Advertising standards and the law

Advertising can be a powerful way to persuade you to buy something. That’s why there are laws in place to standardise advertising practices and protect consumers from deceptive claims and conduct.

Australian Consumer Law prohibits businesses from making false or misleading representations about:

  • the quality, value or grade of goods/services
  • the performance characteristics, accessories, benefits and uses of goods/services
  • the place of origin of a product (where it was made or assembled)
  • the price of goods or services
  • a buyer's need for the goods or services
  • testimonials relating to goods/services
  • any guarantee, warranty or condition on the goods and services.

For more detail on what the law allows, refer to the Australian Consumer Law website.

To learn more about advertising for your business, go to the advertising and marketing your business page.

Advertising standards in Australia

In Australia, the advertising and marketing communications industry is self-regulated, and advertising is expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics set out by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

Ad Standards manages complaint resolution for issues and complaints about advertising and marketing communications Australia-wide. The Ad Standards Community Panel handles consumer complaints, while the Ad Standards Industry Jury handles competitor complaints.

Make a complaint

If you wish to make a complaint about an advertisement you have seen or heard in NSW, you can contact Ad Standards by phone (02) 6173 1500 or make a complaint online.

If you think a business has breached Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct, promotion or advertising, contact us on 13 32 20 or make a complaint online.

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