ASA Annual Report 2011
30 May 2012
The ASA has today published its Annual Report 2011. As we mark our 50th anniversary the report reveals that we’re constantly adapting to keep pace with changes in society and advertising practices to ensure UK ads remain legal, decent honest and truthful.
The Annual Report reveals that:
• Over the last five decades we have dealt with around 431,000 complaints
• In 2011, we experienced a record year in terms of our workload
o We received 31,458 complaints about 22,397 ads
o We had a record 4,591 ads changed or withdrawn
• In March 2011, our remit was extended significantly to cover companies’ own advertising on their own websites and in other social media they control - bringing enhanced protection for consumers
• The extension of our online remit contributed to a 71% increase in cases overall
o We dealt with 7,195 online remit complaints about 6,631 ads
We also reveal the most complained about ads of all time which, although they show us what gets people talking, don’t reflect the less glamorous day-to-day work do protecting consumers by dealing with misleading claims. Overall, nearly 80% of cases are about misleading advertising and 20% about harm and offence.
Commenting on our Annual Report, ASA Chairman, Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury says: “Our top ten most complained about ads of all time certainly reveal what gets the public talking, but even more important is the less glamorous day to day action we take to protect consumers from misleading advertising. Our commitment for the next 50 years will be the same as for the last: to keep UK ads legal, decent, honest and truthful. We’re up for the task.”
Congratulating the ASA on its 50th anniversary, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey says: “I congratulate the Advertising Standards Authority as it celebrates its 50th year as the UK’s advertising watchdog. The advertising industry in the UK is world renowned for its creativity and innovation, but also for abiding by the rules that are designed to protect consumers. As an effective and well respected regulator, the ASA plays a crucial role in enabling responsible advertising to flourish”.
The Annual Report can be found here