Here we provide links to various bodies involved with consumer protection and regulation.
We often get asked whether we can help with sourcing a particular ad or identifying a piece of music that’s been used in an ad. Although we can’t help with these sorts of requests, we’ve provided links to some sites and organisations that might be able to help.
Regulators, statutory bodies and government departments
Advertising Standards Board of Finance
Asbof collects and distributes the levy on non-broadcast advertising and direct mail that funds the ASA's non-broadcast work as well as the Mailing Preference Service.
A Citizens Advice service offering you consumer advice and information.
Broadcast Advertising Standards Board of Finance
Basbof collects and distributes the levy on broadcast advertising that funds the ASA's broadcast work.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
CIM is the world’s leading professional marketing body with some 40,000 members worldwide. It exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners by providing thought leadership and career support as well as qualifications and training to marketing professionals and businesses around the world.
Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and CAP Broadcast (BCAP) write, revise and enforce the Advertising Codes. CAP also provides advice and training for advertisers, agencies and media owners. This includes free and confidential pre-publication advice on non-broadcast ads or multi-media concepts.
Clearcast operates the clearance system for television commercials before they are screened.
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is committed to building Britain's future economic strengths. Its mission is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is committed to improving the quality of life for all through supporting the creative industries, tourism and sporting activities.
Department of Health
The Department of Health’s aim is to improve the health and well-being of people in England. Its website includes the latest on the Department's work, as well as health and social care guidance, publications and policy.
European Advertising Standards Alliance
EASA is the coordinating body for 28 advertising self-regulatory organisations within Europe. It co-ordinates and administers a cross-border complaints procedure.
European Consumer Centre for Services (ECCS)
The ECCS provides general information on consumer law and rights when buying services across the European Union, as well as contact details for organisations that could provide practical assistance in case of a dispute. The ECCS is a requirement of the European Services Directive, Article 21. It is delivered by the Trading Standards Institute and is funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Equality and Human Rights Commission
The Equality and Human Rights Commission was established to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society; it can use its enforcement powers where necessary to guarantee people’s equality. It also has a mandate to promote understanding of the Human Rights Act.
Fax Preference Service
The FPS is available to businesses and individuals to register fax numbers on which they do not wish to receive fax marketing messages.
Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA regulate the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.
Food Standards Agency
The Food Standards Agency is an independent Government department set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food.
The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain. The Commission is sponsored by DCMS and determines the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) which set out the rules that Licensees must observe.
Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)
IPSO is an independent organisation which deals with complaints from members of the public and conducts its own investigations into the editorial content of newspapers and magazines, and the conduct of journalists.
The Information Commissioner's Office is an independent supervisory body responsible for enforcing the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Its range of duties includes the promotion of good information handling and the encouragement of codes of practice for data controllers, that is, anyone who decides how and why personal data, (information about identifiable, living individuals) are processed.
Intellectual Property Office
The Intellectual Property Office can help you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention. Intellectual Property (IP) is created when an idea takes some tangible form. IP can mean a brand, invention, design or other kind of creation and it can be legally owned.
Internet Watch Foundation
The IWF is an independent body which is funded by the UK Internet industry to assist in the regulation of online content, particularly child pornography.
Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)
LACORS is the local government central body responsible for overseeing local authority regulatory and related services in the UK. The services range from protecting consumers against illegal door stop selling to checking hygiene standards in restaurants and food factories.
Local Government Association
LGA represents all local authorities in England and Wales. The LGA's priority is to put local councils at the heart of the drive to improve public services and to work with government to ensure that the policy, legislative and financial context in which they operate, supports that objective
Mailing Preference Service
The MPS is a free service which enables consumers to register their wish not to receive unsolicited direct mail. Registering with the MPS will stop most unsolicited addressed mail, but it will not stop mail from organisations with which consumers have done business in the past.
Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority
The MHRA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health and patient safety by ensuring that medicines, healthcare products and medical equipment meet appropriate standards of safety, quality, performance and effectiveness and are used safely. The MHRA is an Executive Agency of the Department of Health.
Ofcom is the regulator for the UK broadcast and telecommunications industry and is the ASA’s co-regulatory partner for regulating TV and radio advertisements.
The Ombudsman Service provides dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing industries.
The Portman Group is supported by the UK's leading drinks producers. Their concern is solely with the social responsibility issues surrounding alcohol.
PhonepayPlus regulates phone-paid services in the UK - those services and goods that can be bought by charging the cost to a mobile phone bill and pre-pay accounts. These include helplines, competitions, downloads, TV voting, news alerts, charitable donations and interactive games.
Radiocentre clears radio advertisements and sponsorship credits for commercial radio.
Safe Home Ordering Protection Scheme
SHOPS protects the consumer when buying directly from advertisements.
Telephone Preference Service
The TPS helps individuals to make sure their telephone numbers are no longer available to organisations who may telephone with offers and information they do not wish to receive. Certain businesses, such as limited companies, can register with the Corporate Telephone Preference Service.
Trading Standards Institute
TSI’s website provides full information on consumer rights under the law and a search facility to find contact details for your local trading standards department.
UK European Consumer Centre
ECC United Kingdom provides free information on consumer rights in Europe and assists in cross-border disputes.
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Other useful resources
The Advertising Archives is a specialist picture library with over one million examples of British and American press ads, TV stills, posters, and other cultural ephemera from 1850 to the present day
History of Advertising Trust
HAT encourages the study of advertising and related fields. It holds a collection of advertising material from 1800 to the present day.
A specialist careers information, advice and guidance service for broadcast, film, video, interactive media and photo imaging, offering a range of services including helpline, free e-mail advice and individual guidance sessions delivered by experienced media practitioners.
The Which? Consumer Rights website is free to use and helps users find simple ways to resolve their everyday consumer problems. The site has a wide range of step-by-step guides and letter templates, covering everything from shopping, to scams to broadband.
Your online choices
On this website you’ll find information about how behavioural advertising works, further information about cookies and the steps you can take to protect your privacy on the internet.
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