Following the publication of Dame Janet Paraskeva’s independent audit in April 2017 and our response to 29 of her 30 recommendations in autumn 2017, the ASA has now completed work on the final recommendation: a thorough review of other independent review and appeal processes employed by other regulators, complaint handling bodies and other similar organisations in the UK and overseas.
Our further review has established that the ASA’s Independent Review process is in line with good practice across a range of comparable international organisations and exceeds those of comparable UK based regulators’ own review processes. We have established that there is no consensus around an ideal form that Independent Review systems should take nor is there consensus on the use of oral representations as part of those processes. The review found that our grounds for review are amongst the most comprehensive seen in our global peer group of advertising self-regulatory organisations. Although we have therefore not identified a compelling case for change at this time, we will however review the position on oral representations again once we have completed an anticipated review of our competitor complaint process, likely to take place in 2019.