Consultation: Proposed extension to the remit of the Advertising Advisory Committee

  • Start: 27 June 2019
  • Status: Open
  • End: 08 August 2019

Ofcom’s duties include a requirement to set broadcasting standards in advertising and prevent the inclusion of advertising in licensed services that may be misleading, harmful or offensive. Although Ofcom remains ultimately responsible for the implementation and enforcement of standards in broadcast advertising, we have, since 2004, contracted out certain functions relating to the regulation of broadcast advertising content to two co-regulatory bodies:

  • The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, which is responsible for the setting and reviewing broadcast advertising standards as set out in the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising - known as the BCAP Code; and
  • The Advertising Standards Authority (Broadcast), which is responsible for the handling and resolution of complaints under the BCAP Code.

The Advertising Advisory Committee (AAC) is an independent panel that supports the broadcast advertising co-regulatory system by bringing a consumer voice to broadcast advertising policy issues, including the drafting and interpretation of the BCAP Code.

Ofcom has received a request from BCAP and CAP (the Committee of Advertising Practice) to facilitate the extension of the remit of the AAC to provide advice on issues affecting both broadcast and non-broadcast advertising. This proposal reflects the increasing convergence between broadcast and non-broadcast advertising issues. Extending the remit of the AAC would enable it to provide a consumer perspective across all media, and Ofcom agrees that extending the AAC’s remit is in the interest of consumers.

As Ofcom has no role in the regulation of non-broadcast advertising (apart from advertising on on demand programme services and on online services which meet the definition of a Television Licensable Content Service), we recognise that an extension of the AAC’s remit would impact Ofcom’s role within it. Following discussions between Ofcom, BCAP and CAP, we have set out proposed changes to the co-regulatory arrangements for broadcast advertising that would enable the AAC to represent consumer interests across all forms of advertising, while maintaining a system that provides robust, consistent, proportionate and targeted regulation of broadcast advertising.

Ofcom is inviting comments from interested parties on its proposal to agree to extend the remit of the AAC.

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