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New Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications unveiled by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI)

– 7th edition of the ASAI Code features new sections on E-Cigarettes and Gambling as well as completely updated sections on Food (including rules for ads addressed to children), Health & Beauty and Environmental claims.

17 September 2015.
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), the independent self- regulatory body committed to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications, today unveiled the new ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing in Ireland (7th edition).

The new Code, which will come into force in March 2016, 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 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.

Below are some of the key changes and additions to the 7th edition of the ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing in Ireland. To view the Code in full, please go to

  • Brand new section on E- Cigarettes (page 105)
    New Code rules include that “marketing communications for e-cigarettes should be socially responsible and should contain nothing which promotes the use of a tobacco products or shows the use of a tobacco product in a positive light.”
  • Brand new section on Gambling (page 73)
    New Code rules include that; “All advertisements for gambling services or products shall contain a message to encourage responsible gambling and shall direct people to a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly.”
  • New rules relating to Food Advertising (page 59)
    Completely updated Food section, bringing the ASAI Code into line with the EU Regulation concerning nutritional and health claims. The EU Regulation on nutrition and health claims is mandatory and seeks to protect consumers from misleading or false claims.
  • New rules relating to Children’s Advertising (page 55)
    New Code rules include; “Except those for fresh fruit or fresh vegetables, marketing communications should not seem to encourage children to eat or drink a product only to take advantage of a promotional offer: the product should be offered on its merits, with the offer as an added incentive.”
  • Health & Beauty section (page 79)
    The rules in this section are designed to ensure that marketing communications for medicines, medical devices, treatments, health-related products and beauty products receive the necessary high level of scrutiny.
  • Environmental claims (page 99)
    The rules in this section are designed to ensure that marketing communications do not exaggerate the environmental benefits to consumers of products or services.


Speaking at the launch, Alex White TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said:

“Through its Code of Standards, the ASAI promotes best practice in advertising with the aim of serving the interests of the whole community.  With the launch of the 7th edition of the Code, the ASAI seeks to champion these interests in an ever more interconnected and fast-paced age. I commend the Authority on the work it has done on updating the Code and wish it well in its future endeavours.”

Sean O’ Meara, Chairman of the ASAI, said:

“We live in a world of ever-changing communication innovations, channels, platforms and demands. In producing this new 7th edition of the ASAI Code,  we undertook the widest and most transparent consultative process in our history. It is compatible with current Irish and EU legislation, matches the very best international standards, and demonstrates how the combination of Self-Regulation and Statutory Legislation can be used in the best interests of all concerned.

To ensure that the Code will remain, at all times, credible and relevant, there will be regular inspection and appraisal of the Code with an on-going process of additions, amendments and strengthening, as required.”

Guy Parker, President of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, added:

“The ASAI is a vital member of the EASA, the single authoritative voice of advertising self-regulation in Europe and beyond.  We believe that effective advertising self-regulation is a crucial tool in the European ‘Better Regulation’ toolbox.  As one of Europe’s most effective advertising regulatory bodies, the ASAI have produced a Code following significant and broad public consultation which responds so well to the issues of today. I commend all those involved in its production.”

The ASAI accepts complaints from any person or body who considers that a marketing communication may be in breach of the Code. To find out more or to view the new ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland (7th edition), go to: or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI

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