FoE spearheads boycott of ASA

Pressure group Friends of the Earth is co-ordinating a group of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who are threatening to boycott the Advertising Standards Authority.

Talks have begun with other pressure groups, charities and campaigning organisations. It follows FoE’s second clash with the self-regulatory body in three months.

An FoE spokesman says: “We could come out and say the ASA has no jurisdiction and we will ignore it in the future. But no decision has been taken.” This latest disagreement came over the content of the pressure group’s ads attacking the controversial Newbury bypass.

The ASA upheld three complaints against the environmental group’s press advertising which claimed the bypass would not reduce congestion and that an upgrade of the railway system would have more impact.

“We’re fed up with dealing with the ASA’s bumbling amateurish treatment of complex environmental issues,” says FoE executive director Charles Secrett. “If it can’t pay for the independent expertise necessary for good judgment in these difficult cases, it should stick to examining claims about catfood and soap powders.”

An ASA spokesman says FoE did not supply enough supporting evidence to justify the ads.

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