Ad Standards response to COVID-19
Ad Standards is committed to providing a responsive and efficient advertising complaints adjudication system for Australia as the situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve.
Please continue to lodge requests for Copy Advice through our website, as below.
Ad Standards will continue to monitor the situation as we maintain our capacity to provide Copy Advice, while ensuring the safety of our team.
Any changes to business as usual, including the timeframe for turn-around, will be advised on our website.
The Ad Standards’ Copy Advice Service provides advertisers, agencies and businesses with expert advice on the Codes regulating advertising content in advance of broadcast or publication of those ads.
Benefits of using the Ad Standards copy service include:
- fast, efficient and confidential advice on your advertising content prior to publication
- identification of potential issues early in the creative process, and
- guidance on how you might bring non-complying material into line with the rules.
Who can request advice?
All businesses, advertisers, agencies, and media providers can request us to provide them with Copy Advice prior to publication, broadcast or public release of their advertising material.
Copy Advice can be requested on all new concepts, imagery, copy and/or campaigns, whether they are for print, outdoor, radio, cinema, internet or television, and will be assessed against all applicable advertiser Codes and Initiatives administered by Ad Standards.
What will you advise on?
We provide Copy Advice, as distinct from a Pre-Clearance Service - the fundamental difference is that Copy Advice is provided on request and is not a precondition to publication.
You will be provided with our opinion as to whether or not your material or concepts are likely to comply with the Codes and Initiatives we administer, and also general guidance on how you might bring non-complying material into line with the rules.
Will Copy Advice guarantee that there will be no complaints?
Seeking Copy Advice at an early stage in the preparation of a campaign provides advertisers and agencies with a degree of reassurance that it complies with the highest standards. It also minimises the risk of time and money being wasted on campaigns which breach the rules and are therefore likely to be short-lived.
Ad Standards will give our opinion of what people might complain about. If changes to the ad are made based on the Copy Advice given, this may reduce the risk of an advertisement being subject to complaints, although it cannot completely eliminate the risk.
Copy Advice can also help to avoid embarrassment and damage to the reputation of an advertiser or a brand caused by adverse publicity if a complaint is upheld. In a wider context, Copy Advice helps protect the reputation of advertising in general.
Will your Copy Advice guarantee the advertisement does not breach a Code?
Although Copy Advice is given by us in good faith, our advice will not be binding on the Ad Standards' Community Panel, and should not be taken as a guarantee that the advertisement won’t breach the Code if it is considered by the Community Panel.
Equally, the Copy Advice will not be binding on the advertiser or agency who requested the advice and you do not need to modify the advertisement if that is suggested.
All Copy Advice is confidential to the requester, and we will not discuss the advice given with any other person, organisation or the Community Panel. We will also treat in confidence any material supplied.
What are the timeframes for Copy Advice?
We will aim to respond to standard Copy Advice requests within two business days and complex requests within three to five business days.
However, the nature and complexity of the request will have a bearing on the turnaround times. The more complex the request and the more material submitted, the longer it will take to prepare our Copy Advice response.
How much does it cost?
The Copy Advice Service is a user pays service, and fees are based on the complexity of the request as follows:
- Standard Request: $110 (incl GST)
- Complex Request: $330 (incl GST)
At the time of making a request you will be required to make an upfront credit card payment of the Standard Request fee of $110 (incl GST).
Once we have reviewed your submission we may assess your request as a “Complex Request” and by submitting your request you agree to us debiting your credit card an additional fee of $220 (incl GST) at our discretion.
What is the definition of a Standard or a Complex Request?
Standard Requests are ones where:
- advice is reasonably able to be provided within 2 business days of us receiving the request
- the submission amounts to no more than 1,500 words (or the equivalent of four pages in a standard Word document ), and up to 4 pages of a website, and
- the advice is requested on no more than 2 similar media touchpoints (e.g. Free-to-air TV and PayTV) per request.
Complex Requests are ones where:
- it is assessed that advice is not reasonably able to be provided within 2 business days of us receiving the request because:
- the submission is long, and text or image heavy
- the submission raises issues across multiple Codes or Initiatives
- the advice is requested on more than 2 similar media touchpoints, or
- there are multiple submissions for the same ad/campaign made on the same day (which may be taken together as one request)
Submit a request for Copy Advice
You can submit your Copy Advice request and documents using the online form.