Advice for parents
We take our role of protecting children seriously. We have joined forces with other media regulators to create ParentPort. ParentPort is a website that’s designed to make it easier for parents to understand the standards that businesses and organisations have to follow across media, it also helps you to find the right regulator if you want to make a complaint or provide feedback on a particular issue.
This page is intended to help you understand the ASA’s role in protecting children. It contains a useful leaflet summarising our rules. It also provides guidance on how to make a complaint or provide feedback to us and contains links to other organisations who provide support for families or who campaign on children’s issues.
Advertising and children
We class a child as anyone under the age of 16.
All advertisers in the UK have a responsibility to follow the Advertising Codes which require that ads addressed to, targeted directly at, or featuring children do not contain anything that will cause them physical, mental, or moral harm.
We make sure that this responsibility is fulfilled in ads across all UK media including:
You can read case studies of past ASA rulings involving children and advertising by clicking on the links below:
We want to hear from you
Our decisions are guided by the public’s views and we want to hear what you think about advertising as a parent.
Got a complaint?
If you have concerns about an ad which you think is potentially harmful, irresponsible, or inappropriate for children please lodge a complaint with us. Just one complaint can lead to an advertisement being amended or withdrawn.
Have your say
If you don’t have a specific concern about an ad but would like to express your opinion on advertising in general or have a question then we’d love to hear from you. You can send your comments by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (Children’s rules) (PDF)
• UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (Children’s rules) (PDF)
• Advertising and Children - A parent's guide (PDF)
If the ASA cannot help but you want to ensure your voice is heard then it may be worth contacting a children or parenting organisation that can raise your concerns more widely on your behalf.
Here are some organisations that represent the interests of parents and children:
ParentPort is run by the UK’s media regulators. We set and enforce standards across the media to protect children from inappropriate material.
Family and Parenting Institute
The Family and Parenting Institute is an independent charity that works with charities, businesses and public services to offer practical help to families.
The Children's Society works to ensure children and young people are respected, valued and heard. Through its campaigns and research, it seeks to influence policy and perceptions at all levels so young people have a better chance in life.
Mothers' Union is an international charity that seeks to support families worldwide.
Netmums is an online parenting organisation comprising a family of local sites that cover the UK, each site offering information to mothers on everything from where to find playgroups and how to eat healthily to where to meet other mothers.
Which? campaign to protect consumer rights. As part of this it tests, rates and investigates baby products and services to keep baby safe and make life easier for parents. Whenever it uncovers safety issues with baby products, it pushes for positive change to improve the market for everyone. www.which.co.uk/baby-and-child