Without some steel, ASA can’t regulate

You featured recently two contrasting views on the ASA (MW April 27). Firstly, in an Analysis you reported that the ASA felt that a 16% rise in complaints was testimony to “an effective one-stop shop regulator”, while a story on page 3 had the headline “ASA fails to take any action against four most criticised ads”.

In my view, these two statements sum up the state of self-regulation in the UK. We have a team at the ASA who can competently accept complaints, however they are extremely limited in their ability to do anything about offending activities. Sure, the occasional ad is pulled off TV, but normally the campaign is nearly over by the time this is requested.

Even more importantly, the ASA has no effective sanctions for non-media campaigns. It cannot levy fines for non-compliant on-pack promotions, it cannot insist on the withdrawal of products with illegal lotteries or competitions, and its biggest sanction – that of negative publicity – is so over-played as to be less than mildly embarrassing.

A more aggressive range of penalties is required to make the industry realise that failing to comply is a serious offence and one that could cost them dearly. Until that time, the “effectiveness” of the ASA will not be maximised and we risk seeing the Government imposing more draconian rules on our industry.

Jeremy Stern

Managing director

PromoVeritas

jeremy@promoveritas.com

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here