Countdown to our 50th anniversary
16 July 2012
2012 marks 50 years of the ASA keeping UK advertising legal, decent, honest and truthful. Our official anniversary is 24 September - 50 working days from now.
In the build up to our half century milestone, every day we will be publishing an Annual Report from each year in our history, providing a historical retrospective on what our predecessors were doing and the key issues at the time.
We’ll start at the beginning. Our first Annual Report was published in January 1964 and covered September 1962 – December 1964.
Remarkably it cost just two shillings (our Annual Reports are now free) and reveals the following key facts:
• The inaugural meeting of the Advertising Standards Authority was held on 24 September 1962
• One of the first issues on our predecessors’ agenda was slimming claims
• They thought they were busy because they dealt with 100 complaints (if we fast forward to present day we dealt with 31,500 complaints last year)
• Advertisers, then as now, were quick to bring their advertising into line:
“In the bulk of the cases in which the full requirements of a code had not been observed, the party responsible for the lapse fully admitted the error, often attributed it to inadvertence, and offered prompt and acceptable redress to the complainant”.
• During 1963 the Authority considered press advertisements of two 'X’ or 'Horror' feature films which, in the first case, fell below the minimum standards of decency and in the second case exposed children to frightening influences.
• They also considered and discussed the matter of advertising masquerading as editorial copy – back in the present we’re currently looking at making sure ads in Tweets are clearly identifiable as such
You can read our first ever Annual Report in full here