How Complaints are Processed
Scheduling of Hearing
Upon receipt of the complaint and the relevant documents or requirements for the case, the ASC will initially review the form and substance of the complaint.
If the form and substance of the complaint is deemed sufficient to proceed with the case, the ASC will schedule a hearing within seven (7) workdays. Both the complainant and defendant will be notified.
Each party may postpone the scheduled hearing only once. The new schedule will be within 5 workdays from the original hearing date. For complaints involving sales promotion, there is no postponement due to the nature of such material. An ad material is considered sales promotion if:
It is intended for broad consumer participation
It contains promise of gain or reward for the purchase of a product, security or winning in a contest
It utilizes mass media and other forms of communication
It is conducted within a defined period of time
1. Request for postponement must be made officially and in writing within two (2) workdays from receipt of notice of hearing.
2. The ASC may postpone a scheduled hearing if the required quorum is not convened. In such case, the new schedule shall be given priority and shall be within five (5) workdays from the original date of hearing.
Presentation to the Hearing Panel
1. Both parties shall appear in person. Corporations shall be represented by their authorized representatives.
2. Failure of any party to appear within 30 minutes of the scheduled hearing shall constitute non-appearance.
3. Non-appearance by the complainant shall be cause for dismissal of the complaint/appeal. The filing fee shall not be refunded.
4. Non-appearance by defendant does not prejudice the complaint. The Panel shall proceed to review the case and decide based on the merits of the case.
5. Complainant/Defendant is given 30 minutes to present their complaint/defense. This time allocation includes the set-up of their equipment.
6. Complainant/Defendant must prepare at least 5 clear copies of the presentation materials and supporting documents for the Panel’s reference and use during the case hearing. The required documents in screening presentation shall apply. All presentation materials shall be returned to the presenters and one (1) set shall be filed with the ASC.
7. Cancellation of a scheduled hearing/appeal panel on or in less than 24 hours before the scheduled date of screening shall incur the appropriate penalty as prescribed in the annex of this Manual of Procedures.
Decision of the Hearing Panel
The Hearing Panel shall exert best efforts to render a decision within three (3) workdays after the hearing is terminated. If such decision cannot be rendered yet, the ASC, through the Executive Director, shall duly inform the Advertiser/Ad Agency.
The Parties shall be notified of the official decision in writing within 2 workdays from its issuance. Copies of the decision letter shall be given to the Advertiser and the Ad Agency.
The decision letter, drafted by the Sr. Ad Specialist or Ad Specialist and reviewed and signed by the Presiding Chairman shall clearly cite the Panel’s decision on each complaint point, whether it is valid or not valid, and shall explain the reason for the decision without divulging the specific evidence presented by a Party. When a decision is based on a published medical literature or source must be cited in the decision letter.
When any of the complaints stated in the letter is found to be valid, the ASC issues a Cease-and-Desist Order (CDO) on the said material.
No CDO is issued when the Panel finds that no complaint point stated in the letter is valid.
A decision of the Hearing Panel shall be final. There is no appeal or reconsideration. If there is new evidence or new complaint point, then a new complaint shall be filed.