Areas of complaint outside our remit
Sometimes we can't help because the Codes we apply do not cover the type of advertisement or problem complained about. This page provides information on other organisations who can deal with those issues or who can offer advice about them.
Information about what we do regulate can be found here.
If you can’t find the correct organisation in the list below please contact Adviceguide on 08454 040 506. Adviceguide is the government-funded telephone and online service offering information and advice on consumer issues.
We have powers to investigate financial advertising on TV and radio, but complaints about product-related claims in non-broadcast ads for credit products such as credit cards, store cards, personal loans and secured loans should be made to your local trading standards department.
Data protection and freedom of information
The ASA can look into complaints about the use of personal data for marketing by mail, fax and some e-mail as well as the content of advertising that uses those media. Data protection and freedom of information legislation are enforced by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Too much direct mail, telemarketing calls and fax marketing
To reduce the amount of direct mail you receive, contact the Mailing Preference Service (MPS). You may also be able to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and the Fax Preference Service (FPS) to reduce the amount of telemarketing calls and marketing faxes you receive.
Discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, age or disability
For advice on discrimination in ads and equality law, please contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Contact the Press Complaints Commission about the editorial content of newspapers and magazines. Contact Ofcom about the editorial content of TV and radio programmes including on the BBC. You can also contact the BBC Trust about the editorial content of BBC programmes.
We have powers to investigate financial advertising on TV and radio, but complaints about product-related claims in non-broadcast ads for mortgages, general insurance, investments, pensions, cash savings and bank accounts are dealt with by the Financial Services Authority. See, however, the information on credit advertising above.
Fly posting is mostly illegal and you should raise concerns about it with your local council. You can find the contact details of your local Council on this website.
The ASA regulates ads that refer to fundraising. But if you have a complaint about fundraising in general, for example on–street collection, you can contact the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB). The FRSB monitors and helps resolve public complaints about fundraising. They require their members to treat the public with respect and honesty.
Misleading claims on posters, shelves or till points should be reported to your local trading standards department. The ASA will look into complaints about any leaflets or brochures that can be taken away from a store. We can consider complaints about sales promotions that appear in-store.
The ASA can investigate complaints about most medicines advertising. However, if we aren't able to deal with a particular problem we may refer you to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
PhonepayPlus is the organisation that regulates phone-paid services in the UK - the services and goods that can be bought by charging the cost to a phone bill and pre-pay accounts. These include helplines, competitions, downloads, TV voting, news alerts, charitable donations and interactive games.
All complaints of political bias in TV or radio advertising should be made to Ofcom.
For reasons of freedom of speech, we do not have remit over non-broadcast ads where the purpose of the ad is to persuade voters in a local, national or international electoral referendum. Complaints about political advertising should be made directly to the party responsible for that advertising.
Products, services and contractual disputes
Companies' trading practices, contractual matters, the quality of goods and services, claims on packaging and trade names are all dealt with by trading standards.
Shop window displays
Misleading claims in shop window displays should be reported to your local trading standards department. Trading standards departments do not, however, look into complaints about taste and decency, so if you find a shop window display offensive you should take it up with the shop in the first instance. You may also want to raise it with your local representatives such as a councillor or your MP. We can consider complaints about sales promotions that appear in shop window displays.
TV and radio programme sponsorship
Programme sponsorship (where the name of the programme sponsor is announced in a ‘credit’ at the beginning and end of a programme, and when breaks occur in the programme). Please contact Ofcom about these.