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Independent Review process

Independent reviewThe Independent Review process provides for decisions of the ASA Council to be considered again in certain circumstances when there is evidence that we have not got the decision right and/or the process by which we made that decision.

The process is open to advertisers, complainants or broadcasters who have been a party either to a Final Ruling of the ASA Council or a Council decision not to further investigate a complaint beyond initial assessment.

A party has  21 days from the date on the ASA’s letter of notification of the final decision  to ask the Independent Reviewer of ASA rulings, Sir Hayden Phillips, to review the case. 

The Independent Reviewer can only accept the request if one or both of the following tests is established: 

  • a substantial flaw of process and/or ruling
  • additional relevant evidence is available that could not reasonably have been made available during the investigation

Advertisers, complainants or broadcasters contemplating a request for review should study the relevant terms of reference carefully, ensure that they are signed by the appropriate person and submitted in time and in writing to:

Independent Reviewer of ASA rulings
7th Floor North
Artillery House
11-19 Artillery Row

Requests should come only from the complainant, the advertiser or the broadcaster. Those from the advertiser or broadcaster or from a corporate complainant must be signed by the Chairman, Chief Executive or equivalent office holder; requests made only by their solicitor, agency or clearance centre will not be accepted. All dealings with the Independent Reviewer must be in writing.

Full terms of reference of the Independent Review procedure for non-broadcast rulings are set out in the CAP Code and in the ASA Procedures for Investigating Complaints under the BCAP Code for broadcast rulings. 

The Council’s rulings on reviewed cases is final. Rulings that are revised following a review will be republished on our website.

The Independent Reviewer’s report of his activities is included in our Annual Report and a list of Independent Review outcomes is enclosed below in line with our commitment to consistency:

Advertiser Review request from Request concerns a: Final ruling or No further investigation case  Grounds of review Final decision following review Date of final decision
The Jewellery Channel Advertiser Rationale flaw Minor wording amendment Final ruling 14 Jan 2016
Telefonica Uk Ltd t/a O2 Advertiser  Rationale and process flaws  Original ruling confirmed with amendments  Final Ruling  3 Feb 2016 

How to comply with the rules

For advice and training on the Advertising Codes please visit the CAP website.

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