As the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, our (ASA) purpose is to make advertisements responsible and our ambition is to make every UK ad a responsible ad. We’re passionate about what we do because responsible advertisements are good for people, society and advertisers.
 

Our strategy

Our Strategy contains six strands:

  1. People: We’ll put people first, which means everyone not just people who complain to us. We'll be open to listening in new ways and we'll continue to improve our engagement with the UK nations and regions.
  2. Online: We will improve our regulation of online advertising. We'll continue to focus on misleading content and inappropriate targeting, but we'll also be open to thinking beyond that, for example seeking to work more closely with large online platforms so we help each other to protect people from irresponsible ads. We'll develop our thought-leadership in online ad regulation.
  3. Effectiveness: We will deliver high quality, proactive regulatory projects on ads that cause the most detriment to people. We'll prioritise better, explore machine learning to improve our regulation, look to act more nimbly and simplify our regulation where we can.
  4. Buy-in: We'll seek greater buy-in from online-only advertisers, retailers, brands, micro- and SME-businesses and the social influencer community, by highlighting the benefits of our regulation and being open to regulating differently.
  5. Enforcement: We will improve how we proactively identify and remove irresponsible ads (particularly online) and our sanctioning of non-compliant advertisers.
  6. Independence: We will continue to regulate without fear or favour, taking account of the evidence-base at all times. We'll continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of our regulation - including in response to challenges to TV and online ad regulation - through our actions and our communication, and we'll be open-minded to change that strengthens the ASA system. 
Read our detailed strategy document, which outlines the case for change:

  Download our strategy: More Impact Online

 
How we regulate

We regulate ads wherever they appear. It’s right for us to focus on online ads because businesses increasingly advertise online, people are spending more time online and the pace of change online contributes to concerns, but we won’t take our eye off the important task of making sure ads are responsible in other media too. Resolving complaints will continue to be vital to our work, but so will continuing our proactive regulation.

Our shared values

  • Proactive
  • Collaborative
  • Accountable
  • Decisive

External stakeholders will also find us

  • Independent in administering the Advertising Codes 
  • Evidence-based, targeted and consistent 
  • Reflective of society, not a social engineer 

Our commitment to good regulation

It’s important that those we regulate understand what standards they can expect from us as a regulator.

Together, the ASA and CAP are committed to regulating in a way that is transparent, proportionate, targeted, evidence-based, consistent and accountable.  

In Our Commitment to Good Regulation we have set out six commitments – modelled on the Regulators’ Code - and some of the practical ways in which we make these commitments a reality through our day-to-day work.

Like the Regulators’ Code, our commitments do not take away from our main purpose to ensure that all UK ads are responsible.  It remains important for us to continue to strike the right balance between those we regulate and those we protect. 
 

Our six commitments

  1. We’ll keep regulatory burdens to a minimum
  2. We’ll engage with you
  3. We’ll be targeted 
  4. We’ll share information
  5. We’ll provide advice and training support 
  6. We’ll be transparent 
Read Our Commitment to Good Regulation in full:
 
  ASA and CAP commitment to good regulation.pdf


Consistency

Consistency is a principle of good regulation; it helps to create clarity which leads to good practice amongst businesses. That’s why we strive to ensure that the rulings reached by the ASA and the advertising standards set by CAP are consistent. 

We believe that consistency is best achieved through open communication with businesses, consumers and other regulators to create a shared sense of understanding of what rules and standards mean. We do this by being transparent in our decision making and by providing effective channels of communication to help guide the regulatory decisions we take. 

If you’re concerned that we’re being inconsistent in our regulation and neither the CAP consultation process nor the ASA complaints handling process are the appropriate means of registering your concern, please contact us

In particular, we want to hear from businesses who feel that the requirements we place on them conflict with other legal or regulatory restrictions, or if our advice differs from the advice given by another regulatory body.