The matter of advertising on billboards does not come within the remit of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and I have no function in the matter.
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) is a non-statutory self-regulatory body, independent of Government and set up and financed by the advertising industry. Certain marketing communications that do not have any commercial element do not come within the existing remit of the Code of Standards for Advertising, Promotional and Direct Marketing drawn up by the ASAI.
My Department has informally raised the question of remit with the ASAI and I am informed that they had considered matter at an earlier juncture but decided against any attempt to extend their remit to cover non-commercial advertising on the grounds that any such measure could raise profound constitutional and freedom of expression issues.
I understand that the ASAI intend to review their remit later this year which offers all stakeholders the opportunity to engage with them on this difficult issue.