There were only five upheld complaints about radio ads in 2016, out of a total of 31,989 approved by Radiocentre Clearance, according to the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) record of rulings relating to radio ad complaints for last year. This represents only 0.016% of ads that are pre-approved in this way in line with the ASA code overseen by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP).
One case was upheld because the ASA considered a reference in an ad to be sexist. Another case concerned a charity: the ad was found in breach of the Code because the ASA considered it constituted fund raising aimed at children. In two of the five cases the complaints were upheld on the basis that the ASA saw insufficient evidence to support their interpretation of the challenged claims relating to a kitchen company and a motor dealer. In the remaining case, the ad was upheld for a health claim because of a misleading impression as well as being likely to cause offence.
Yvonne Kintoff, Radiocentre’s Head of Advertising Clearance says: “Radiocentre’s Clearance team keeps a constant eye on the regulatory issues that are on the political agenda, such as alcohol, payday loans and gambling. We exercise extra vigilance in areas where consumers both require and deserve the highest protection. The fact that we had only a statistically insignificant or 0.016% of complaints upheld last year shows that not only can consumers trust the ads that they hear on radio but also that advertisers can rest assured that they are delivering appropriate messages to their audiences. Given some of the challenges of trust and accountability faced by programmatic advertising, the scrutiny and expertise we provide is invaluable.”