Gail Schimmel is a specialist in advertising law. She runs a consultancy - Clear Copy ( - that offers advice to marketers and advertisers in relation to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and other aspects of advertising law. An admitted attorney (with BA, LLB, Psychology Honours and LLM degrees), she was previously head of legal and regulatory at the ASA, and subsequently joined Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs as a director in 2008. Email az.oc.ypocraelc@liag and follow @GailSchimmel.
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[2014 trends] Advertising regulation trends in 2014

Faced with the latest evidence of the ever growing censorship practices carried out by the SABC combined with the fact that we are going into an election year, I predict a combination of trends that will work together to result in an interesting space.

By Gail Schimmel 23 Jan 2014

Can advertising "Stop Rape"?

I hate it when this happens, but I'm having a controversial opinion, and I won't rest until it's out. It's about this Primedia "Stop Rape" campaign, and before I start ranting, I better state some things clearly.

By Gail Schimmel 11 Feb 2013

[2013 trends] Media and advertising regulation in 2013

So here we are in 2013 - the Mayan trend predictions for 2012 having spectacularly failed to materialise, leaving some of us with hangovers and debt that we had secretly hoped would be wiped clean in a Mayan-flavoured apocalypse. Now is the time for us to look into our crystal balls, and see if we can get our predictions for media and advertising regulation a bit more spot-on than the poor Mayans did.

By Gail Schimmel 24 Jan 2013

Appendicitis at the ASA?

It's not often that the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) leave me completely speechless. Slightly surprised, yes. But not speechless. The cause of my problem - a ruling dated 16 August 2012 in the matter of Nycomed-Dona / K Charleston in which the ASA said: "At a resolution passed by the ASA board on 4 February 2012, it was decided that Appendix F should no longer form part of the ASA Code."

By Gail Schimmel 21 Aug 2012

A moment of feminism

I'm a closet feminist. "Closet" because I have some mixed feelings about the whole thing, to be honest. Woman's day, for example, leaves me cold. Why on earth do woman need a special day? What are we - disabled horses? But then every now and then I hear an advertisement that just pushes all my buttons, and brings that rampant feminist to the surface...

By Gail Schimmel 4 Jul 2012

The whole world is mad...

In recent weeks, many right-thinking South Africans have begun to wonder if we as a country may have our priorities wrong. Thousands march about the president's penis, but child rape and lack of jobs and education seem to cause little more than a ripple on our radars. And now the SABC has decided that it should pull ads off its own bat, and has disallowed a Nando's ad, it seems, on the basis that it promotes xenophobia and violence and has bad language. (video)

By Gail Schimmel 5 Jun 2012

Zuma and the right to dignity

Zuma's genitals kept me awake last night. Now there is a sentence that I never thought I would say. But I find myself struggling with this issue. Usually, my personal morality falls pretty much in sync with mainstream liberal opinions. And yet I find myself uncomfortable with the idea that, in the case of an artwork exposing Zuma's genitals, freedom of artistic expression triumphs over respect for human dignity.

By Gail Schimmel 21 May 2012

Is the ASA following its rules in refusing to investigate POIB ads?

I would agree that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is correct in that it has identified that the government's Protection of Information Bill ads deal with an issue that is controversial, and that does "broadly" involve an issue of public policy. However, I have to question whether the ASA has carefully read Clause 2.4 of Section I of the Code of Advertising Practice. [video]

By Gail Schimmel 19 Apr 2012

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