The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched its new AdHelp Information Service.
AdHelp is designed to be used by anyone in the advertising industry who wants detailed information about ASA code interpretation, precedent decisions and the legal framework that applies to advertising.
AdHelp is a users-pay service that is part of the ASA’s commitment to adding value by sharing knowledge and expertise. To start the process, users fill out an AdHelp submission form describing the organisation they work for, what their question is and where else they have sought advice.
The service costs between $350-$500 depending on whether the users are ASA members. In most cases, the ASA will provide information within three days, but can also process urgent requests within 24 hours for double the standard fee.
ASA chief executive Hilary Souter says that over the last 45 years the ASA has developed a considerable body of knowledge about the standards in advertising and AdHelp will be a resource to access that knowledge.
“We look forward to sharing that knowledge with industry through the AdHelp Information Service to support ad compliance.”
AdHelp will work alongside the existing pre-vetting services for alcohol and therapeutic advertising and advertising to children and young people.
ASA chair, Hon Heather Roy says the Governance Board was keen to provide a more formal service to assist advertisers and agencies prior to ad publication or broadcast.
“AdHelp is the result and we encourage the industry to make use of it.”
The launch of AdHelp comes after changes to the Advertising Standards Code were announced in early July. The Advertising Standards Code is the consolidation of six former codes that included similar rules and guidelines. The codes that will be retired are: Advertising Code of Ethics; Codes for Advertising Food; Code for Advertising Vehicles; Code for Environmental Claims; Code for People in Advertising; and the Code for Comparative Advertising. The change means there is now one primary point of reference for advertising standards.
The Advertising Standards Code will come into effect on November 1 for new ads, and by February 1, 2019 all ads need to comply. The change takes the number of advertising codes from 11 to six – including the five sector codes where advertisers are expected to take particular care.