Consumer body slams Ofcom ad self-regulation

LONDON - The Consumers' Association has slammed Ofcom's decision to allow self-regulation of broadcast advertising under the Advertising Standards Authority, citing concerns over advertising to children.

Reacting to opposition to its original plans, Ofcom has set up an independent Advertising

Advisory Committee (AAC) to provide input to the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice - a new body which reviews and revises standards and codes.

But the Consumers' Association warned that the AAC would have no real power. It added that Ofcom's proposal to hand control to the ad industry was a dangerous thing to do in the middle of a major debate about the rules governing advertising.

Andrew Marsden, category director of Britvic Soft Drinks, which has been criticised for past Tango ads, welcomed the move. He said it would make it easier for consumers to complain as there would be one single, identifiable body. Currently, both Ofcom and the ASA handle complaints.

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