Who are we?

The Advertising Standards Board of Finance Limited (asbof) was set up in 1975, following the advertising industry agreeing to self-regulation and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) being created.

Asbof is an independent body, founded to handle the ASA’s funding – ensuring the ASA’s operational independence and impartiality.

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Our member organisations
How we work 1/3

The levy is collected on our behalf by advertising agencies, from their clients.

It is also paid to us by media companies, based on the billings they charge their direct clients.

Or advertisers who deal directly with the digital platforms – for example those who have registered on the asbof.withgoogle site.

How we work 2/3

In the main, the levy is applied to advertising spend at a rate of 0.1%, or £1 per £1,000.

Additionally, beyond collecting the levy, the asbof board reviews and approves the budgets of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Mailing Preference Scheme (MPS) i each year, and – based on these – makes funding payments to the two bodies.

How we work 3/3

Asbof also funds the Independent Reviewer, who considers appeals against ASA decisions.

And, in conjunction with basbof, appoints the Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority.

Read more on our impact
Our people

Mark
Lund OBE

Chairman

Stephen Hemsted

Secretary & Treasurer

Paul
Bainsfair

IPA

James
Best

CAP

Lord
Guy Black

NMA

Tim Cable

RM

Justin
Cochrane

Outsmart

Chris
Combemale

DMA

Elizabeth
Fagan

ISBA

Robert Ffitch

PPA

Mark
Howe

IAB

Paul
Hunter

NMA

Kathryn
Jacob OBE

CAA

John
McLellan

SNS

Jane
McNeill

IAB

Owen
Meredith

PPA

David
Newell

NMA

Charles
Ping

DMA

Phil
Smith

ISBA

Martin
Telling

IPA

Stephen Woodford

AA

Mark
Lund OBE

Chairman

Stephen Hemsted

Secretary & Treasurer

Rachel
Barber-Mack

Director of Programmes

Barbara
Hayles

Finance & Operations Manager

Jackie
Coomber

Assistant Finance & Operations Manager

Our history
1974

The UK’s leading advertising industry bodies instigate self-regulation, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is created

1975

Asbof is formed (in order to fund the ASA, via the levy scheme), as a separate company, ensuring the ASA’s operational independence

1992

Asbof starts to collect the Mailing Standards levy. This levy funds the self-regulation of direct mail, including the work of the Mailing Preference Service (MPS)

2004

Display advertising on the internet is brought within the scope of the CAP Code and also, therefore, the levy

2010

Website marketing communications, paid search and affiliate marketing spend are added to the CAP code and the levy collection scheme

Today

Contact us to find out how your company can support self-regulation, and pay the levy

1974 1975 1992 2004 2010 Today 7
Stay up to date

To view the ASA's latest cases and adjudications, and understand the issues in advertising right now, please visit their site, or follow their Twitter feed.

Without trust a brand is just a product and its advertising is just noise.

Keith Weed, President, Advertising Association

All advertisers gain great benefit from advertising self-regulation, so it is vital that all share the cost, and pay the levy.

Phil Smith, Director General of ISBA

Consumer trust is crucial to brand value and so our value as an industry.

Stephen Woodford, CEO, Advertising Association

How to contribute

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service for the public (funded by the direct mail industry), to enable them to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by Royal Mail – and all directly involved trade associations – and is fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office (ICO). It is funded by the Mailing Standards levy, which is charged at £2 per £1,000 on the cost of postage, and is collected – in the main – by Royal Mail, included on its postage mailing invoices.