How to Complain

If you object to something in the media you are not likely to be alone in this. The sensible thing is to do something about it. Life is short. There are other things but sometimes these things need action. Writing a letter is not very difficult and can be very effective. A good letter should make its point clearly and well. The complaint should be valid. It should get to the right people. A sample follows. Their complaints department  may well be on line. The BBC's certainly is.

It may be that you will get a response. It may be that they will delay in the hope that you will give up. You may need to use recorded delivery especially with the police. You may need to complain about their refusal to act to their superiors or your Member of Parliament. When a police apparatchik mentions the "persistent correspondent" you may notice the tone of sincere hatred. This means that you should keep at them. Most of them are less arrogant than the police. If you do nothing you have lost. We have all lost. You might like to let us have a copy of your letter so that we can get some idea of how many people are acting. It would of course be confidential.

Email has virtues. Being quick and cheap is good. Being pretty well indestructible is better. If they do not acknowledge within a few days, follow up; a sample is below.


The 10-point plan to the perfect letter of complaint
The Times puts a view on how to do it.



An Example

Advertising Standards Authority

                                                                            1 Railway Cuttings
                                                                              East Cheam
                                                                                11 December 2005

Dear Sir,

              I saw the advertisement for Fido Dog Biscuits today on Channel 4. It clearly implied that Corgis are inferior to Jack Russells. In my view this is defamatory of Corgis, a splendid breed and I would be obliged if you would consider the matter. I am also referring the matter to the Council for Racial Equality and the RSPCA.

Yours sincerely



A Hancock


The follow on:-

Advertising Standards Authority

                                                                            1 Railway Cuttings
                                                                              East Cheam
                                                                                16 December 2005

Dear Sir,

             I wrote to you on 11 December about a tendentious advert for Fido Dog Biscuits on Channel 4.

I have not received an acknowledgement. I would be obliged if you would confirm that you are dealing with my complaint. For your ease of reference a copy  of my letter is below.


Yours etc.



Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

Email me at Mike Emery. All financial contributions are cheerfully accepted. If you want to keep it private, use my PGP Key
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Updated on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 18:38:23