Members of the Royal Family should not normally be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission but an incidental reference unconnected with the advertised product, or a reference to material such as a book, article or film about a member of the Royal Family, may be acceptable (Rule 6.2).
The ASA has in the past upheld complaints about advertising that implied Royal endorsement (M Llewellyn, 30 November 2005). Complaints about a press ad for a budget airline that featured a photograph of Prince Charles and the headline “Prince’s secret revealed!” were upheld because, although the ad did not imply a Royal endorsement, permission to use the photograph had not been given (Ryanair Ltd, 3 March 2004).
Marketing communications must not use the Royal Arms or Emblems without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s office. References to a Royal Warrant should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association (Rule 3.52).
Advertisements for souvenir products are not, in and of themselves, likely to be considered to imply a Royal endorsement, although care should be taken in the copy to ensure that the ad does not imply that a souvenir product is official memorabilia. In light of rule 6.2, we would advise against using images which have been provided for souvenirs or other specific uses in marketing communications for unrelated products.
As always, advertisers must ensure that advertising for souvenir products connected to the Royal Family is not misleading. In October 2012 the ASA upheld a complaint against an ad for a Prince William Royal Bridegroom Porcelain Doll because the image in the ad was found not to be an accurate representation of the product and therefore breached the Code (The Bradford Exchange Ltd t/a The Ashton-Drake Galleries, 10 October 2012). There is no minimum number of complaints required to spark an investigation. However, advertisers should be aware that the popularity of such products can result in a higher level of complaints if something goes wrong (Associated Newspapers Ltd, 29 August 2012).
Please see ‘Testimonials and Endorsements’
Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA. CAP’s Advice Online entries provide guidance on interpreting the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing.
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