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Make a complaint

1. First, check whether your complaint is covered by the ASA.  Find out what we cover here, or if you're still not sure, call/textphone us to discuss your complaint.  Our contact details can be found here.
2. If it is, submit your complaint online, or telephone,textphone, or write to us.
3. We’ll give you the name of the person who will handle the case and be your point of contact.
4. The names of those who make a complaint are kept confidential from the advertiser, unless you are asking us to have your name taken off a mailing list or the complaint is from an individual, competitor or organisation with obvious interest in the outcome of the complaint (such as consumer bodies and pressure groups).
5. We can often resolve complaints quickly. For instance, we can have an ad changed if it’s a minor mistake or chase up an undelivered mail order item on your behalf. If it’s not that simple, we may need to conduct a formal investigation, which can take longer.
6. A formal investigation means the ASA Council will rule on the matter. We contact all parties involved (complainant, advertiser and, if appropriate, the broadcaster) and inform them of the process. We ask the advertiser and broadcaster to provide evidence for any claims they make and, if needed, to provide justification about why they thought the ad was appropriate.
7. We consider all the information we receive and place the facts of the case before the ASA Council which decides whether the Advertising Codes have been breached.
8. We publish our rulings in full every Wednesday and make the findings available to the media.
9. Ads that break the rules are required to be amended or withdrawn, if they aren’t, we will take steps to make sure our ruling is followed.

10. We take every step to make sure the process is fair, which is why there is an Independent Review Procedure that allows complainants and advertisers to request a review of a ruling.

This leaflet provides a straight forward guide to our process Making a complaint.

You can also read our detailed complaints handling procedure for both broadcast and non-broadcast advertising.

Making a complaint about The Sun Dream Team promotion?

The ASA has received a significant volume of complaints about an email, sent to subscribers of The Sun’s Dream Team fantasy football competition, which invited recipients to enter a prize draw to win a date with a page three girl.  Members of the public, who believed it was sexist and objectified women, have complained that the email was offensive.

We have now launched a formal investigation into this promotion. If you decide to submit a complaint, we won’t respond directly.  Complaints that are lodged, however, will provide us with an opportunity to continue to monitor public response to this ad.  Our findings will be published in due course and you will be able to read the decision in full on our Rulings page

Complaining about an overseas ad?

Then your complaint will be treated as a cross-border complaint. Read more here.

Make a complaint

Dealing with complaints - FAQs

We work hard to ensure our complaints procedures are transparent. Here we answer some commonly asked questions about how we handle complaints.

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Make a complaint

Find out what types of ads we deal with and how to make a complaint.

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