Planning on an advertising campaign in print, broadcast and online? What regulations should be aware of?

The UK advertising industry is co-regulated. If you are planning a dual media advertising strategy, both the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) codes will apply to your advertising campaign material.

The CAP code requires that all advertising is legal, decent, honest and truthful;

Advertisements should not mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration or in any other way;

The BCAP Code requires television and radio advertising to have a particular regard to social responsibility; and

This entails the need for advertisements not to mislead or cause serious harm, especially to those groups that are vulnerable i.e. children.

Are there any other regulators to be aware of?

Yes, there are a number of governing bodies to consider. This we depend on your product, service, and offering. For example, those working in the financial advertising sector, will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Promotions and adverts must comply with FCA rules and treat customers fairly.

Any ramifications if you get it wrong?

If an advertisement is found in breach of the Advertising Codes (CAP/BCAP), it must be withdrawn or amended;

Broadcast Sanctions can lead to referrals to Ofcom; and

Unlawful comparative advertising can lead to criminal prosecution.

What is the Solution?

You should ensure that you produce a selection of campaigns to choose from. Aside from creative, one of your criteria should be checking for regulatory compliance. The effect of a non-compliant campaign can be costly, not only in terms of money wasted (i.e. pulled media and damages sought by a brand), but also negative PR to your organisation.

We have extensive experience working with marketing teams in reviewing marketing material, social media, copywriting, design, to help ensure the end advertisement is compliant with several different regulators. To find out more visit Advertising Review pages or Contact us.

Author: Christopher Hall