The Community Panel meets twice a month to consider complaints. The Panel will also meet between meetings, usually by teleconference, if Ad Standards considers that a matter should be considered as a matter of urgency.

The position of Chair is rotated among Panel members on a meeting by meeting basis. The Chair for each meeting is generally determined at the beginning of each year but can be varied to accommodate changes in individual schedules.

Panel members must disclose any personal interest in a matter that is the subject of a complaint. The member concerned must withdraw from contributing to the debate, determination or case report approval in relation to those cases.

If a Panel member’s duties to another board or organisation require that they breach their duty of loyalty or confidentiality to the Panel for a period of time, then the member must disclose this position to the Panel.

A general conflict with the Panel would require that the member withdraw from their duties to the Panel during the period that the conflict continues.

The Panel reaches its decision by way of simple majority. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair has a casting vote.

In relation to individual complaints, Panel members will consider:

  • the complaint(s) received
  • all relevant advertising/marketing communications submitted by the advertiser/marketer
  • the advertiser/marketer’s response (if any)
  • all relevant provisions of the Codes and Initiatives, and
  • any other relevant supporting materials or other representations or submissions.

The Panel is not limited, in its considerations, to issues raised by the complaint.

The Panel considers complaints in light of all parts of the relevant Codes or Initiatives and accordingly may apply any part of those Codes or Initiatives in reaching a determination. If the Panel is unable to reach a decision until it is in possession of additional information, it can defer its determination until a future date.