ASAS was established in 1976 as a Council under the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to promote ethical advertising in Singapore. It is the self-regulatory body of the advertising industry.
What does ASAS do?
- Advise and guide advertisers, advertising agencies and media owners on the acceptability of their own advertisements. More information on requesting copy advice can be found here
- Handle consumer complaints about questionable advertising practices in all media. File a complaint here
- Advise on any business-to-business advertisement feedback, provided that it is brought to the attention of the ASAS in accordance with the procedure of lodging a complaint. Ask a query here
ASAS regulates the advertising industry through the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice (SCAP). However, ASAS is not set up as a clearing-house to approve all advertising before publication. Rather, the responsibility of ensuring truthful advertising lies with both advertisers and consumers. This works in their interest because it ensures that through fair play, there is a balance of trust and responsibility between them.
If ASAS receives a complaint about an advertisement and subsequently finds that it has breached SCAP, it can issue sanctions (in order of severity) by:
- informing the advertiser to amend or remove the advertisement in question.
- withholding advertising space or time from advertisers, and withdrawal of the trading privileges from advertising agencies. Both these sanctions are applied by the media owners.
- exercising the option of publishing details of the outcome of the investigations, i.e. naming advertisers who have breached the code. The adverse publicity would have an impact particularly on recalcitrant offenders.
- referring the matter to CASE for action to be taken under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act for recalcitrant advertisers who repeatedly ignore the SCAP by persistent marketing of false, misleading or unsubstantiated claims.
What is the ASAS Council?
The ASAS Council comprises representatives from advertisers, advertising agencies, government agencies, media owners and other supporting organisations. Their terms of reference are:
- To promote ethical advertising and encourage the practice of effective self-regulation in Singapore.
- To provide advice on the acceptability of advertisements, taking into consideration the SCAP and community standards.
- To establish and sustain financial viability in the operations of ASAS. To review, evaluate and rule on advertising complaints and enquiries, and take appropriate action, including warning, modifying and suspending advertisements that fail to comply with the provisions under the SCAP.
- To honour and keep confidential the nature of all discussions and deliberations.
- To disclose any vested interest in a dispute, complaint and/or enquiry.
ASAS Council members are appointed on a three-year term and meet regularly to deliberate the above matters. These are the current members:
- Prof. Ang Peng Hwa (Chairman)
- Mr Bryan Tan (Vice-Chairman)
- Assoc. Prof. Eleanor Wong (Past Chair)
- Mr Ivan Chong (Past Chair, CASE Volunteer)
- Ms Lee Siow Hwee (Consumers Association of Singapore)
- Dr Aidan Wong (Consumers Association of Singapore)
- Mr Bernard Chan (Association of Accredited Advertising Agents, Singapore)
- Mr Ignatius Low (Association of Media Owners of Singapore)
- Ms Lisa Watson (Data-Driven Marketing Association of Singapore)
- Ms Ng Ying Lu (Health Sciences Authority)
- Ms Ginny Goh (Infocomm Media Development Authority)
- M1 Limited
- Ms Angela Chia (Mediacorp Pte Ltd)
- Mr Chew Ping Nan (Mediacorp Pte Ltd)
- Ms Shirley Pang (Mediacorp Pte Ltd)
- Prof. John Lim (Ministry of Health)
- Adj. Assoc. Prof. Raymond Chua (Ministry of Health)
- Ms Rebecca Chua (Monetary Authority of Singapore)
- Ms Agnes Lee (Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore)
- Mr Chow Phee Chat (Singapore Advertisers' Association)
- Ms Christina Teo (Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries)
- Dr Daniel Lee (Singapore Medical Association)
- Ms Seah Peik Ching (Singapore Food Agency)
- Singapore Press Holdings
- Ms Grace Paul (Singapore Telecommunications Limited)