ASC Statement on Bench Billboards

The Ad Standards Council (ASC) is issuing this letter specifically to our industry stakeholders to shed light on the current controversy surrounding the Bench “Love All Kinds of Love” billboards along Guadalupe that has included supposed statements from the ASC. First of all, apart from this industry letter, no such statements have officially been issued by the ASC. However, the ASC is compelled to issue a clarificatory statement to the industry as this controversy may affect the integrity of the ASC and its process. The ASC, as the industry’s self-regulatory screening body, bases all its decisions using a set of guidelines that was put together and ratified by industry practitioners themselves. That being said, we would like you to know that the said Bench materials did not go through the complete ASC screening and approval process. Thus, the implemented billboard material did not have the necessary Clearance to Display.

However, we would like to remind the industry that, though the ASC respects freedom of expression and creativity, it is meant to apply more stringent and cautious evaluation and approval of materials with sensitive themes, expressions and depictions specially when these are displayed in media that are exposed to the general population and especially to children who may not have the parental guidance to interpret or understand such themes and depictions. The ASC is conscious not just of the context and expression but also the appropriateness of the medium in which the advertising material is being placed.

As members of the ASC, we hope this clarifies and puts to rest the controversy that has been going over the past weeks.

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