UK Advertisers Lobby for Self-Regulation of TV Ads

13 May 2002

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is to respond to the government's nods and winks that it will not turn a deaf ear to proposals for the self-regulation of TV advertising – currently under the diktat of the Independent Television Commission.

The draft Communications Bill, published last week, provides for the transfer of control over TV ads to a new broadcast regulator, Ofcom, although print and billboard advertising will continue to be vetted by the industry’s self-regulatory watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority.

But ministers have made it known to their contacts within the TV ad sector that the government would welcome proposals for a new self-regulatory framework.

Says ISBA director for public affairs Ian Twinn: “There has been a blurring at the edges and it is no longer possible to define the media strictly in terms of press, poster and TV advertising. We will be putting forward proposals for a new system to introduce self-regulation for all advertising content.”

Such a system is likely to be based on the ASA template: administered by an independent industry-appointed board and funded via an adspend levy. The ASA , however, has been criticised as a toothless watchdog able only to yelp at those offenders who persistently ignore its recommendations. In such cases its ultimate sanction is to refer miscreants to the Office of Fair Trading.

ISBA and its agency counterpart, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, will have three months in which to put forward their proposals for inclusion in the bill.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff