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The Advertising Business Group advocates responsible advertising in the region

The Advertising Business Group (ABG) for the GCC has a significant role to play in today’s fast changing media and economic conditions. Our primary objective is to provide one voice for advertisers and agencies, while advocating for fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer in the region. ABG aims to be a compass, providing a sense of direction for advertisers and agencies, towards that purpose.
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Issues and Complaints?

The advertising industry operates within regulations of the local Government and trade councils. Even with truth-in-advertising laws in place, advertisers have significant leeway to violate the ethical standards of a wide range of consumers. Advertisers have to be especially careful to act ethically at all times, taking extra care when advertising to children, advertising potentially harmful products and using psychological tactics to stimulate demand. Having a list of ethical and legal issues at hand when creating advertisements can help you to craft legal, responsible ad messages.

If you have an issue with advertising that you have come across, you may raise a complaint with the ABG so that we can monitor the ad and as well take action towards helping correcting the issue. You may complain as an advertiser, consumer, or as an agency. Agency complaints may also be about competitive issues in advertising.

First, check whether your complaint is covered by the ABG. Find out what we cover, or if you’re still not sure, call us to discuss your complaint.

If it is, submit your complaint via an email to us at complaints@abg-me.com or see the “Raise a Complaints Now” section below.

If you intend to raise multiple points of complaint, please focus your concerns and limit your complaint to what you feel are the three most important issues. If we decide to proceed with a formal investigation, we will consider a maximum of three points in most cases, in line with the ABG’s commitment to focus its resources in the most impactful way.

The names of those who make a complaint are kept confidential from the advertiser, unless you are asking us to have your name taken off a mailing list or the complaint is from an individual, competitor or organisation with obvious interest in the outcome of the complaint (such as consumer bodies and pressure groups).

We’ll give you the name of the person who will handle the case and be your point of contact. They will assess your complaint against the Advertising Codes and, if it is clear the Codes have not been breached, they’ll let you know. If it looks like there might be a problem, they will consider the issues against our prioritisation principles to decide what activity we should undertake, in response. Under these principles we will:

• consider what harm or detriment has occurred or might occur;
• balance the risk of taking action versus inaction;
• consider the likely impact of our intervention; and
• consider what resource would be proportionate to the problem to be tackled.

We prefer to work by persuasion and consensus so, where appropriate, we will resolve complaints informally. For example, we might provide advice and guidance or seek agreement that an ad will be changed or withdrawn. Informally resolved cases are not put before the ABG Council and no ruling is published, so it means we can resolve problems far more quickly than by a full formal investigation. If we consider that a formal investigation is necessary, the case will be presented to the ABG Council to make a final ruling.

As an advertiser, or an advertising and/or specialized communications services agency, you may want to raise an issue with advertising that goes against responsible advertising standards. We would want every advertiser and agency aim for communications that are legal, decent, honest and truthful.

If you have an issue with any advertising that you have seen either on TV or in print, you are able to raise a complaint. Please email complaints@abg-me.com clearly mentioning the brand doing the advertising, the type of ad (tv, print, outdoor etc), what the issue is; along with your contact details, and we will discuss the issue with you first before we address the point.

If you know the advertising agency involved in developing and/or publishing the ad, please include that in your mail. As an advertiser (business) or an agency, you must identify yourself in the email. This is kept confidential.

The names of those who make a complaint are kept confidential from the advertiser, unless you are asking us to have your name taken off a mailing list or the complaint is from an individual, competitor or organisation with obvious interest in the outcome of the complaint (such as consumer bodies and pressure groups).

If you have an issue with any advertising that you have seen either on TV or in print, you are able to raise a complaint. Please email complaints@abg-me.com clearly mentioning the brand advertising, the type of ad (tv, print, outdoor etc), what the issue is; along with your contact details, and we will discuss the issue with you first before we address the point.

You can also raise a complaint using a form on the Issues and Complaints Page

Thank you.

Please click on the link below to see the latest updates on rulings for further action provided by the ABG-ME committee
abg-me.com/rulings

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