Who is on the Advertising Standards Board?

Is the Advertising Standards Bureau a government body?

How many complaints must be received before the ASB will investigate an advertisement?

Are all complaints forwarded to the Advertising Standards Board?

Why can't I lodge an anonymous complaint?

How are decisions of the Advertising Standards Board made?

What happens when complaints about an advertisement are upheld by the Advertising Standards Board?

What if I don't agree with the Advertising Standards Board decision?

What is the Advertising Claims Board?

What type of ads are complained about the most?

Why can't I submit a complaint via email?

Can I lodge a complaint about a competing business?

Who is on the Advertising Standards Board?

The Board includes people from a broad range of age groups and backgrounds and is gender balanced – representative of the diversity of Australian society.

Is the Advertising Standards Bureau a government body?

The Advertising Standards Bureau is not a government body. It is the secretariat for the Advertising Standards Board and the Advertising Claims Board. The Bureau is governed by a Board of Directors and is funded by a levy.

How many complaints must be received before the ASB will investigate an advertisement?

A single written complaint is sufficient to initiate a formal investigation.

Are all complaints forwarded to the Advertising Standards Board?

Not all complaints are forwarded to the Board. Some complaints are not in ASB jurisdiction, some ads complained about have been considered previously, it is about an issue which the Board consistently dismisses, or belongs to another organisation's charter.  

Why can't I lodge an anonymous complaint?

An anonymous complaint is not sufficient to initiate a formal complaint, but it can be included as part of a complaint that has already been raised or is subsequently raised.

How are decisions of the Advertising Standards Board made?

The Board considers complaints in light of all of the Codes and Initiatives. It meets twice a month to consider complaints and reaches its decision by way of simple majority. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair has a casting vote. The position of Chair is rotated among Board members on a meeting by meeting basis.

What happens when complaints about an advertisement are upheld by the Advertising Standards Board?

When a complaint is upheld, the advertiser is requested to remove or amend the offending advertisement as soon as possible after receiving a copy of the draft case report.

What if I don't agree with the Advertising Standards Board decision?

If people who originally complained about an advertisement or the advertiser are unhappy about a Board determination regarding a particular advertisement, they may ask for a review of the determination.

What is the Advertising Claims Board?

The Advertising Claims Board provides a competitive complaint resolution service. It is designed to determine complaints involving issues of truth, accuracy and legality of advertising under Section 1 of the AANA Code of Ethics on a user pays cost recovery basis. It comprises variable panels of lawyers appointed on a case-by-case basis from a register of lawyers experienced in advertising and/or competition and consumer law, maintained by the Bureau. 

What type of ads are complained about the most?

The ASB receives complaints about all types of ads in all mediums. We keep statistics about complaints, a running tally of complaints is available on our home page, and information about issues most complained about are available in documents we publish such as the Review of Operations.

Why can't I submit a complaint via email?

The ASB 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. The reasons for this policy are numerous  - the online complaints form standardises the complaint lodgement process and allows ASB to collect all necessary data, including complainant demographics, contact information and details needed to identify the ad, which can be missing in an email complaint. The online complaint form's pre-vetting questions help define the scope of the complaint and make sure the ASB is the appropriate organisation to accept the complaint and online lodgement of the complaint directly to our complaint management system speeds up the ASB’s ability to action the complaint by eliminating delays associated with manual data re-entry.

Can I lodge a complaint about a competing business?

The Advertising Standards Board does not accept competitor complaints. The Advertising Claims Board provides a competitive complaint resolution service. Information on lodging a complaint with the Claims Board can be found here.