ASAS Statement on Advertising During COVID-19


ASAS Issues Reminder to Businesses to Advertise Ethically During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives across the world in an unprecedented manner. It will take a sustained collaboration among the public, industry and governments worldwide to bring the disease under control. With that comes changes in lifestyles, personal habits and the way businesses work, which all represent opportunities for marketers.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) is aware that local consumer-facing businesses have been aggressively advertising various products that are intended for personal health and protection, promotions on food and beverage, and services that facilitate telecommuting and make physical isolation bearable, among others, during this trying period.

The ASAS commends the vast majority of businesses, who are responsible advertisers. However, a small number have unfortunately used the crisis to traffic in misinformation. They claim that their products and services offer meaningful protection against viruses or “the virus” during this period, based on weak evidence or misinterpreted research. Such tactics may give anxious consumers a false sense of security, bait the consumer into making purchases out of fear and undermine efforts to contain the spread of the disease. 

Such advertisements have been reported to the ASAS in February and March 2020. We informed the advertisers to cease the misleading statements, and we will continue to do so. The ASAS will also share the feedback with the relevant authorities for further action under the law if warranted. 

The ASAS would like to remind all businesses of their responsibility to support the advertising self-regulatory system by advertising responsibly and acting ethically regardless of their size. Here are key points advertisers should remember when they advertise at this time:

  • Put out messages that contribute positively to the Singapore Government’s management of the crisis.
  • Ensure that the terms and conditions of promotions are indicated in the advertisement in an upfront and transparent manner.
  • Use only honest and truthful claims about products and services that are capable of robust substantiation.
  • Avoid spreading misinformation that originates from sources that are not reliable.
  • Check and comply with the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice (SCAP), the ASAS’s advisories and all relevant national legislation. 
  • Finally, you may write to ASAS for copy advice and answers to your queries.

We would also highlight the Health Sciences Authority (HSA)’s Advisory on products claiming to prevent or treat COVID-19, for advertisers to take note of when engaging in marketing communication. More information can be found at: 

When members of the public encounter advertisements for products and services that appear to be misleading, they should write to ASAS with a clear copy or image of the advertisement, its location and/or the URL where it may be accessed. They may do so on the ASAS website at or write to  

Prof. Ang Peng Hwa

Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS)

Click here to read the full statement.

Archive News

2020 Apr  410  2
2019 May  43  1
2019 Apr  88  1
2019 Jan  170  1
2018 Dec  87  1
2018 Aug  67  1
2018 Feb  51  1
2017 Dec  400  1
2017 Oct  80  1
2017 Jun  82  1
2017 Apr  58  1
2016 Nov  159  1
2016 Sep  53  1
2016 Aug  2044  1
2016 May  455  1
2016 Mar  63  1
2016 Feb  30  1
2015 Dec  1155  1
2015 Aug  342  3
2015 May  71  2
2015 Apr  54  2
2015 Feb  92  1
2015 Jan  142  1
2014 Jun  11  1
2014 Apr  28  1
2014 Jan  139  2