New Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications unveiled

Barry Dooley, ASAI board member, Ros Dalton, ASAI Complaints Committee and Paul Mulligan, ASAI board member at the launch of the authority's new marketing code

Brand new section on e-cigarettes and updated sections on food (including rules for ads addressed to children), health & beauty and environmental claims included



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22 September 2015 | 0

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The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has unveiled the new ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing in Ireland (seventh edition).

The new code, which will come into force in March 2016, is the result of a review by the ASAI which involved a public consultation process. This included a wide range of government departments and agencies; consultations with consumer groups and other NGOs; and consultation with the advertising industry including advertisers, agencies and the media.

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications. The organisation’s objective is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are “legal, decent, honest and truthful”. Members of the ASAI are required to abide by the code and not to publish an advertisement or conduct a promotion which contravenes its rules.

The key changes and additions that affect the FMCG sector include:

  • Brand new section on e- cigarettes (page 105)

New Code rules include that “marketing communications for e-cigarettes should be socially responsible and should contain nothing which promotes the use of a tobacco products or shows the use of a tobacco product in a positive light.”

  • New rules for food advertising (page 59)

Completely updated food section, bringing the ASAI Code into line with the EU Regulation concerning nutritional and health claims. The EU Regulation on nutrition and health claims is mandatory and seeks to protect consumers from misleading or false claims.

  • New rules for children’s advertising (page 55)

New code rules include: “Except those for fresh fruit or fresh vegetables, marketing communications should not seem to encourage children to eat or drink a product only to take advantage of a promotional offer: the product should be offered on its merits, with the offer as an added incentive.”

  • Health & Beauty section (page 79)  

The rules in this section are designed to ensure that marketing communications do not exaggerate the environmental benefits to consumers of products or services

  • Environmental claims (page 99)

The rules in this section are designed to ensure that marketing communications for medicines, medical devices, treatments, health-related products and beauty products receive the necessary high level of scrutiny.

Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has commended the ASAI on the work it has done on updating the code.

The ASAI accepts complaints from any person or body who considers that a marketing communication may be in breach of the Code. To find out more or to view the new ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland (seventh edition), go to: or follow the ASAI on Twitter @ THE_ASAI.

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