Media releases

Year of expansion - Review of Operation

The details of the Advertising Standards Bureau’s achievements and initiatives for the past year are available with the release of the Review of Operations 2009.

“During 2009 the ASB worked with a range of industry bodies and with the community to make sure the complaints arm of the advertising self-regulation system ran smoothly,” Fiona Jolly, Chief Executive Officer, said.

 She said the ever-growing advertising space created by new technology is widening the opportunities for advertisers and also the style of advertising and marketing communications.

“In order for the self-regulation system to function appropriately, it is important that the Advertising Standards Board is able to consider complaints about material on all types of media that is accessible to consumers including complaints arising from advertisement seen on emerging media,” Ms Jolly said.

In 2009 the statistics collected show the percentage of complaints about internet advertising (2.58 per cent in 2009), although low, doubled from the previous year’s percentage of 1.13 per cent. As with previous years, the majority of complaints (59.83 per cent) relate to advertisements shown on television, although this is down nine per cent on the previous year and the lowest percentage recorded for television.

“The portrayal of sex, sexuality and nudity continues to be the dominant issue raised by complainants. In 2009 this issue accounted for 40 per cent of complaints, rising from 25 per cent in 2008,” Ms Jolly said.

The ASB is currently finalising research into community perceptions of sex, sexuality and nudity in advertising.

Ms Jolly said food and beverage advertisements continued to be the most-complained about product category in 2009.

“Our work with industry organisations to set up and then administer food industry initiatives has also added to the jurisdiction of the Board in dealing with community complaints,” Ms Jolly said.

“The success of self-regulation depends on many factors. One of these is jurisdiction and ASB is at the forefront in this area.

“A relevant self-regulation system must respond to complaints in all media,” Ms Jolly said.

The Review of Operations for 2009 is available online and in hard copy.