Who to Complain To
If you dislike an advertisement you can complain to the advertising Standards Authority, the Commission for Racial Equality and the company that is paying for the advert. Or you can complain to them all. The managing director is unlikely to see your letter but his secretary may well pass it down the line to some one who will respond. The marketing director is the man who commissioned the advert, knows which market it is aimed at and knows how much it cost. He has a serious interest in how well these things work.
When you write a letter have a valid complaint, be polite, to the point and sensible. If you get the arrogant brush off, something the police specialize in the follow up is called for. Your MP can be very effective. He can ask a Parliamentary Question of the Minister. He can't be brushed off so easily.
The ASA - advertising
The BBC - television and wireless
The CRE - race relations - that is for us too
OFCOM - commercial television and wireless
The PCC - newspapers
Advertising Standards Authority
The Advertising Standards Authority works to keep advertising legal, decent, honest and truthful. The ASA resolves thousands of complaints each year.
That sounds reasonable. And you can even do it directly on line by going to their home page or how to complain
They have their very own complaints department. You can give them something to do. It is on line but you can use snail mail if you really want. You can even phone them and pay THEM money to listen to you by calling an 0870 number.
The real test of any organization is how it deals with complaints from the public.
They talk the talk. Do they walk the walk? Call their bluff!
Commission for Racial Equality
Is about equality for Englishmen as well - according to the words in the Act. It is not the intention, far from it. The name is an advertising prospectus. Make them live up to it. They have the job of enforcing the Race Relations Act 1976. This means that they can initiate prosecutions using RRA 1976. See legalpowers.html
These can :
advise or assist people with complaints about racial discrimination, harassment or abuse
conduct formal investigations of companies and organisations where there is evidence of possible discrimination; if the investigation does find discrimination, the CRE can oblige the organisation to change the way it operates
take legal action against racially discriminatory advertisements, and against organisations that attempt to pressurize or instruct others to discriminate — such as employers instructing employment agencies not to send them applicants from ethnic minorities, or companies instructing their workers to discriminate in the way they provide goods or services
assist individuals to take judicial review action to challenge decisions of public bodies, including their compliance to the statutory duty to promote race equality ('the race equality duty')
If you object to the way that they have treated you then you can complain using complaints.html
The race equality duty is on line and can be down loaded as a freebie.
Ofcom deals with television, telecommunication, and broadcasting standards.
Ofcom was designed to be a 'super regulator', required in an age where many media platforms are converging. Ofcom was initially established in the Office of Communications Act 2002, but received its full authority from the Communications Act 2003. On December 29, 2003, Ofcom inherited the duties that had previously been the responsibility of five regulatory bodies:
- the Broadcasting Standards Commission
- the Independent Television Commission
- the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel)
- the Radio Authority
- the Radiocommunications Agency
It is their specific responsibility to deal with complaints from listeners. In one case there were 24 complaints about Fox News claiming that the Beeb was a pack of liars. Ofcom told them off. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ofcom on the point.
Go to http://www.ofcom.org.uk/ for a direct link to their complaints department.
Press Complaints Commission
The PCC regulates newspapers and magazine but it has no legal powers. It does have newspaper men on its committee which leads to accusations of being to cozy with the industry. They have a code of practice which covers:-
Accuracy Opportunity to reply Privacy Harassment Intrusion into grief or shock Children Children in sex cases Listening Devices Hospitals Reporting of crime. Misrepresentation Victims of sexual assault Discrimination Financial journalism Confidential sources Witness payments in criminal trials Payment to criminals
See the Wikipedia on the point. Go to pcc.org.uk for a direct link to their complaints department.
Finding the marketing people can be easy or more difficult. Do a search on the company name using your favourite search engine. I tried Heineken because it was the first name that came to mind and got 7,700,000 hits.
Heineken does not work but then the world is not a perfect place. Their serious home page does. It is at heinekeninternational.com and has a 'contact us' link.
Errors & omissions,
broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever;
if you find any I am open to comment.
Email me at Mike Emery. All financial contributions are cheerfully accepted. If you want to keep it private, use my PGP Key
Updated on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 18:38:59