The Ad Standards Community Panel represents the diversity of the Australian community

The world has turned upside down in 2020 and even the normally dynamic and colourful world of advertising has been affected. Brands today are marketing for mind and market share in new and exciting ways, but sometimes advertising can cross the line and raise the ire of the public - triggering complaints to Ad Standards.

Complaints are adjudicated by the Ad Standards Community Panel which decides whether the content is in line with the advertising Codes (https://adstandards.com.au/codes-and-cases/codes-a...) and prevailing community standards in Australia.

The Codes apply to advertising content across all mediums including online.

Members of the Community Panel represent the wide cross-section of community opinion, community standards, and a broad range of values, ages, skills, geographic and demographic groups.

The Community Panel works to represent and uphold community standards in advertising. Members have no connection to the advertising industry and impartially judge advertisements and reach decisions that represent community opinion and values.

Current Community Panel members include an anti-discrimination lawyer and former journalist, a university student, police officer, small business owner, nurse and fitness instructor, and a cultural adviser and human rights activist.

Ad Standards regularly commissions independent community perceptions research (//adstandards.com.au/news/reports) to ensure that decisions made by the Community Panel are in line with current community values. Research results are used to inform the Community Panel of community opinion and for future decision making. 

In 2017, this research included an analysis of community perceptions data over the past decade (//adstandards.com.au/sites/default/files/2007-2017_community_perceptions_web.pdf) by Colmar Brunton Social Research to determine the alignment of Community Panel decisions under the AANA Code of Ethics (//aana.com.au/content/uploads/2018/07/AANA_Code-of-Ethics_July2018.pdf).

The results showed that where community opinion and the decisions of the Community Panel did not align, that Panel decisions were more conservative less than 10% of the time, and less conservative just over 10% of the time.

Previous annual research has looked at specific areas covered by the Codes including clearly distinguishable advertising, advertising directed primarily to children, exploitative and degrading advertising, sex, sexuality and nudity, violence, and discrimination in advertising.

Earlier this year the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) launched an updated Code of Ethics and Practice Note providing clearer guidance to advertisers across a range of issues including the use of overtly sexualised imagery, graphic violence or horror where children are likely to see it, and gender stereotyping. The new rules are effective from 1 February 2021 and more information is on the AANA website.

More information about the Ad Standards Community Panel (//adstandards.com.au/about/community-panel) is online at AdStandards.com.au. You can also easily search for previous cases considered by the Community Panel  (//adstandards.com.au/cases) through Ad Standards’ online database.

6 comment

  • Ad Standards - 3 May 2021 - 9:31am

    Hi Jerry, if you have a concern about the content of an ad, you can lodge a complaint online at adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint.

  • Jerry Mecham - 1 May 2021 - 7:05pm

    There are picticular TV Adds where 'males of the species' are picked on where if done likewise towards the female gender, there would be a quick outrage. One commercial at this time, repeated played when presenting AFL games is the Toyota Yaris add concerning a dirty dog and a dog wash.
    The woman begins 'Siri' where can if find a dog wash. The woman is in control, drives to the doggy wash, her male partner emerges with the dog with his hair washed and fluffed saying 'It was too for one!'

    So, reverse it, a woman emerges with her hair washed at the doggy wash saying 'two for one'. -The outrage would be through the roof, but males are fair game, and worse When showing Aussie rules male athletic competitions. Worse, the add is often played twice during the showing of
    the match on Channel 73.

  • Ad Standards - 8 February 2021 - 10:16am

    Hi Ian, thanks for your comment. Complaints about the timing and frequency of TV ads can be made to the broadcaster that aired the advertisement.

  • Ian vagg - 7 February 2021 - 5:36pm

    I just want to complain about the number of ads on the networks I once counted 12 in a single session but normally it is about 10 and also the amount of shows that r shown 2 days in a row or a 2 to 3 o'clock then at 6 the same day I just thank God for my remote which has a mute button and channel changer I could go on about the quality of programs but these r yank biased

  • Ad Standards - 11 January 2021 - 9:07am

    Hi Kevin, if you have a concern about the content of an ad, you can lodge a complaint online at adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint.

  • Kevin Coghlan - 10 January 2021 - 12:03pm

    The current Australian Seniors Insurance advertisements show a few persons in different scenes, performing very stupid acts of what is supposedly dancing! It is quite sickening, have them stopped!

Leave a comment