Ads must be honest, whatever the medium

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), an advisory council under the Consumers Association of Singapore, administers the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice, which regulates advertisements in Singapore ("'Retirement' stunt muddies advertising ethos" by Mr Chang Meng Fook; Forum Online, Feb 17).

Under the code, all advertisements must be legal, decent, honest and truthful, regardless of the medium that they appear in.

The advertising industry in Singapore is self-regulated, and the responsibility of adhering to the code lies with the advertisers and media owners.

While ASAS is not set up to be a clearing house for all advertisements, it is empowered to sanction advertisers who breach the code, through its members, which consist of media owners, industry players and public stakeholders.

Should members of the public encounter advertisements that are misleading, false or indecent, they are invited to write to ASAS with more details.

ASAS is in the midst of reviewing the public consultation feedback it has received on guidelines for social media advertising.

In keeping with the principle of truthful presentation, the guidelines will require marketers to be transparent about social media content that is part of any marketing campaign.

The said guidelines will be added to the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice this year.

Under the proposed guidelines, social media advertisers and marketers should disclose their sponsorship or endorsement arrangements.

Tan Sze Wee (Dr)

Chairman

Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore