An updated standard for advertising comes into effect today with notable changes.

The new Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) code covers commercial marketing communications and sales promotions in all media in Ireland including digital, print, outdoor, radio, TV, leaflets/brochures and direct marketing.

The code will change how e-cigarettes can be advertised, saying all ads should be “socially responsible” and “contain nothing which promotes the use of a tobacco product or shows the use of a tobacco product in a positive light”.

Ads for gambling have also been changed. They now are required to carry notices for responsible gambling and will direct people to gambling addiction support services.

Food advertisements and ads for health and beauty products will now also be subject to more careful examinations. The code aims to prevent foods being advertised as a gateway to another product such as a toy or giveaway.

The ASAI have waved off controversial advertisements in the past from Cadburys. Such campaigns include the ’No Nuts No Glory’ campaign. The billboard ad for Cadbury’s Starbar featured models Roz Purcell, Karena Graham and Georgia Salpa and posed the question, “Are you hungry enough to win 3 nights with us?”

Two complaints were received in relation to the poster alleging that the adverts were demeaning to women and were overtly sexual to advertise a chocolate bar. However the ASAI denied that it caused offence and did not uphold complaints.

However since Orla Twomey, became the CEO of the ASAI has made more of a conscience effort for change. She says the Code is being published in the best interests of consumers, all involved in advertising and Irish society in general.

“There will be regular inspection and appraisal of the Code with an on-going process of additions, amendments and strengthening, as required,” she said.

The code states: “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.”

By Conor Martin


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