The ASA Codes are changing!

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) codes seek to ensure that all advertisements are responsible and adhere to the principles of decency, legality, honesty, truthfulness and fair competition.

The ASA is introducing the new Advertising Standards Code (Code) which will become effective on 1 November 2018 – and will cover all new advertising (print, televised, radio, cinema, interactive platforms, magazines, newspapers etc). Existing ads will be exempt from the changes until 1 February 2019.

The new Code is a consolidation of six codes that will be retired. However, a number of the existing codes will continue as outlined below.

Codes to be retired New Code Existing Codes to stay the same
Advertising Code of Ethics   Children and Young People's Advertising Code
Code for Advertising Food   Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol
Code for Advertising Vehicles Advertising Standards Code Therapeutic and Health Advertising Code
Code for Environmental Claims   Code for Advertising Gaming and Gambling
Code for People in Advertising   Code for Financial Advertising
Code for Comparative Advertising    


The new Code is made up of three parts:

  • Principles: The standards expected in advertising.
  • Rules: Examples (not exhaustive) of how the principles are to be interpreted and applied.
  • Guidelines: Information and examples to explain a rule.

The Code is not prescriptive but provides guidance on acceptable standards. It is possible to be in breach of the spirit of the Code without necessarily being in breach of a particular rule. When deciding if a principle has been breached, the Complaints Board has a wide discretion to have regard to generally prevailing norms, previous decisions, the context of the product or service being advertised and what the consumers' understanding of the ad is.

The Code includes more explicit rules and guidelines around truthful presentation, not misleading customers, and ensuring advertisements are identifiable as ads.

A copy of the new Code can be found here.

We regularly assist marketers with front end compliance and dealing with complaints. The team at Anthony Harper have worked for some of New Zealand's biggest brands and have a reputation for responsiveness and reliability. For us this is business as usual.

Contact us to find out more. 

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Alex Campbell



P: +64 9 356 2625

M: +64 27 252 6688


Mark Gavin



P: +64 9 984 4233

M: +64 275 483 393


Alexandra Crow



P: +64 9 984 4215

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