Advertising Standards Authority Society

I filed the following complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority Society this morning. (I hope this post is self explanatory. 🙂 )

This complaint is made under principle 3 (No advertisement should be misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive the consumer).

It has come to my attention that the Advertising Standards Authority is not an authority in any meaningful sense and that the “Advertising Standards Authority” is actually a Society. The name of this Society is misleading. The name would cause members of the public to believe that the Advertising Standards Authority is a government empowered agency.

The Advertising Standards Society also misleadingly issues members of the public with “rulings” (definition: an authoritative decision or pronouncement, esp. one made by a judge).

It is reasonable to expect that many people have complied with the Society’s “rulings” because they were misled by the name of the society and thought there was an obligation to comply with “rulings”. It is also reasonable to expect that many members of the public have incurred costs in compliance as a result of the misleading language.

Can you please investigate?

When I get a response from them I will post it here.

ASAS Incorporation Details
ASAS Online Complaint Form

20 thoughts on “Advertising Standards Authority Society”

  1. I have not followed this case, nor do I have any knowledge of this ‘Authority’, so I don’t have much to say here except that if what you say is true, then I agree with Richard that this is an excellent contribution to the fight Reed. That is a very sleazy and deceptive name they gave themselves… an Absolute hypocrisy for them to condemn that Church for ‘Falsehoods’! Well done.

  2. Dear Mr Robinson

    Thank you for your complaint received on 2 May 2012 regarding the name of our organisation.

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is a registered incorporated society and recognised in legislation and by the Courts as a body acting in the public interest with regard to advertising standards.

    I think it is clear from our website and our printed resources that we run a voluntary system of advertising self-­reguIation which is supported by members from across the advertising and media industries. While we have a high degree of voluntary compliance from parties to complaints, we are also grateful for the support of the media in helping to enforce decisions if required.

    As the ASA has been working with advertising standards for nearly 30 years, I would argue we are an authority on exactly that. We provide a free consumer complaints service to help support advertising which is truthful and socially responsible. Many of the complaints we deal with are also covered by senior jurisdictions, such as the Commerce Commission. People have a choice of jurisdiction and we are happy to consider their complaints about advertising standards if they submit complaints to us.

    There are many similar organisations around the world, including the self-regulatory Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. I will also forward your correspondence to the ASA Management Committee to ensure they are aware of your concerns with regard to the organisation’s name.

    Yours sincerely

    Hillary Souter
    Chief Executive

  3. My email response to the ASA.

    I made a complaint on 2 May 2012 regarding the misleading name of the Advertising Standards Authority.

    I have received a letter from Hilary Souter which does not appear to be a part of the normal process.

    Can you please advise if the ASA intends to follow its normal processes regarding my complaint.

    Thank you

    Reed Robinson

    The ASA complaints process…

  4. Um, Reed, it’s not called the Names Standards Authority.

    It’s called the Advertising Standards Authority.

    The complaint has to relate first and foremost to a piece of advertising.

    An advertisement is generally defined as a form of paid announcement.

    I know that nothing will ever dissuade you from your Mission of Justice, but are you beginning to see perhaps why the “normal process” might not be initiated?

  5. Daniel
    I’ve still not heard back from the ASA to advise if they are going to follow the normal process with respect to my complaint.

    Are you informing me (officially or unofficially) that the ASA will not be following the normal process with respect to my complaint?

  6. I have no idea what is happening with your complaint.

    However are you complaining about an advertisement? It seems not. You are complaining about the name of an organisation. As such, I doubt very much whether it falls under the ambit of the ASA in the first place.

    Did this occur to you?

  7. No, I didn’t send in a specific advertisement. Yes, it had occurred to me that not identifying a specific advertisement might be used to avoid the normal process.

    I’m sure the ASA has access to all of its own advertisements but I will identify some advertisements if the ASA need me to.

  8. Dear Complainant

    Re: Advertising Standards Authority Name Advertisement – Complaint 12/276

    Thank you for your correspondence concerning the above complaint. I will place the matter before the Chairman of the Advertising Standards Complaints Board who must determine whether the Complaint:

    a) is suitable for the Board’s consideration, and

    b) comes within the Board’s jurisdiction.

    Once the Chairman has made this ruling. I will make contact to advise of the next steps in the process.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else you wish to know.

    Yours sincerely

    Alison Hopkins
    Complaints Manager

  9. It has come to my attention that the Advertising Standards Authority is not an authority in any meaningful sense …

    It hasn’t come to Chris Trotter’s attention. See here.

    There’s also the very real possibility that one, or all, of the Press Council, the Advertising Standards Authority, the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Human Rights Commission might intervene to ban or modify messages intended to: “expose the bias [in favour of Maori] and enrage the public”.

    That the ASA is an ASS is hardly an open secret.

  10. But wait…clearly Chris Trotter has also been fooled by those shameless deceivers at the Press Council too! Quick! Alert the authorities…errr, wait a minute…;-)

    There’s actually two possibilities here. 1) Trotter knows and understands that there are both government and self-regulatory organisations with roles in our public discourse or 2) Lefty bloggers are as inconsistent and ill-informed as Libby ones.

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