Ad Standards will normally accept only written complaints – via the online complaints form if complainants have computer access, otherwise by post or facsimile. If complainants submit a complaint by email they will be redirected to the online complaints form.
All complaints received are promptly assessed about their appropriateness for submission to the Ad Standards Community Panel for determination. As the Community Panel secretariat, Ad Standards replies to all complainants informing them of the status of their complaint.
If the information provided in the letter of complaint is insufficient (in particular, if it fails to adequately identify the advertiser or marketer, product or nature of complaint) then more information is sought from the complainant.
A complaint may be assessed as:
- A new complaint - If the complaint raises an issue under Codes or Initiatives administered by Ad Standards about an advertisement that has not been previously considered by the Community Panel, the advertisement is put on the agenda for the next Community Panel meeting.
- Already considered - If the complaint is about an advertisement that has already been considered by the Community Panel.
- Rejected complaint - Complaints are rejected if the Community Panel does not have jurisdiction to consider the issue. For example, complaints about advertising that do not come under Section 2 of the AANA Code of Ethics, or other industry Codes or Initiatives, or are about misleading advertising, television or radio program content or complaints that are broadcast or in circulation outside Australia. In some cases, the issue complained about can be considered by another body.