Don't worry though, it's nothing to do with our chums at the Pathetically Craven Commission. They're not only unable to ban something for being inaccurate, but probably wouldn't even if they could. Can you imagine? "Sorry, you've used misleading statistics, you're not allowed to do that again, you must remove the article from the web." Can you see that happening to any British newspaper ever, about any story ever?
No, this story revolves around another regulatory body, in many ways as Cargo Cult as the PCC but one which actually has some teeth, sometimes, in certain circumstances. This is about the Advertising Standards Authority's decision to tell the NSPCC to stop using outdated figures in their adverts.
Now, it's not as if the ASA is a shining example of regulatory power. It's not as if they stop adverts from going out in the first place (except in extreme cases) but rather act retrospectively, often when adverts have finished their run anyway, so any punishment not to show them again is entirely pointless. But, this aspect of the decision interested me:
The ASA said that people seeing the ads were likely to consider that the claim was derived from current figures and "represented the prevalence of ongoing sexual abuse at the time the ad appeared".
"We were also concerned that the ad did not clarify the definition of sexual abuse on which the claim was based," said the ASA in its ruling.
What we have, then, is a regulatory body for advertisements that gives more of a shit about accuracy than the regulatory body for newspapers. And yes adverts do need to be monitored for accuracy, as they can often make misleading claims, intentionally or otherwise. But all I wonder is: why isn't there an equivalent for the press? Sure, you can complain about accuracy all you like, but will it get you anywhere?