The Advertising Standards Authority, due to defend one of its
rulings in the High Court next month, is being urged to appoint a
retired judge as its next chairman to fend off further legal
Pressures on the ASA to reform are growing from within the Institute of
Practitioners in Advertising, which says it expects growing numbers of
agencies and advertisers to take the authority to court if rulings go
’For every one case that comes to court, another ten are being
considered,’ an industry source said.
The latest challenge is due to be heard on 10 November when the
International Fund for Animal Welfare will ask a High Court judge for a
judicial review of an ASA order that it should pull an ad urging an end
to Canadian tinned salmon sales in the UK.
The ASA upheld a complaint by Tesco against the ad that called on the
supermarket to stop selling the product as a protest against the alleged
clubbing to death of seals by Canadian fishermen.
Philip Clark, an IFAW executive, said: ’The ASA is using a commercial
measuring stick to measure non-commercial advertising.’
At the next meeting of the Committee of Advertising Practice, the body
responsible for drawing up the UK’s ad rules, Philip Circus, the IPA’s
legal affairs director, will suggest following the example of Ireland
and Australia by having a former judge at the head of the ASA.
At the same time, he will press for the setting up of an independent
body of widely respected people to rule on disputed ASA
Circus said: ’Advertisers are less prepared to take ASA rulings on the
chin. But if the ASA had a former judge presiding over its
deliberations, a lot of advertisers would be restrained from challenging