Lord Smith, the new Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) chairman, has knocked the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre’s (BACC) decision to ban the re-run of the 1960s television ad which urged people to “go to work on an egg”.
In his first interview as the ASA chairman, Chris Smith says: “Had that ad come to the ASA Council I would have voted confidently for the campaign to go on air.”
The BACC did not approve the ad featuring Tony Hancock to be broadcast because it did not suggest a varied diet, as the concept of eating eggs every day for breakfast goes against the generally accepted advice of a varied diet.
Meanwhile, under the stewardship of the former culture secretary, the ASA is planning to run an “education campaign” to inform the public about self-regulation of the advertising industry. The ASA is not taking part of the Government-backed media literacy programme Media Smart, aimed at teaching children about marketing and advertising.
“My plan is to enable pupils to have an understanding of the role of advertising in society and also about the regulatory framework in place,” says Smith.
“Clearly we cannot deploy ourselves in every high school of the country. But I am thinking about a campaign to enable people to have a deeper view of what the ASA is and how self-regulation works.
“I do not have a clear idea of the automatic understanding people have of the role of the ASA or its accessibility or how we can best get the message across that we are here to regulate the advertising industry,” he adds.
Smith starts in his new role this week.