It is in this context that it is crucial for the glazing industry to show the highest levels of professionalism in all its business activities both now and in the future. This includes advertising practices across the UK.
A number of high profile rulings across the glazing sector over the past few years mean that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has an eye on our industry and quite rightly expects reform where any practices do not fall in line with its rules.
We have been informed of a number of suspected non-compliant advertising and promotional activities (primarily on their own websites) by various installation companies which are likely to be reported to the ASA soon by a third party, which will throw further negative light on our industry and potentially cause harm to our combined reputation.
As an example, companies who run campaigns with large discounts that seemingly run all year long are not compliant and do not highlight the industry, or themselves, in a positive light. Similarly, companies using ambiguous, exaggerated or unverified claims and taglines leave themselves open to criticism and potential complaints made to the ASA if clearly defined terminology isn’t used.
It is far better for us to adjust our practices to make them complaint ourselves before they are formally reported than have a negative spotlight shone on our industry, which has made such big strides in raising standards and reversing the now unfair negative view of our industry. We request that you reflect on your promotional activities to ensure they are in line with what is allowed by the ASA and make any adjustments needed prior to the potential investigation by the ASA.
What Is The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA)?
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is the UK’s independent advertising regulator and their role is to ensure ads placed across the UK media stick to the Advertising Codes. Under the advertising rules, it is the responsibility of advertisers to ensure they hold appropriate evidence to back up claims made in their ads.
The ASA respond to concerns and complaints from consumers and business, and where necessary, will ban ads that misleading, harmful, offensive or irresponsible.
What Do The ASA Cover?
The ASA has a broad remit and the types of ads they deal with on complaints include the following:-
- Press ads
- Radio & TV ads
- Internet, smartphone and tablet ads
- Ad claims on companies’ own websites
- Commercial email and text messages
- Leaflets and brochures
- Ads at the cinema
- Direct mail, whether addressed to you personally or not
The ASA also cover Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA). OBA is the practice of collecting information from web browsers (cookies) so that it can be used to deliver ads that are pertinent to the user of that computer.
When looking at future marketing and advertising campaigns it is essential that all rules and regulations are met and we would strongly advise you to visit the ASA website. The ASA’s sister organisation, The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), have produced a series of helpful guides that assist companies adhere to The Advertising Code.
For more information on OBA and the ASA Guides they provide you can visit their website here.
The ASA also have a Copy Advice Team who can provide free advice to companies on their non- broadcast marketing communications and the likelihood of whether they would be acceptable under the Advertising Code. You can call them on 020 7492 2100 should you have any enquiries.
Enhancing The Industry's Reputation
The glazing sector, in its entirety, has done a huge amount of work over an extended period of time to put itself in a position of trust with homeowners. It now has the opportunity to showcase itself across the UK as consumers, with ever increasing expectations, look at how to improve their home working environment as a result of the pandemic. Only the highest possible standards across all business activity will do if the industry is to meet those expectations.