Advertising Standards Authority

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The Advertising Standards Authority regulates the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK.
We make sure standards are kept high by applying the advertising standards codes.
We can stop misleading, harmful or offensive advertising. We can ensure sales promotions are run fairly. We can help reduce unwanted commercial mail - either sent through the post, by e-mail or by text message - and we can resolve problems with mail order purchases. [1]

Council members

Actions taken on fracking

Rapped fracking firm and lobbyists for advertising code breaches

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

In 2012 planning lobbyists PPS produced a brochure for fracking firm Cuadrilla, titled "Summer 2012 Exploring For Natural Gas Cuadrilla Resources is exploring for natural gas in Lancashire" which the Advertising Standards Authority found contained claims partially breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration). [3] [4]

Forced Friends of the Earth to withdraw 'misleading' leaflets

In January 2017, the ASA instructed campaign group Friends of the Earth (FOE) to withdraw a series of anti-fracking leaflets that featured 'misleading' claims. After the ASA received two complaints, including from Cuadrilla's CEO Francis Egan, the watchdog found a leaflet in circulation by the organisation that falsely alleged pollution caused by fracking would necessarily increase the risk of cancer amongst local residents.

Executives from fracking companies hailed the decision as a victory against 'anti-fracking myths'.

Francis Egan said FOE had engaged in 'scaremongering designed to frighten the public into giving it money', and Tom Pickering of INEOS said the ruling showed that campaign groups were 'spreading false information and misleading the public about this important issue'.

In response, Donna Hume of FOE said:'Cuadrilla’s complaint isn’t surprising from a profit-driven fracking company'... 'this is a pro-fracking company doing all they can to shut down opposition to fracking.'[5]

FOE also questioned the timing of the ASA's release, coming just days before Cuadrilla started preparatory work at their Preston New Road site.


Address: Mid City Place, 71, High Holborn, London WC1V 6QT Telephone: +44 20 7492 2222 Fax: +44 020 7242 3696 E-mail: Website:


  1. Advertising Standards Authority Website, Advertising Standards Authority accessed 11/03/08
  2. Members courtesy of Advertising Standards Authority Website, Advertising Standards Authority accessed 11/03/08.
  3. Advertising Standards Authority, ASA Adjudication on Cuadrilla Resources Ltd, Rulings, 24 April 2013, acc 27 March 2014
  4. APPC Register Entry for 1 Dec 2011 to 29 Feb 2012
  5. Andrew Ward, Friends of the Earth forced to withdraw anti-fracking leaflets, Financial Times, 4 January 2017, accessed 5 January 2017.