If you are involved in online marketing and don’t know who the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) are, then it is time to become aware before you start spending your marketing budgets on campaigns.
Even more so if you are about to put into circulation a creative advert that may have cost you lots of money & time to make, you may consider having a rethink.
The ASA is an independent regulator in the U.K that apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP). Their work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements.
So how can you avoid being caught up with the ASA? It is straightforward. Make sure that every claim on your marketing creatives can be substantiated and is truthful and honest and not misleading in any way.
If you are going to say it, then make sure you have evidence to prove it, and if the ASA comes knocking, you can cover it. Just looking through the Adjudications Section of the ASA website, you can see the kind of lousy marketing they are looking to stamp out.
If you end up losing an adjudication and the ASA uphold their complaint then beware, this could and most likely will affect your business. If clients think you have been stating things that are not correct and have been misleading, then they may lose faith in investing in your product or service.
Our advice is if you get investigated by the ASA, always try and work with them and informally resolve the marketing issue at hand. They are quite understanding and helpful. If you have a look at the Recent Rulings on their website which they publicise every week, you will be astounded by how many companies and also the brand names that end up getting listed on the site. Anyone can come in contact with the ASA.
If you informally resolve their complaint and work with them, you will end up on the Informally Resolved Cases section which after a week is yesterday’s news, and you can continue about your business. However, if you fail to communicate with them, then this could have a severe effect and will put you on the Non-compliant Online Advertisers Section.
It’s not just a member of the public that can report your marketing. We have been reading about rival competitors sinking their teeth in. Our advice would be, if you are unhappy with what a competitor is stating, then have it out with them directly first before going to the ASA.