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.
Some of the key changes to the Code include advertising relating to e-cigarettes, gambling, food, alcohol, health & beauty and advertising to children.
According to Sean O’Meara, chairman of the ASAI, “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.”