Publication Details

van Putten , K. & Jones, S. C. (2008). Amplified voices, but they are speaking to the wrong people. Why the complaint system for unacceptable advertising in Australia is not working. In D. Spanjaard, S. Denize & N. Sharma (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (pp. 1-6). Sydney, Australia: Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy.


This exploratory study highlights the lack of public awareness of the role of the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) in the process of handling complaints about unacceptable advertising in Australia. Results show that only a small proportion of Australian adults know that the ASB are the appropriate complaints handling body. This lack of awareness is evident even among those who have made a complaint about advertising (generally to a less appropriate body). This highlights the need for an education campaign to inform the general public how to make a complaint about inappropriate advertising, and who to make a complaint to. Empowering the general public in relation to this issue, has the potential to result in a complaints handling system that is accessible and equitable to all members of the community.