The Codes are developed by the ASA to cover the entire range of advertising activity, and amended whenever there is an issue that requires review or updating. Where appropriate, mainstream consumer groups, government departments, government agencies, industry and other interested parties are also involved in the process.
The Codes include a Code of Ethics, which is the overall philosophy covering fairness, respect for people, and honest practice, plus a number of Codes covering either particular issues (e.g. advertising to children) or product areas (e.g. advertising financial services).
In interpreting the Codes, emphasis will be placed on compliance with both the principles and the spirit and intention.
The function of the Codes is to complement, not to replace, the laws of the land.