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Monitoring ads

Monitoring complianceWe don't just wait for complaints to come in, we proactively check to see that the Codes as well as our rulings are adhered to, for example by seeing if any necessary changes have been made to advertisements.

We also routinely monitor the media to make sure the Codes are being observed to protect consumers and fair competition. We concentrate our activities on high-profile sectors (such as alcohol, health and beauty) or sectors with low compliance.

If our compliance and monitoring teams find a breach, they will contact the company or broadcaster responsible and ask for an assurance that the ad will be changed.

The teams can also alert different sectors to general problems that can arise in ads as new products and services enter the market.

The compliance and monitoring teams aim to do most of their work on an informal basis. However, if an advertiser or broadcaster refuses to co-operate, then the teams are able to launch a formal investigation and bring the case before the ASA Council.

The ASA also conducts regular compliance surveys into specific media or industry sectors to ensure the Codes are being followed in those areas. The compliance monitoring team assess all ads from a particular sector that have appeared during a defined period. Ads that appear to be in breach of the Codes are either amended or removed.

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Read our compliance surveys

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We work hard to ensure our complaints procedures are transparent. Here we answer some commonly asked questions about how we handle complaints.

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