Misleading and deceptive advertising
Ad Standards does not currently assess truth and accuracy in advertising, or conduct which may be misleading or deceptive for all products and services.
If a complaint is made that an advertisement is misleading or deceptive it is the responsibility of the advertiser to provide Ad Standards with sufficient information to enable the Community Panel to assess the accuracy of claims or statements made in an advertisement. In relation to food products, the information requested will usually be substantiation of the composition or nutritional profile of the food, but this will depend on the claims and statements made in the advertisement.
On occasions the information provided by the advertiser will be highly technical and it will be beneficial for the Community Panel or Ad Standards to obtain independent expert advice on the information so that it is able to be presented to the Community Panel in ‘lay’ terms. In such circumstances Ad Standards will engage the assistance of an independent expert.
For more information see the following:
- Section 2.1 of the AANA Food & Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communications Code (Food Code)
- Section 2.2 of the AANA Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children (Children’s Code)
- Section 1 of the AANA Environmental Claims Code (Environmental Code)
We also administer misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to competitor complaints under Section 1 of the Code of Ethics, with such complaints being heard by the Ad Standards Industry Jury on a ‘user pays’ basis.
Other complaint systems
Consumer complaints about misleading or deceptive advertising that we do not consider can be directed to the following agencies which jointly administer and enforce the Australian Consumer Law (ACL):
- the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- your State/Territory consumer protection agency
If your complaint is about the advertising of therapeutic goods you can direct your complaint to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).