Who: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP)
Where: United Kingdom
When: 20 May 2019
Law stated as at: 26 June 2019
On 20 May 2019, the ASA and CAP’s published their Annual Report for 2018 providing an overview of the ASA and CAP’s work in 2018.
The report reveals that there were more complaints than ever before, with complaints about online ads (ads on websites, social media spaces, apps, video-on-demand and mobile) outstripping TV ads by nearly 3:1. In total, the ASA resolved 33,727 complaints about 25,259 ads. 16,059 of those complaints (a 41% increase on 2017) were about 14,257 online ads (a 38% increase), whereas 10,773 complaints (a 14% increase) were about 5,748 TV ads (a 23% increase). Overall, the ASA managed to secure changes to, or the withdrawal of, 10,850 ads (53% up from 2017).
The report also summarises the key projects that the ASA has undertaken or worked with the CMA on, including the secondary ticket market, parcel delivery charges, superimposed text and new guidance on gambling ads.
The report reveals the ASA’s plans for 2019, including a new five year strategy and focus on having more impact online. The new strategy – More Impact Online – “responds to the fact that people are spending more time online, businesses are increasingly advertising online and the pace of technological change online is contributing to societal concern“.
ASA Chief Executive, Guy Parker commented:
“It’s been a busy year, largely driven by complaints and cases about online ads. That’s why our new five-year strategy is focused on strengthening further the regulation of online advertising and using new tech to protect the public. Our recent use of new avatar technology is a taste of what’s to come under the new strategy and we look forward to working with our partners to increase further the impact we’re having online.”
Why this matters:
The Annual Report demonstrates how advertising (like other content) is being consumed online increasingly. The gap between complaints against online advertising and television advertising also continues to increase. Whether this is due to the extra support provided by Clearcast is unclear.