While many believe that adverts are misleading, there is a stark contrast between age groups in public demand when it comes to the question of whether advertising regulation should be tightened or not. It seems the older you are, the more likely you are to expect representative, non-misleading advertising.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK governing body for advertisements, and in its own words, aims to ‘keep standards high’ and ‘ensure advertising stays within the rules’ to remain ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’. The ASA reserves the right to remove any advert it deems to have broken its codes and regulations and works largely by investigating consumer complaints.
From our survey, 41% believe that the ASA’s current regulatory controls are ‘about right’, but 22% of those aged 55 and over think that the ASA needs to go ‘much further’ in tightening controls. In contrast, however, a mere four per cent of 18-34 year olds agree. A similar pattern emerges throughout the survey; while 75% think television advertising should ‘present the product as accurately as possible’, this figure drops to 65% among 18 to 24 year olds and rises to 82% among the over 55s.
It seems younger people are more willing to countenance an advert which ‘sells the idea of a product’, compared to the older generation who prefer to look to ads that ‘present the product as accurately as possible’.