The Advertising Standards Authority is to carry out the most
wide-ranging review of its working methods in more than 30 years.
The industry watchdog wants to deal with complaints more quickly and
prepare itself for the challenge of policing ads amid a media explosion
precipitated by what it calls ’take anywhere technology’.
At the same time, the ASA, which is responsible for enforcing the
self-regulatory system in all print and cinema ads, wants to show that
it is ready to police all advertising should the Government’s
Communications White Paper suggest that this is necessary.
This will coincide with a major PR initiative that aims to reduce the
number of confrontations by showing agency staff how and why the ASA
reaches its decisions.
One immediate move will be to change the name of the ASA secretariat to
the ’executive’. The moves form an action plan drawn up by Chris Graham,
who last weekend celebrated his first 100 days as the ASA’s
Since then, he has been seeking opinions about the ASA’s direction from
a wide range of interested parties. They include Kim Howells, the
consumer affairs minister who is keen for the ASA to play a major role
in the fight against ’Rip-Off Britain’, Andrew Brown, the chairman of
the rule-making Committee of Advertising Practice, and Rupert Howell,
the IPA president.
As a result, Graham will lead the ASA’s external ’charm offensive’ while
Tony Butler, his deputy, takes time out from his day-to-day management
responsibilities to head the internal review.