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  1. The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (also known as the ASA) is an independent body set up and paid for by the marketing communication industry to ensure that its system of self-regulation works in the public interest. The ASA has a president independent from the industry.
  2. The Code of Advertising Practice is the guiding document of the ASA. The Code is based upon the International Code of Advertising Practice, prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce. This is inter­nationally accepted as the basis for domestic systems of self-regulation, it forms the foundation of this Code in which the basic principles laid down in the International Code are related to the particular circumstances of advertising in South Africa. The Code is drawn up by the ASA with the participation of representatives of the marketing communication industry, and is amended from time to time to meet the changing needs both of the industry and of our society.
  3. The members of the ASA are required to adhere to this Code. The fol­lowing organisations are members of the ASA–
    1. Association for Communication and Advertising
    2. National Association of Broadcasters
    3. Marketing Association of South Africa
    4. Cinemark (Pty) Ltd
    5. Printing Industries Federation
    6. Consumer Goods Council of SA
    7. Cosmetic Toiletry & Fragrance Association of South Africa
    8. Direct Marketing Association of South Africa
    9. Health Products Association of Southern Africa
    10. Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use
    11. Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa
    12. Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa
  4. This Code is supplemented by individual codes which are determined by the various member organisations or negotiated with governmental institutions. These individual codes are reflected in the Appendices to the Code. All such codes conform to the general principles laid down by this Code and differ only in detail where the individual needs are to be met.
  5. The provisions of the Code are mostly broadly framed, but special rules covered by Appendices hereto apply to particular audiences and to certain categories of products and services.
  6. The Code is administered by the Directorate and ASA Committees drawn from the constituent member bodies and, where applicable, con­sumer organisations. Powers are vested in the Directorate and ASA Committees
  7. The Code binds the advertiser, the advertising practitioner and the medium involved in publication of the advertiser’s message to the public.
  8. The interpretation of the Code is vested in the Directorate and ASA Committees.
  9. The ASA maintains close contact with government departments, consumer organisations, relevant NGOs and trade associations.
  10. All advertising on electronic broadcast media is subject to the Electronic Communications Act No. 36 of 2005. In terms of this Act all electronic broadcasters must adhere to the ASA Code as determined and administered by the ASA.
  11. Advertising is a service to the public and, as such, should be informative, factual, honest, decent and its content should not violate any of the laws of the country. All entities bound by the Code shall neither prepare nor accept any advertising which conflicts with the Code and shall withdraw any advertising which has subsequently been deemed to be unacceptable by the ASA Directorate, Advertising Standards Committee, Advertising Industry Tribunal or Appeal Committee
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