Countdown to our 50th anniversary: 2006
21 September 2012
2006 was a year of celebration. While Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday, Italians basked in the glory of their national football team’s World Cup triumph, and classical music fans the world over raised a glass in honour of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Meanwhile, the ASA celebrated the end of a successful two year probationary period for the co-regulatory arrangements between Ofcom, ASA, and BCAP, as the future of the ASA’s one-stop shop for all advertising complaints was publicly confirmed by Ofcom CEO Ed Richards.
For the first time since the launch of the one-stop shop in 2004, there were more complaints about non-broadcast ads than broadcast commercials, with non-broadcast complaints making up 60% of the total. However, this did not prevent the Big Brother house from coming under scrutiny, not for the antics of the housemates, but for the TV programme’s ‘Golden Ticket’ promotion, which offered anyone finding a golden ticket in a Kit-Kat chocolate bar the chance to take part in a ‘Prize’ Draw to become a Big Brother housemate. Despite fevered tabloid speculation that the draw had been fixed, the ASA ruled that the draw had been conducted according to the laws of chance, but that an independent adjudicator should have been present throughout the process.
In new regulatory developments, 2006 saw the first upheld adjudication on an alcohol ad under the new alcohol rules which came into force the previous October. The ASA upheld complaints about two Young’s Bitter posters, on the grounds that they linked alcohol with seduction and success. Meanwhile, CAP introduced further alcohol rules in the summer of 2006, stating that alcohol ads must not make health claims, including fitness or weight control claims. CAP and BCAP also launched a public consultation on proposed new rules for gambling ads, which would come into force in September 2007.
Looking ahead, ASA Chairman Lord Barrie QC gazed into the ASA crystal ball as he addressed the annual conference of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (IBSA), where he presented the challenge to UK advertisers of future proofing self-regulation for the digital age, suggesting that advertisers should extend social responsibility across all advertising formats. Self-regulation, he emphasised, must be as effective in new media as in old, in order to secure future advertising freedom. Fast forward to today where, following the extension of the ASA’s online remit in March 2011, online remit cases now account for 29% of all cases received and handled, and the system is well and truly proofed to handle all new media developments.
Read the 2006 Annual Report here