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Marie Stopes advert

DCMS response to public enquiries.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Viewers with specific concerns about the recent Marie Stopes International television advertisement should be aware that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently completed an investigation into this advert.     

Read the ASA’s analysis and final decision.

Under existing rules non-commercial providers of post-conception advice services are permitted to advertise on television in the UK, subject to them complying with all appropriate rules in the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code). There has been no change to the advertising rules or the law in this regard.

Advertising in the UK is controlled through a system of co-regulation and self regulation, which is enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). This regulatory system is independent of Government and is ultimately responsible for setting the standards in advertising.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) are the bodies responsible for writing and maintaining the Advertising Codes.

Ofcom’s licensees, the commercial TV channels and radio stations, must continue to observe the statutory codes on advertising standards and practice but, if advertisements mislead or cause harm or distress, the matter will be dealt with first by the ASA.

If members of the public have concerns about the content or scheduling of post-conception advice service advertisements, the ASA is able to consider complaints once the advert has aired. You can write to them at Advertising Standards Authority, Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6QT, telephone on 020 7492 2222 / 020 7242 8159 or visit their website at


Published 18 October 2010