Statement from Exterion Media

7th May 2019

Statement in relation to Anti-corruption Ireland / Gemma O’Doherty EU election T-side bus advertising campaign.

Exterion Media manage and operate the advertising formats owned by CIÉ, incl. CIÉ’s Group Companies (Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, and Irish Rail). These advertising formats are available to all brands, businesses and organisations, including those of a political nature. 

All commercial advertising and marketing communications in Ireland are subject to the rules and guidelines as set out in the ‘Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland (7th Edition)’, as published and administered by the ASAI (Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland). A copy of the code is publicly available on the ASAI’s website - The objective of the code is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are legal, decent, honest and truthful. There are also areas of advertising which are not directly subject to the ASAI Code (Clause 2.3.f - Marketing communications whose principal purpose is to express the advertiser’s position on a political, religious, industrial relations, social or aesthetic matter or on an issue of public interest or concern). 

Whether a given advertisement is directly or not directly subject to the code we will always assess that advertisement in terms of its suitability for display, as well as compliance with the code, and we may elect to reject a campaign/copy if, in our opinion, the particular campaign/copy is deliberately inflammatory, indecent, offensive, or contains graphic content. In relation to political and election campaign advertisements, provided a political party, organisation, or election candidate is not precluded or restricted by law or other prohibition from advertising or promoting, we remain wholly impartial on the political position or view of that party, organisation or candidate. 

We consider the advertising copy for Anti-corruption Ireland/Gemma O’Doherty to be acceptable under these assessment criteria and we would not reject such copy solely on the grounds of it being of a political nature or from a specific political candidate. The CIÉ advertising formats which we market and sell, are available to all political parties and candidates, and if they choose to use any of these formats for their campaigns it does not in any way indicate that Exterion Media, CIÉ or any of its group companies endorse that political party or candidate. If the copy has been assessed as acceptable, it is displayed on the chosen formats on an impartial and neutral basis. In this current election period, there are/have been 8 separate campaigns running on CIÉ advertising formats for both political party and independent candidates. 

The ASAI have advised us that all political advertising falls outside the remit of the ASAI code, and they are not in a position to assess or investigate complaints about the content of such advertising.

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