Countdown to our 50th anniversary: 1989 – 90
6 September 2012
Our 26th Annual Report was a bumper one, covering an 18-month period from mid-1989 to December 1990 which saw the wall between East and West Berlin come down, and Germany reunified under the Chancellorship of Helmut Kohl. In equally historic news from the time, Tim Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for the World Wide Web, ensuring his place in history, and at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.
The ASA Chairman’s Report touched on the issue of press regulation, with Lord McGregor noting that while he may have been in favour of statutory regulation in the past, he was now convinced that an ASA type model of a self-regulatory system was an appropriate one for the press.
This marked Lord McGregor’s last foreword as Chairman, retiring from the ASA after ten years. He went on to serve as the first Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission in its current incarnation.
As well as providing the PCC with our former Chairman, ASA Chief Executive Guy Parker also gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on the future of press regulation earlier this year, outlining how the self-regulatory system works for advertising. Whether or not that model offers any direction for the future of press regulation remains to be seen, with Lord Justice Leveson’s report expected this Autumn.
Back to the ASA’s annual highlights and the Council approved the proposal to extend our remit to include direct mail and list and database management, subject to the text of a satisfactory Code being drawn up by industry.
And finally, the 1989 Annual Report noted that CAP’s Copy Advice service was being offered to advertisers making environmental claims for their products. A recent, growing trend had seen advertising claims about being ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’. As our Annual Report points out, there was a lack of clarity for consumers about the basis for these types of claims. For example, concerning an ad for ‘green’ disposable nappies, did the environmental claim make reference to the use of recycled materials, unbleached pulp, biodegradable plastic, or a combination of these, or other factors?
These kinds of issues are still at the forefront of CAP’s mind, with concerns about energy usage of high concern for consumers, and new rules being introduced earlier this year relating to specific energy products and the labelling they must use for consumer benefit.
View the 1989-1990 Annual Report here.