Responding to a complainant
An advertiser’s response is a critical part of the material considered by the Complaints Board. It is essential that advertisers provide a detailed response that addresses the issues raised by the complainant, in the context of the Codes of Practice. The correspondence from the Secretariat will highlight the relevant Codes to respond to.
Advertisers are asked to provide the following information. Please complete the sections that are relevant to your company. A Word template is provided that can be downloaded and completed offline – please ensure your company’s own letterhead is included on the correspondence.
- Contact person for advertising complaints
- Name and contact at creative agency
- Name and contact at media agency
- A basic, neutral description of the advertisement
- Date advertisement began
- Where the advertisement appeared (all locations e.g. TV, Billboard, Newspaper Website
- Is the advertisement still accessible – where and until when?
- A copy of digital media file(s) of the advertisement – if the complaint relates to on-screen graphic, please send a broadcast quality version.
- Who is the product / brand target audience?
- Please provide a copy of the media schedule.
- Pre-vetting Approval number if applicable
- Clear substantiation on claims that are challenged by the complainant. Please see the Guidance Note.
- The response from the advertiser is included in the published decision. The ASA is not able to accept confidential or proprietary information. Please contact the Complaints Manager if this is an issue.
For Broadcast advertisements:
- A copy of the script
- CAB key number and rating
Options available to advertisers:
Advertisers may choose to withdraw advertisements due to complaint(s) before the complaint is considered by the Complaints Board. Advertisers must notify the ASA in writing and indicate the timeframe in which the particular advertisement will be withdrawn.
The ASA also requires a written undertaking that the advertisement will not be re-broadcast or re-published at a later date. The advertisement will go forward to be considered by the Complaints Board if an advertiser is unable to commit to not re-publishing or re-broadcasting the advertisement.