The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has published a new procedure for complaints handling.  From 23 November 2015, ASA will be using its Prioritisation Principles to guide its complaints handling process, enabling it to place greater focus on the issues that it believes have the biggest impact, and to act proportionately in response to complaints received.

The majority of complainants and advertisers will not be affected by this policy change, as the best course of action under the previous approach would have been an informal resolution process or an ASA ruling. However, where the new approach does apply, complainants and advertisers will be contacted by ASA who will explain its decision, and any subsequent action, rather than ASA initiating an investigation. This more proactive and targeted approach will allow ASA to have the biggest impact on the issues that matter most, benefitting consumers, society and responsible advertisers alike.