Who Controls Ads

Who Controls Ads

Most advertising seen by children is governed by self regulation. There are some exceptions in relation to C and P programs on TV.

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) oversees most advertisements viewed by our children.

The ASB is supposed to make sure all advertising, wherever it appears, meets the standards laid down in The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) code of ethics.

  • The only code which deals with any form of sexuality relating to advertising is section 2.3 'Advertisements shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensibility to the relevant audience and, where appropriate, the relevant program time zone'
  • The ASB self regulatory body purports to reflect community standards, yet it does not consult child development experts about the potential impact of advertisements on children - before they are released for public viewing.
  • The ASB does not vet advertisements before they are released publicly.
  • The ASB has been set up by the advertising industry to police itself.
  • It is not run by the government and it has no legislative power.
  • The ASB only acts after members of the public complain.
  • Most people feel powerless as they have no idea how, or where to lodge a complaint.
  • Even when complaints are made they are often dismissed - without a response based on objective opinion from health professionals in the field of child development.
  • For a complete list of all complaints dismissed and upheld by the ASB, go to the link at the top of this page and click on  'Complaints' then 'Outcome of complaints' then 'Search complaints' database.
  • Lodge a complaint

With sexualised imagery on the increase, self regulation is failing our children, and the regulatory system and bodies need serious review.

To lodge a complaint about sexualised music videos, advertisements or program content on free to air tv - write to the station and also fill in the online complaint form at Free TV Australia .

For a comprehensive list of where to lodge complaints click here - The Australian Council of Children and the Media.


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