1970’s: Advertising self-regulation through the decades

Sep 14th '23

In May 1973, representatives from publisher, broadcasting and advertising agency associations determined the need for an industry regulator whose primary purpose was to maintain at all times and in all media, a generally acceptable standard of advertising.


These organisations came together for the inaugural meeting of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), held in Wellington.


The founding members of CAP were:


  • Accredited Advertising Association of New Zealand (now known as the Commercial Communications Council),
  • Newspaper Publishers Association (now known as News Publishers Association), and the
  • New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (now Think TV and the Radio Broadcasters Association)


Work was undertaken to draft the first Advertising Codes of Practice and by 1974, the first Advertising Codes were released:


  • Code of Practice for Slimming and Weight Loss Advertising
  • Code of Practice for Driving
  • Code of Practice for Alcohol Advertising


In 1974 as a means of funding CAP publications, subscriptions were introduced at $10 per member. At the time of its establishment, CAP was run voluntarily by members.


By 1979, seven Codes were in place – covering baldness or hair loss, finance, youth organisations, proprietary medicines, slimming, driving and alcohol advertising and CAP dealt with, on average, 30 complaints a year.


Source: New Zealand (ASA)


About the ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is an organisation that investigates breaches of advertising standards in New Zealand. The ASA provides a free complaints process for consumers about the content and placement of advertisements. In assessing complaints, the ASA apply the ASA Advertising Codes.


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