Club 18-30 has called for the abolition of the Advertising Standards Authority in a heated reaction to the controversy surrounding its poster campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi.
Club 18-30 managing director Jeremy Muller labels the ASA “toothless” and claims: “It has overstepped its powers by commenting prior to the official hearing.”
The ASA is unperturbed. A spokesman says: “Our only comment to the media has been that we’re investigating complaints that the ads are crude, promote promiscuity and are unsuitable for young children to see.”
Muller criticises the slowness of the ASA process. He says: “If the ASA has not got the power to react quickly perhaps it should be abolished, and replaced with a body which can pre-approve, censor and adjudicate quickly.”
However, the ASA spokesman says: “If we did act as a censor there would be an outcry. Our rulings are necessarily subjective, because what is considered acceptable varies over time.”
The spokesman admits: “The system is not perfect but it is effective. We may be considered `toothless’ but if we make a judgement, posters will come down and advertisers will be reminded of where the limits of decency lie.”