Rugby Six Nations: Tackling those endorsements

Jan 18th '17

Regardless of who has provided an endorsement or testimonial, it is the marketer’s responsibility to ensure its use in marketing material and the communication doesn’t breach UK advertising rules.

With the Six Nations kicking off soon, we remind marketers of the relevant advertising requirements.

  • Official endorsements

Six Nations Official sponsors may refer to it in their advertising, but other marketers should take care not to imply there is an official affiliation. As always, the overall impression of an ad will be taken into account, so any images, icons and symbols will contribute to the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) assessment of how consumers are likely to interpret an ad. General references to the Six Nations or general messages of support for a team are likely to be considered acceptable, provided they do not imply official sponsorship.

  • Privacy, permission and documentary evidence

Before using a testimonial or endorsement in marketing material, marketers should ensure they have permission to use it in such a way and that they are able to demonstrate this. While prior permission might not be needed if the content is consistent with the position or views of the featured person, marketers are advised to seek permission before stating or implying players use or endorse certain products or services.

  • Age-restrictions

Marketers should remember that players, or supporters, who are, or appear to be, under the age of 25 must not play a significant role in alcohol ads, or they’ll be handed a red card by the ASA.

If gambling marketers wish to avoid the same fate, they should be aware that the same applies to featuring under 25s in ads for their services, unless the sportsperson depicted is the subject of the bet being offered and the ad appears where a bet can be placed directly through a transactional facility.

  • Social Media & Celebrities 

As with all endorsements, those involving celebrities must be accurate and genuine. Marketers are reminded that ads on social media are also subject to the rules and if marketers have paid for a celebrity to mention their product or brand in a post on Facebook or Twitter, for example, and the marketer has control over the content, the post would be considered an ad and should therefore make this clear by, for example, stating “#Ad”.

Source: CAP

If you are unsure how your activities fit within the rules and want to avoid the ‘sin bin’, please take advantage of our Copy Advice service. Our fast and confidential service is essential for advertisers, agencies, media owners/providers, who want to check how their prospective advertisements (broadcast and non-broadcast) measure up against the UK Advertising Codes.

Contact us today, and find out how we can help.

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