Complaints procedure

Any person can complain about any advertisement in any media which may be in breach of the ASA Codes.

Step 1

Read information on ASA jurisdiction and penalties.

Step 2

Our Codes of Practice describe the standards for advertising in New Zealand. See our Codes Booklet to read the principles and guidelines.

Step 3

Fill out our Complaint Form. If you would like to write to us, our postal address is PO Box 10675, The Terrace, Wellington 6143.

You can read our Privacy Policy online. We don’t accept anonymous complaints. In making a complaint you agree not pursue the complaint in any other forum and is required to sign a waiver to that effect. See the wording of the waiver. The waiver is to reduce the risk of people using the Complaints Board as a test process and to encourage the advertiser to take it seriously.

Step 4

In order to deal with your complaint promptly, we need information about the advertisement.

See information on how to make an effective complaint.

We also need you to be specific about why you don’t like the ad or consider it to be misleading.

Step 5

The Chair of the Complaints Board (a public member) will decide whether the Board can consider the complaint. If accepted, the complaint will be sent to all parties concerned seeking their comments and you will be advised.

If the Chair determines there are no grounds for the complaint to proceed, all parties will be advised, including, in due course, the media.

Step 6

If a complaint is accepted, a copy of the complaint, the advertisement and the responses are sent to the nine member Complaints Board (five public and four industry members). It will then determine whether the Codes of Practice have been breached and all parties will be informed of the outcome. A formal written decision is distributed to you, the parties and to the media.

Step 7

If a complaint is upheld, the advertiser, in accordance with self-regulatory principles, is required to immediately withdraw the advertisement. Additionally the media are similarly required not to publish or broadcast an advertisement which has been held by the Complaints Board to be in breach of the Codes of Practice.


All Rulings and Decisions of the Complaints Board may be appealed on certain grounds. The main grounds are new evidence, the rules of natural justice were not followed, and the Decision was against the weight of evidence. Full details on appeals are available. Appeals must be made within 14 days of receipt of the written Decision.

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