Tips for making an effective complaint
1. Make sure your complaint is lodged within the required timeframe.
If you are posting your complaint, allow enough time for it to reach its destination.
- Formal Complaints – these must go to the broadcaster in the first instance and must
be received within 20 working days of the broadcast
- Privacy Complaints (on their own) and Election Complaints come to the BSA and
must be received within 20 working days of the broadcast
- Referrals to the BSA – where you are asking the BSA to review the broadcaster's
decision or their lack of action – must be received within 20 working days of the
broadcaster’s decision (or within 60 working days of the broadcast if you have not
received a decision)
2. You must be able to provide all of the following details:
- name of the programme
- date and time that it was broadcast
- the relevant TV channel or radio station
- the Code and standard(s) you are complaining under
- your name, email address, postal address, and phone number
We need your details to address your complaint effectively.
Name suppression will only be given in exceptional circumstances.
3. Read the relevant Broadcasting Code of Practice – Free-to-Air Television, Pay
Television, Radio or Election Programmes.
4. Make sure you choose the standards that best fit your concerns – the Authority
will not consider any standards that are not applicable and you cannot change or
add standards at a later stage in the process.
For a brief explanation of the focus of each standard, along with examples of decisions
relating to that standard:
5. If you are lodging your complaint online (or printing and completing a form off the website
to post), make sure you choose the right Complaint Form.
Go to Making a Complaint and scroll down to Make a complaint now
6. LESS IS MORE!
Explain as succinctly as you can why you think each standard was breached,
with reference to specific content in the broadcast.
For more detailed information about the Complaints process and what you can complain about:
See Making a Complaint