The Advertising Jury (Jurado de la Publicidad)
The Advertising Jury is the independent out-of-court body in charge of solving complaints submitted on advertising issues. Its decisions are binding for AUTOCONTROL members. Its activity is based on independence, transparency, and accountability, amongst other principles.
The Jury is fully composed of independent lay experts: prestigious academics on Law, Economics, Sociology, Commercial Communications; retired advertising practitioners; former civil servants specialised in consumer affairs, etc. In order to ensure their impartiality, the Jury and its members are independent from the Association and from the entities adhered to it. The system is free for consumers, consumer associations, and Public Authorities.
25% of its members are appointed by the Spanish National Institute of Consumer Affairs (INC) - now integrated in the Spanish Agency of Consumer Affairs, Food Security and Nutrition (AECOSAN) - amongst independent and prestigious academics, experts in consumer affairs, etc.
All the Jury's decisions are clearly motivated and are published in AUTOCONTROL's monthly magazine and on its website.
The procedural rules governing the Jury's activity are clearly established in its Rules, which are publicly available at AUTOCONTROL's website.
AUTOCONTROL has demonstrated compliance with the requirements of the Unfair Competition Act (Ley de Competencia Desleal) for the self-regulation systems and, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, in 2000 it was notified by the Spanish Government to the Directorate General for Health and Protection Consumers of the European Commission. Since then, AUTOCONTROL belongs to the European network of bodies of court settlement of consumer disputes, currently managed by the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission (it's the only private body in such network).
Over 2.900 complaints on advertising have been solved by the Jury since 1996. It is the preferred out-of-court dispute settlement mechanism in Spain for advertising matters. All complaints are solved quickly (around 14 days on average) vs. 1 year on average through the Courts of Justice.
Currently, over 70% of all complaints received in AUTOCONTROL are submitted by consumers and consumer organisations, and around 20% are intra-industry complaints; the rest (around 10%) are complaints submitted by Spanish statutory authorities.
Through its membership in EASA, AUTOCONTROL provides consumers and the industry with the chance to complain against ads which have been published or broadcasted in Spain but originated in another EU country: it is the EASA cross-border complaints system.