Limiting the number of points of complaint
1 May 2015
We’ve introduced a new policy which limits, in most cases, ASA investigations to three points of complaint about an ad.
We’ve always retained the right to not investigate a point of complaint about an ad if we believe there are no grounds to do so. By applying a proportionate limit to the number of points of complaint (in most cases) we will be able to focus our work on the issues which are most likely to cause detriment or harm to consumers and the vulnerable.
It’s important to stress that, where a complaint indicates the rules have been broken, we promise always to act. While the vast majority of cases involve less than three points of complaint, a small number involve multiple points. We’ve found that these often require a disproportionate amount of time and resource to deliver an outcome.
To help us implement this new policy we’re asking businesses and members of the public to focus their complaints to no more than three issues. Where we receive multiple complaints about the same ad or campaign we will assess whether an issue might be framed broadly to capture a range of concerns within one point.
There will be times when an ad might require a wider investigation and we will use our Prioritisation Principles, to guide how we allocate our regulatory resources in those instances. If a case raises issues that merit investigation over and above three points of complaint, we will be flexible in taking that approach.