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ASAI Complaints Bulletin – Release No. 7 2016

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland release latest Complaints Bulletin


  • 25 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Decent and Propriety, Health and Beauty and Alcohol Advertising


14 December 2016 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin which contains 35 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the ASAI.


25 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Decent and Propriety, Health and Beauty and Alcohol Advertising. The advertisements complained of related to the internet, brochure, press, outdoor, social media, print and radio.


Two of the upheld advertisements complained about related to complaints from Intra Industry / Interested Parties while the ASAI Complaints Committee also chose not to uphold five consumer complaints and one intra-industry complaint.  A statement was also issued by the ASAI in relation to one 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:


“2016 marked the 35th Anniversary of the ASAI and the latest complaints bulletin reflects the broad remit of the ASAI Code in dealing with complaints across multiple platforms. Earlier this year, the ASAI introduced their updated 7th Edition of the ASAI Code for Marketing and Advertising Standards in Ireland, while separate guidance notes were also introduced recently to help advertisers disclose marketing communications online and to highlight the appropriate use of food terms such as ‘Artisan’ or ‘Natural’.


The ASAI approach is to work with all advertisers, including bloggers and the food industry, 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.


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For further information, please contact:

Unique Media

Breda Brown / Niall McHugh

Tel: 01 5225200 / 085 7331896 (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