Complaints about the Media

While the BDA press office does challenge major inaccuracies in the media, it is impossible for us to address all these that end up in print, on air or online.

This is where the BDA membership, and indeed the wider public, can get involved.  Here are a few tips.

Image of two words, satisfied and dissatisfied. Dissatisfied is circled in red pencil.


We really value and respect the work undertaken by the journalistic community and we rarely come across a journalist who does not want to produce a credible and accurate story/article. So in the first instance, we advise you contact journalists directly if you have a concern about something that has been written or broadcast to try and resolve the issue. 

If you need to escalate an issue further, here are some options:

Written media

The Press Complaints Commission covers all articles and pictures in UK newspapers and magazines, including their associated websites, as well as readers' letters. 

They also deal with the physical behaviour of journalists. This includes:

  • persistent pursuit of individuals.
  • refusing requests to stop taking photos or asking questions.
  • using hidden cameras to obtain material.
  • failing to obtain the proper consent before speaking to children or people in hospital.

Broadcast media


Ofcom covers all editorially-controlled material on UK television and radio channels (not including BBC channels) and includes:

  • TV/radio programme you have seen and/or heard.
  • TV /radio programmes you have appeared on or been referred to.
  • TV/radio programmes that are accessible ‘on demand’ services.
  • Sponsorship of TV/radio programmes.
  • Products placements on TV/radio programmes.
  • Issues around subtitling.


For issues addressed above that cover BBC media outlets, you will need to contact the BBC Complaints department directly.


The Advertising Standards Authority is the regulator for the advertising industry and covers:

  • concerns about matters of taste and decency.
  • legal or contractual matters that are dealt with more appropriately by the courts.
  • complaints about books and claims made by products.
  • complaints about online material that is not on newspaper or magazine websites.
  • complaints about the delivery of newspapers and magazines (both to home and office addresses). If your newspaper has been delivered late, for example, or has been damaged during delivery, you will need to contact your newsagent or the publisher directly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the BDA press office.

BDA media hotline:

0800 048 1714 FREE