Consumer protection through responsible advertising

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Welcome to the Advertising Regulatory Board

When the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) went into liquidation in its 50th year, the marketing and advertising industries were determined that this would not mean the end of self-regulation of advertising in South Africa. Protection of the consumer is a priority of government and the marketing and advertising sectors and all parties were determined to ensure that a credible and competent organisation would step into the gap left by the unfortunate demise of the ASA.

The original core members of the ASA – the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) – all became founding members of the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB).

The Advertising Regulatory Board administers the widely-accredited Code of Advertising Practice which regulates the content of South African advertising.

Informed by the learnings of 50 years of self-regulation in South Africa, the ARB steps into a new era of industry co-operation and support. The lessons of the past, combined with a fresh, new approach, will ensure that the consumer is protected through responsible advertising.

The ARB accepts complaints from consumers and businesses. To lodge a complaint visit the Complaints page.




05-February 2021

On 21 December 2020, the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court of South Africa handed down a decision dismissing a review of a decision of the Final Appeal Committee of the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB). The matter was Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd v The Advertising Regulatory Board and two others (unreported), and the issue before the ARB was a claim made by Dettol Soap.

The Advertiser in the matter took the decision on review, alleging that the Final Appeal Committee had erred in a number of reviewable counts in reaching their decision. The Court dismissed the review, saying that “The FAC’s reasoning on the merits is faultless”.

“When parties take matters on review, it presents a learning opportunity for our Committees, whatever the outcome,” says Gail Schimmel, CEO of the ARB. “That said, it’s always reassuring to have our faith in Judge Ngoepe and his Final Appeal Committee, as well as the findings of the Advertising Appeals Committee, reaffirmed by a court finding.”



The ARB is grateful for the support shown by these leading brands

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