The Independent Review 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. If the decision on your complaint is ineligible for an independent review because it was not a decision made by the ASA Council, you can complain about the ASA.
A party has 21 days from the date on the ASA’s letter of notification of the final decision to ask the Independent Reviewer to review the case.
The Independent Reviewer can only accept the request if one or more of the following tests is established:
- if additional relevant evidence becomes available which could not reasonably have been shared during the course of the investigation
- where it is alleged that there is a substantial flaw in Council's ruling
- where it is alleged that there is a substantial flaw in the process by which that ruling was made
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
11-19 Artillery Row
Email the Independent Reviewer at email@example.com.
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 Independent Reviewer is not part of the ASA Executive or the ASA Council. He is entitled to sit as an observer on Council discussions of investigated cases in order to ensure there is transparency in Council decision-making and to understand better how Council makes its decisions. However, he takes no part in those discussions and nor does he discuss cases with the Council or Executive that have not been referred to him for review.
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 on this website in line with our commitment to transparency: