Health and safety

This information provides a general overview of Ad Standards Community Panel determinations on complaints about health and safety in advertising.

It is designed to assist the advertising industry, the self-regulatory body, consumers and others interested in understanding how the Community Panel has viewed health and safety in advertising where it has been the subject of complaints in the past.

It is not a “how to” guide, and is not an extensive or exhaustive consideration of all relevant issues.


Relevant section of the AANA Code of Ethics

2.6 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety.



Health and safety: does not have a definition set out in the Code of Ethics.

This means that the Community Panel will apply the ordinary English language meaning of the words and will also consider concerns raised by the complainant as well as additional and relevant factors that are outlined below. 

Prevailing Community Standards are defined in the Code as “the community standards determined by the Community Panel as those prevailing at the relevant time in relation to Advertising or Marketing Communications...and having regard to Practice Notes published by AANA and any research conducted by Ad Standards.”


Level of community concern

Community concern about the portrayal of material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety in advertising has been reflected in complaints to Ad Standards.

In 2020 health and safety accounted for 7.96 per cent of complaints to Ad Standards.


Further information

For more information see the AANA Code of Ethics: Practice Note.