The International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) and the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) released a report today on Advertising Self-Regulation in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report provides an insight into the challenges and actions taken by the ICAS and EASA Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) members since the start of the pandemic. All SROs needed to adapt the way they operate to protect first and foremost their employees and follow the legal measures in place to combat the spread of the virus. At the same time, they ensured that essential services to their members, businesses and consumers continue to a high standard.
The focus of the published report is on the measures taken to protect consumers by removing misleading and harmful advertising.
Some of the key findings of the report are:
- Between mid-March 2020 to mid-May 2020, SROs across the globe dealt with more than 1600 complaints relating to coronavirus-related advertisements;
- SROs investigated more than 400 ads on their own initiative;
- More than half of the SROs fast-track harmful consumer complaints, while supporting the most affected industries, including possible ‘regulatory forbearance’;
- 20 SROs have also issued statements advising businesses to advertise responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- More than half of SROs collaborate with national authorities by exchanging information, ensuring complaints transfer as well as enforcement where appropriate.
The report also includes examples and detailed country information. It is based on data collected by ICAS and EASA in April and May 2020, as well as on desk study and research.
Read the report here.