How to Make a Complaint - ASCB

Any person can complain about any advertisement in any media which they consider to be in breach of the Codes.

The complaints procedure is simple.

  1. Complaints should be addressed to the Secretary, Advertising Standards Complaints Board, PO Box 10-675, Wellington. Complaints should be in writing, dated and signed by the complainant. Complaints can also be made using the online complaints form at www.asa.co.nz. Where the complaint involves a print advertisement, a copy of the advertisement should be included. Where a television or radio advertisement is the subject of a complaint, the approximate time, date and station of broadcast should be specified.

  2. The Chairperson will determine whether the complaint is suitable for the Board’s consideration and within the Board’s jurisdiction. If it is, the complaint will be sent to all parties concerned seeking their opinion and comments and you will be advised. If it is not, you and other parties will be advised and shortly after a formal written decision will be distributed to you, the other parties and to the media.

  3. If a complainant does proceed, then the Board will then determine whether the Codes of Practice have been breached and all parties will be informed of the outcome. A formal written decision is distributed to you, the parties and to the media.

  4. In lodging a complaint with the Complaints Board the complainant accepts that he/she will not pursue the complaint in any other forum and is required to sign a waiver to that effect.

  5. Please note a copy of your complaint, including your contact details, is provided to the other parties as part of the process. However, any contact with you will be via the Complaints Board. Your first initial and surname is included in the written decision.

  6. If a complaint is upheld by the Board the advertiser, in accordance with selfregulatory principles, is requested to voluntarily immediately withdraw the advertisement. Additionally the media are similarly requested not to publish or broadcast an advertisement which has been held by the Board to be in breach of the Codes of Practice. The requests are invariably followed.

  7. Decisions of the Complaints Board may be appealed to the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board on certain grounds. The main grounds are new evidence, the rules of natural justice were not followed, and the Decision was against the weight of evidence. All Rulings of the Chairperson of the Complaints Board are appealable to the Chairperson of the Appeal Board. Full details on appeals are available from the Secretary to the Complaints Board. Appeals must be made to the Secretary of the Complaints Board within 14 days of receipt of the written Decision.

Advertising Standards Authority New Zealand, PO Box 10-675, Wellington 6143. PH (04) 472 7852 FAX (04) 471 1785 Email asa@asa.co.nz