Frequently asked questions Ngā Pātai e Kaha Whiua Nei


The Advertising Standards Authority deals with most advertisements on television, radio, the internet, print and billboards for products, services or organisations.  See further ‘who do I complain to about an ad I have seen?’

The BSA can consider complaints about promotional material or ‘promos’ for upcoming programmes, but the complaint must be sent to the broadcaster in the first instance.

The BSA can consider complaints about election programmes (which might appear as short promotional/campaign clips for political parties or candidates, broadcast on TV or radio).

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deals with complaints about an advertisement for a product, service or organisation.

You can contact the ASA by email at or phone 0800 234 357.

The sound volume of advertisements is not something that comes within the BSA’s jurisdiction, or something that can be dealt with as a matter of broadcasting standards. We suggest you direct your concerns to the broadcaster.

In 2012, some of the major broadcasters in New Zealand signed a sound compression agreement, relating to the volume of advertisements, which came into effect on 1 January 2013. Further information is available on broadcaster websites.

For more information about advertising, you can contact the Commercial Approvals Bureau or the Advertising Standards Authority.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage is responsible for the administration of parts of the Broadcasting Act 1989, including responsibility for monitoring compliance with section 81 of the Act that prohibits television and radio advertising at certain times and on certain days of the year.

Under section 81 of the Broadcasting Act, advertising must not be broadcast on radio on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Easter Sunday; or on television between 6am-noon on Sunday or Anzac Day or at any time on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Easter Sunday. There are some exceptions.

Any complaints about advertising at these times or questions about the exceptions should be directed to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which oversees this section of the Broadcasting Act. The Ministry can be contacted by email at or by phone on 04 499 4229.