What To Look Out For In 2017

11th January 2017

Will it be plain sailing in advertising clearance in 2017, or do choppy waters await? If you work on accounts that fit these categories and topics you might want to batten down the hatches (or just follow us on Twitter for updates, whichever’s easier)…


Broadband Speed

In 2016 there were sweeping changes to how broadband prices should be displayed in ads. This year though it’s the speed claims which will be under scrutiny. Up to now the general rule has been that the headline speed can be the speed which at least 10% of consumers can hope to achieve. The ASA has made it clear that this will be changing, but as yet we don’t know exactly how. We’ll be working closely with agencies and advertisers to ensure that everyone understands the new rules when they come into force. Expect an update in the first quarter of 2017.


Gender Stereotyping

The ASA is midway through research into gender stereotyping in ads. It’s not an area where we see many investigations, but is plainly an issue which is coming under increasing public scrutiny. The report will also take body image, objectification and sexualisation into consideration. We’ll be taking a close look at the findings whether or not this results in changes being made to the rules.



Gambling ads underwent changes in 2016, with the industry taking the voluntary step of tightening up the kind of offers allowed to be shown during live sport before 9pm. The Department for Culture Media and Sport is reviewing various aspects of gambling legislation and has requested evidence on whether existing advertising rules are appropriate to protect children and vulnerable people from the possible harmful impact of gambling advertising.


HFSS and Alcohol

At the very end of 2016 non-broadcast rules on advertising HFSS food were tightened up to more closely mirror the strict broadcast rules. Nevertheless, this is a sector which has become increasingly contentious over the last few years. Alcohol advertising has also traditionally been a hot topic in the media despite a trend towards fewer complaints. Will 2017 bring any changes to these sectors? If so, we’ll let you know.


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