Countdown to our 50th 2005
21 September 2012
“We’re here to make advertising better. (Not to make better advertising. Sorry)”. This quote is from the ASA’s first ad campaign for a decade. Keeping it simple and straight to the point, in 2005 we turned our hand to making ads, as well as regulating them.
This was the year that London was selected to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Doctor Who was ‘regenerated’ by the BBC and the England Cricket team won The Ashes. For the ASA, 2005 was our first full year regulating broadcast ads on TV and radio after responsibility was contracted out to us by Ofcom at the end of 2004. This made us the ‘one-stop shop’ for complaints about advertising and presented us with the challenge of working with five Codes instead of one (we currently have two).
The total number of complaints received rose by 16% in comparison with the total number of complaints received by the ASA and Ofcom in 2004. But this wasn’t necessarily an indication that standards were slipping, it seemed to suggest more about the increasing public awareness of the ASA and the ease and accessibility of the ‘one-stop shop’.
It was in this year that the record for most complained about ad ever, a record still held to this day, was set by KFC for their TV ad featuring three women working in a call centre, singing with their mouths full. It sparked 1,671 complaints, the overwhelming concern being that the ad encouraged bad manners among children. It was also the year of the ‘Pot Noodle horn’, Crazy Frog ringtone subscriptions and Channel Five mailing ads to consumers in the form of murder dossiers!?!? See the Annual Report for further details.
2005 saw revised rules for alcohol advertising come into force, prohibiting links between alcohol and sex, appeal to under-18s and the depiction of irresponsible or anti-social behaviour.
Additionally, we identified a need to review the rules and guidance on sound levels in ads, following three upheld adjudications, and were asked by the Government to consider proposals for strengthening the rules on advertising food and soft drinks to children.
Read the 2005 Annual Report here.