ASA support National Consumer Week 2022


INSIGHT
Published
Nov 14th '22
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Today marks the start of National Consumer Week, an annual campaign which aims to raise people’s awareness of specific consumer issues and provide support and advice for those who need it.

 

The campaign is led by Citizens Advice in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP) of which the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is a member. The CPP is a group of bodies whose aim is to tackle misleading practices that can lead to consumer harm.

 

This year, the area the ASA focusing on is advising people on how to shop safely online and highlighting the rules and guidance we have in place to ensure consumers are protected when shopping online.

 

This is particularly important given the rising cost of living in the UK. And with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the festive season fast approaching and the multiple deals and offers that will be promoted as result, the need to exercise caution when parting with your money is paramount.

 

In 2021 the ASA received 20,735 complaints about online ads, making up close to half of all complaints and almost 2/3 of our cases. This shows how many of us are engaging with advertising online, making it even more crucial, that we can trust the ads we see, hear and interact with across the multiple websites and online platforms that we use as part of everyday life.

 

  • Faulty goods and Online shopping

ASA rules state that pricing should be clear and savings claims, including promotions, should not exaggerate or mislead.

 

Claims about products should, be backed by evidence where appropriate. The ASA expect advertisers to ensure that they hold documentary evidence to prove all objective claims otherwise they’re likely to mislead.

 

Advertisers must make clear if stocks are limited and products should not be advertised unless they have made a reasonable estimate of the likely demand. Where an item is no longer available, it should not be advertised as being available.

 

If you have been online shopping and seen an ad that you believe is misleading, the ASA encourage you to send them the details so that they can look into the matter further. They have an online form that is quick and easy to fill out.

 

If you are seeking a refund for defective/ faulty goods purchased through misleading advertising, we recommend that you contact Citizens Advice.

 

  • Scams

The ASA Scam Ad Alert system in partnership with major online ad and social media platforms is helping to tackle scam ads online.

 

ASA encourage anyone who spots a paid-for online ad that they think is a scam to report it to them, so that they can take action to have it removed. You can report scam ads appearing in paid-for spaces online to the ASA via our online form. They assess reports within 24 hours, enabling them to quickly and effectively alert platforms to scam ads so that they can promptly remove them, suspend the advertisers’ accounts and stop similar ads appearing in future.

 

Read about the Scam Ad Alert system in more detail here.

 

If you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, or are being targeted by one, be sure to get in contact with Citizens Advice.

 

Citizens Advice has some very handy consumer education resources on a range of consumer issues including faulty goods and scams which are free to download.

 

Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/NCW22  for more information about this year’s National Consumer Week.

 

Source: ASA

 

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