The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
The ASA is responsible for adjudicating on complaints about all broadcast and non-broadcast advertising, with Ofcom acting as the ultimate regulatory body for broadcast advertising.
All non-broadcast advertising should comply with the CAP Code. Marketing are required to ensure that advice is first taken from the CAP Copy Advice team and then from the legal & compliance department before any publication. In the event of a complaint, the legal & compliance department will draft the Channel's response with assistance from marketing and 4creative. A breach of the CAP Code on the grounds of taste and decency or social responsibility can in the most serious cases result in the mandatory pre-vetting of all Channel 4 off-air marketing for up to 2 years (in addition to other sanctions).
All broadcast advertising (including teleshopping, television text and interactive television advertisements) and programme sponsorship credits on television services licensed by Ofcom should comply with the BCAP Code. All advertisements must be cleared in advance by Clearcast. Channel 4's responses to complaints to the ASA about advertising carried on Channel 4 are drafted by the advertising sales department with input from the advertiser and the legal & compliance department as appropriate.
Persistent breaches of the BCAP Code can result in the ASA referring the broadcaster to Ofcom, which can then impose a range of statutory sanctions (see Ofcom Broadcasting Code section of the Handbook) against Channel 4.
The Phone-paid Services Authority
The Phone-paid Services Authority regulates premium rate services in the UK. This includes Premium rate telephone numbers and mobile text short code numbers that can be used to enter text or online competitions, to vote in live programmes, give to charity via a mobile, or download mobile games. Services should comply with the Code of Practice. In addition, it is a provision of the Code (the Ofcom Broadcasting Code) that broadcasters and their producers comply with the Code of Practice.
Where the Phone-paid Services Authority finds that rules have been broken, it can fine the company responsible and bar access to its services.