It may be a year later than originally anticipated, but the 2020 European Championships look set to finally kick off in the coming weeks, offering marketers plenty of opportunities to stretch their creative game. Ensure your ads aren’t declared offside by following these five top tips:
Don’t be a glory hunter – ensure you can genuinely claim endorsements
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with marketers making the most of big sporting events, falsely implying official endorsement from the tournament or its organisers is a likely breach of the Advertising Codes. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) may not be able to resort to VAR, but they do take into account the overall impression provided by the copy, including text, images, icons and symbols. If you have any doubt about the use of UEFA’s intellectual property, please consider seeking legal advice.
Play offence, don’t cause it
Some legendary ads have spun out of controversial or striking football moments, but please spend a moment to consider whether a particular take could cause serious or widespread offence, particularly when it comes to racial, cultural or national stereotypes. Whilst the tone of an ad sometimes does make a difference, humour is not a catch-all defence.
Put the youth on the pitch, not in your gambling ads
With football players tending toward the lower end of the age spectrum, it’s important to remember that the Code prohibits anyone under the age of 25 from appearing in most gambling ads. Whilst there is an exception for websites where bets can be placed directly, the ASA has determined depictions of under-25s in gambling ads on social media are unlikely to be acceptable.
Keep your booze ads on-side
Like gambling, there are a number of age-specific rules that apply to alcohol advertising – in particular, they cannot be directed at or reflect the culture of under-18s, nor can under-25s be shown playing a significant role. Other potential red cards are suggesting alcohol can enhance confidence or mental or physical capabilities, or endorsing excessive consumption.
Ensure football fever is the only thing to worry about this summer
Whilst COVID-19 restrictions remain in force across the UK, please ensure that your ads do not depict or endorse behaviour that contradicts Government guidelines.
They think it’s all over…well, not quite
If you’d like even more advice on how to avoid refs calling “foul” on your advertising, consider contacting CAP’s Copy Advice Team for fast and bespoke advice.
Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).
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