimately advertising is driven by its consumers. The rare ads that mislead or cause harm are not only banned by the ASA, but are also damaging to a brand’s relationship with its consumers and, ultimately, to the bottom-line.”

Read the full ASA release below.

ASA and CAP Annual Report 2014: Having more impact, being more proactive

Our Annual Report published today reveals the steps we’re taking to have more impact and be more proactive as part of our ambition to make every UK ad a responsible ad.

At a time when the responsibility agenda is a live issue amongst the ad industry, our Report highlights the proactive steps we’re undertaking to provide a responsible framework for advertisers to engage creatively with their customers.

In summary these steps include:

  • Supporting advertisers – CAP published new guidance for advertisers and vloggers to help them make it clear to consumers when they are advertising.  We also broadened our advice and training resources by creating a new eLearning module for alcohol advertising
  • Tackling problem ads our work resulted in 3,384 ads being changed or withdrawn and a record 1,599 compliances cases resolved. The ASA received 37,073 complaints about 17,002 ads with a 35% increase in complaints about online ads (for the first time overtaking TV to make it the most complained about medium)  reflecting the importance of keeping pace with a rapidly evolving media landscape
  • Understanding society’s concerns about ads – we conducted research into the public’s experience of ‘copycat websites’ and gambling advertising. CAP also commissioned an independent food literature review on online food and drink marketing to children to ensure the rules are in the right place
  • Having more impact – the ASA devised new Prioritisation Principles to help it decide what regulatory resource it uses when responding to complaints and what resource will be proportionateto the problem to be tackled
  • Raising awareness – With the creative talent and expertise of AMV BBDO the ASA created a national advertising campaign.  The campaign will feature across media in 2015 thanks to ad space generously donated by the media industry

In our Report we also outline our commitment to increasing, improving and better targeting our support for industry. Last year, we delivered training and advice on a record 194,200 occasions including 7,168 Copy Advice enquires. Our focus now is on carrying on that momentum so every business has access to the information and support it needs.

Chairman of CAP and BCAP, James Best said:  “If we’re to meet the challenges that the ad industry faces - declining public trust, rapid changes to the media landscape and calls for tighter regulation on several fronts - key to that is helping advertisers make responsible ads. Through delivering more proactive and impactful regulation and with industry support and buy-in we will promote consumer confidence which is in turn good for business.”

View the full report here.

For more information, contact Matt Wilson, Press Officer, ASA: / 020 7492 2122

The ASA is the independent regulator of advertisements across all media in the UK.  We do so in the public interest and with the co-operation of advertisers, agencies and media owners who are committed to observing the Advertising Codes. The ASA acts independently of both the Government and the advertising industry.


Last updated 28/05/2015

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