The Ad Standards’ Industry Jury provides a competitor complaint resolution service for advertisers and businesses in Australia.
Benefits of using the Industry Jury service include:
- offers an alternative mechanism for dealing with complaints between competitors in respect of advertising that might otherwise lead to litigation
- quick, cost effective and reliable, and
- guidance from legal practitioners with considerable experience in advertising, competition and consumer laws.
It is designed to determine complaints involving issues of misleading or deceptive advertising and legality of advertising on a user pays cost recovery basis.
Who can use the Industry Jury service?
Any advertiser can make a complaint against a competitor under Section 1 of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics on questions involving misleading or deceptive advertising or if a particular advertisement breaches the law.
Consumer complaints go through the Ad Standards Community Panel.
Who is the Industry Jury?
The Industry Jury is made up of a variable panel of 3 lawyers who specialise in advertising law and/or competition and consumer law. These panels are appointed on a case-by-case basis from a register of lawyers, having regard to the availability of individual lawyers and any conflicts of interest.
For more information on being added to the register of lawyers please see the applicant form.
What types of complaints can be made?
The Industry Jury will accept complaints about most forms of advertising communications, including cinema, internet, print, radio, telecommunications and TV. The Industry Jury does not, however, adjudicate on matters involving labels or packaging for products or public relations communications.
The Industry Jury determines complaints having regard to Section 1 of the AANA Code of Ethics which states that advertising or marketing communication shall:
- comply with Commonwealth law and the law of the relevant State or Territory
- not be misleading or deceptive or be likely to mislead or deceive
- not contain a misrepresentation, which is likely to cause damage to the business or goodwill of a competitor
- not exploit community concerns in relation to protecting the environment by presenting or portraying distinctions in products or services advertised in a misleading way or in a way which implies a benefit to the environment which the product or services do not have, and
- not make claims about the Australian origin or content of products advertised in a manner which is misleading.
We do not provide expert advice on technical or particularly complex issues, and encourage you to seek your own expert advice on these issues.
Will the decision be binding?
The Industry Jury forms part of a self-regulatory system within the advertising industry. While there are no legal obligations, Ad Standards has a high level of compliance with determinations.
Ad Standards makes the final report publicly available, identifying the advertiser, the product and the subject matter involved, and describing the final decision and the reasoning behind it. Past case reports are available online.
Where an advertiser refuses to modify or discontinue an ad which has been found to be in breach of the Code, the Industry Jury can refer the case to an appropriate government agency, such as the ACCC.
How do you lodge an Industry Jury complaint?
The process is initiated by a complainant filing an Ad Standards Industry Jury Complaint Application form together with a detailed written complaint and supporting material, as well as a non-refundable application fee of $1,100 (inclusive of GST).
How long does it take?
The Industry Jury process generally takes around 12 weeks from the date when the initial costs are paid, to the date on which Industry Jury determination is published.
How much does it cost?
The Industry Jury service is a user pays service, and fees are based on the complexity of the complaint.
The complainant is required to pay upfront:
- an application fee of $1,100 (incl. GST); and
- a lump sum representing an estimate of the legal and administrative costs of the process.
Ad Standards will provide an estimate of the initial costs of the case, which is payable before the process can proceed. Initial costs typically range between around $20,000 to $25,000 (incl GST) depending on the length and complexity of the complaint.
The complainant also agrees to pay all costs associated with the process – for example if it takes longer or is more complex than initially assessed – and is required to pay additional costs as advised.
Submit an Industry Jury complaint
All complainants are encouraged to consider the Ad Standards Industry Jury Procedures before lodging a complaint. To submit an Industry Jury complaint please download the relevant forms and documents.