Since 1974, non broadcast advertising had been regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), funded by the asbof levy. This system had worked well, and a succession of Governmental and other independent investigations has reported favourably on its operations. During the same period, television and radio advertising had been regulated by statutory bodies.
As part of a review of broadcast regulation undertaken by the newly formed Ofcom, the Advertising Industry sought to bring broadcast advertising regulation within the ASA. This was because:
Following a White Paper, and public consultation, in July 2004, Parliament approved the delegation by Ofcom of the regulation of broadcast advertising to a new legal entity, The Advertising Standards Authority (Broadcast) Ltd (ASAB).
Whilst this is a separate company from The Advertising Standards Authority Ltd, which regulates non broadcast advertising, from a public standpoint, and operationally, there would be just one organisation, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), regulating all advertising.
This extension of the work of the ASA would be funded by a levy on broadcast advertising raised by a newly formed company, The Broadcast Advertising Standards Board of Finance (basbof), a mirror company to the long-standing asbof. Basbof has been collecting the broadcast levy since August 2004. ASAB took over their regulatory role from November 1st 2004.