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Regulatory Body

How is The ASA Funded?


The ASA is funded by advertisers through an arms length arrangement
that guarantees the ASAs independence.
What exactly does the ASA do?
Our purpose is to make advertisements responsible and our ambition is to
make every UK ad a responsible ad.
How does self-regulation of non-broadcasting work?
The system works because it is powered and driven by a sense of
corporate social responsibility amongst the advertising industry.
What sanctions can the ASA approve?
Ad Alerts - CAP can issue alerts to its members, including the media,
advising them to withhold services such as access to advertising space.

Withdrawal of trading privileges - CAP members can revoke, withdraw


or temporarily withhold recognition and trading privileges. For example,
the Royal Mail can withdraw its bulk mail discount, which can make
running direct marketing campaigns prohibitively expensive.

Pre-vetting - Persistent or serious offenders can be required to have their


marketing material vetted before publication. For example, CAPs poster
industry members can invoke mandatory pre-vetting for advertisers who
have broken the CAP Code on grounds of taste and decency or social
responsibility the pre-vetting can last for two years.

Sanctions in the online space - CAP has further sanctions that can be
invoked to help ensure marketers claims on their own websites, or in
other non-paid-for space under their control, comply with the Codes.
For misleading or unfair advertising, ultimately if advertisers and
broadcasters persistently break the Advertising Codes and dont work with
us, we can refer them to other bodies for the further action, such as
Trading Standards or Ofcom.

How does regulation work after an advertisement has appeared


and what sanctions can the ASA impose?

The UK advertising regulatory system is a mixture of


Self-regulation for non-broadcast advertising and
Co-regulation for broadcast advertising.

Even though many steps are taken to ensure ads are in line with the
Codes before they are aired or published, consumers have the right to
complain about ads they have seen, which they believe to be misleading,
harmful or offensive.
The ASA can act on just one complaint. We dont play a numbers game:
our concern is whether the Codes have been breached.
If we have judged an ad to be in breach of the Codes, then the ad must be
withdrawn or amended. The vast majority of advertisers comply with the
ASAs rulings and they act quickly to amend or withdraw an ad that breaks
the Codes. We have a range of effective sanctions at our disposal to act
against the few who do not and ensure they comply with the rules.