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The ASA rules that the PCC is as independent as it is

September 4, 2011 No Comment

PCC and ASA logos

ASA: PCC is as independent as us

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected my complaint about the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) advertising itself as independent.

I don't consider the PCC to be independent because it is "charged with enforcing the Code of Practice which was framed by the newspaper and periodical industry." This is a long winded way of saying that the Code is drawn up by a body that consists wholly of industry representatives.

The ASA has emailed me to say there are no grounds for formal action:

Although the PCC Code of Practice may have been produced by a committee of industry representatives, it is the PCC that make decisions, administer and enforce the Code.  Industry members would not contribute to the PCC’s decision on a complaint.   As such the claim to be “independent” is unlikely to mislead.

The same could be said for the ASA in that our Codes are written by the Committee of Advertising Practice, which comprises a number of industry members, but ultimately the ASA is independent because we solely enforce and administer the Codes.

Well, quite.

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