Adverts attract few complaints;Letter;Opinion

9th July 1999 at 01:00
"Why advertisers rely on pester power" (TES, June 4), accurately reflected the specific rules governing advertisements addressed to children. The Advertising Standards Authority is conscious that advertising to children and schools remain sensitive areas.

However, your article wrongly asserted that this is an area that attracts large numbers of complaints. In fact the ASA receives very few complaints about advertising addressed to or featuring children. Last year we received only 23 such complaints, out of a total of more than 12,000; not a single advertisement needed to be withdrawn. Advertisers are aware that advertising to children is a sensitive, and follow the rules in the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion.

Although poster advertising in schools would come within the ASA's scope, public relations material such as sponsored literature does not. Individual schools can exercise their discretion over the suitability of any "branded" materials. Headteachers and governors should rightly have the final say about the material to which their pupils are exposed.

Steve Ballinger Press officer The Advertising Standards Authority 2 Torrington Place, London WC1

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