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ASAI Complaints Bulletin – Release No.1 2017

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland release latest Complaints Bulletin


  • 16 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Principles, Decency and Propriety, Legality and Fear & Distress


21 February 2017 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin which contains 17 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the ASAI.


16 of the 17 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Principles, Decency and Propriety, Legality and Fear & Distress. The advertisements complained of related to the internet, print, SMS, social media, brochure advertising, press advertising, outdoor, print and radio advertising. Three of the upheld advertisements complained about related to complaints from Intra Industry / Interested Parties. The ASAI Complaints Committee also chose not to uphold one consumer complaint.


The Complaints Committee is a completely independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and dealing with complaints submitted by the public, by a member of the ASAI, by a Government Department or any other person or body of persons. The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer and marketing sectors.  See further details here –


Commenting on the latest ASAI rulings, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, stated:

“The first ASAI complaints bulletin for 2017 highlights the ASAI’s broad remit in relation to the number of advertising platforms covered. Social Media, Print, SMS, Online and more, all featured advertisements which have been found in breach of the ASAI Code.


Given the rise in the number of complaints within some sectors, the ASAI has also begun actively engaging with advertisers to promote improved engagement and compliance with the ASAI Code. The ASAI have done this in the past to address emerging trends across various sectors.


The ASAI approach is to work with all advertisers, rather than against them, to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are truthful, decent and honest. The ASAI provide a free and confidential copy advice service to advertisers, agencies and media members to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser has any concerns about a marketing communications’ compliance with the ASAI’s Code, they can contact us and avail of the free and confidential copy advice service.”

A copy of the bulletin can be viewed here.

The ASAI’s updated Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing in Ireland (7th edition) came into effect on the 1st March 2016. The updated Code is the result of a comprehensive review undertaken by the ASAI which involved a significant public consultation process with a wide range of Government departments and agencies; consultations with consumer groups and other NGOs; and consultation with the advertising industry including advertisers, agencies and the media.

The Food Safety Authority for Ireland (FSAI) guidance note which was introduced in November will now complement the ASAI Code in ensuring that certain marketing terms used by food manufacturers, retailers and food service businesses convey clear meanings that are not misleading to consumers.

The guidance outlines the general legal requirements that food businesses must follow when using marketing terms on food and also provides agreed guidance for the food industry concerning the use of specific marketing terms to describe foods placed on the Irish market.

The ASAI Monitoring Service monitors compliance with the Complaints Committee’s adjudications. Media members are reminded that advertisements found to be in breach of the Code cannot be accepted for publication.


Or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI




For further information, please contact:

Breda Brown / Niall McHugh

Unique Media

Tel: 01 5225200 / 085 733 1896 (NM)


Editorial Notes:


The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications that is advertising, promotional marketing and direct marketing. The objective is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’.


Members of the ASAI are required to abide by the Code and not to publish an advertisement or conduct a promotion which contravenes Code rules. The Code covers commercial marketing communications and sales promotions in all media in Ireland including digital (online banners, websites and social platforms), print, outdoor, radio, TV, leaflets/brochures, and direct marketing.


Further information on advertising self-regulation, the ASAI and the operation

of the system is available at