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Consumer help: advertising and the media

Offended by an advert or newspaper article? Want to complain about a radio or television programme, film, video, book, magazine or other publication? Here’s where you can go.

Advertising Standards Authority

An independent body set up by the advertising industry to handle complaints about advertising that you consider to be unethical, untrue or misleading – including display material, menus, labels, pamphlets and packaging.

Broadcasting Complaints Commission

If you would like to complain about TV or radio broadcast that you find offensive, you can do so through the BCCSA. An independent judicial body set up to enforce a code of conduct for broadcasts, it has the power to reprimand or fine broadcasters.

Film and Publication Board

The board is responsible for classifying content and imposing age restrictions on content with the aim of “balancing the right to freedom of expression with an obligation to protect children from exposure to potentially disturbing, harmful and inappropriate materials”. The website also carries a searchable movie databse, which includes information on criteria such as language, violence and nudity.

Press Council and Press Ombudsman

If you would like to complain about an article in the press, contact the Press Ombudsman. The ombudsman and the Press Council of South Africa are self-regulatory mechanisms set up by the print media to settle disputes between the media and the public. The website carries information on how to complain and a complaints form.