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ASA SENTENCES CRE TO TWO YEARS PRE-VETTING

News, 01 August 1998

IN AN UNPRECEDENTED ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority is to vet all future ads by the Commission for Racial Equality before they run – the result of a wave of complaints over the CRE’s recent ‘shock tactic’ responsive poster. Following the upholding of complaints by other anti-racism groups that the images in the ads were likely to reinforce prejudice rather than reduce it, the ASA ruled that the CRE must obtain ‘pre-publication approval for posters for the next two years.’ Commission chairman Sir Herman Ouseley, defending the use of such ads, claimed that ‘shock tactics were needed to stir up genuine debate.’ The Commission is the first advertiser required by the ASA to have its ads vetted before use.