Advertising – when it pays to challenge an ASA ruling?

Advertising – when it pays to challenge an ASA ruling?

The Advertising Standards Authority has recently overturned one of its own adjudications.  This is quite a noteworthy event and does not happen very often.  A television ad by Cycling Scotland showed a young woman cycling down the road with on-screen text saying “See Cyclist Think Horse”. Five people challenged if the ad was irresponsible and harmful, because it showed a cyclist without a helmet or other safety attire, and she was cycling more towards the middle of the road rather than close to the curb.

The ASA upheld the complaints to a storm of protest from various cycling charities and Cycling Scotland submitted a Request for an Independent Review.  The Independent Review procedure can be requested on two grounds – where additional relevant evidence comes to light that was available at the time, or shortly after the ad appeared but could not reasonably have been submitted in the course of the investigation and/or where it is alleged that there is a substantial flaw in the ASA’s adjudication or in the process by which that adjudication was made. This particular review was under the latter part.  The ASA withdrew the initial adjudication and has now published the revised adjudication.  So what

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