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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. If you intend to raise multiple points of complaint, please focus your concerns and limit your complaint to what you feel are the three most important issues.  If we decide to proceed with a formal investigation, we will investigate a maximum of three points in most cases, in line with the ASA’s commitment to focus its resources in the most impactful way. Find out more.
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 Ads that break the rules are required to be amended or withdrawn, if they aren’t, we will take steps to make sure our ruling is followed.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.  

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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