Already considered - same media

If a complaint is made about an advertisement that is the same, or substantially similar, to one that has already been considered by the Ad Standards Community Panel and in the same medium as has already been considered, the complaint will be assessed as ‘already considered’.

Ad Standards will generally not reconsider an advertisement for a period of five (5) years after the initial determination. This is because community standards are unlikely to substantially change within this time period.

When a complaint is assessed as already considered the complainant will receive a letter informing them that the advertisement has previously been considered by the Community Panel and a copy of the previous case report.

Already considered – different media

There are however limited circumstances where the same advertisement may be considered again provided that it is shown in different media, and the nature of concern raised has a relevant audience test (that is, the complaint raises issues of sex, language, or identifiable advertising).  

‘Already considered’ advertisements shown in different media, but which do not raise a concern that has a ‘relevant audience test’, will be treated as a consistently dismissed case.

Examples:

  • If the same advertisement is broadcast on television then at the cinema or online, and the issue of concern raised is sex, language or identifiable advertising, then each broadcast will be considered as a separate case, as the form of broadcast or publication is different and therefore the relevant audience viewing the advertisement is different. 
  • An advertisement will be considered ‘the same, or substantially similar’ if:
    • it is identical to or almost the same as the advertisement already considered, and any differences are relatively insignificant.
    • the advertisement is shown in the same media but in different locations, for example:
      • a complaint about a billboard advertisement that is placed on a billboard in a different location will not be considered as a separate case; 
      • a complaint about a television advertisement that is broadcast in a different time zone or channel will not be considered as a separate case.