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10 Prohibited categories

Broadcast advertisements for some products or services are not permitted either because those products may not legally be advertised or because of a clear potential for harm or serious or widespread offence to the audience or to society.





There are other unacceptable and restricted categories of advertising not listed in this Section, which can be found in these sections: Political and Controversial Matters (Section 7); Children (Section 5); Medicines, Medical Devices, Treatments and Health (Section 11); Financial Products, Services and Investments (Section 14); Faith, Religion and Equivalent Systems of Belief (Section 15); Homeworking Schemes (Section 24); Instructional Courses (Section 25) and Pornography (Section 30).



10.1    Advertisements for products or services coming within the recognised character of or specifically concerned with these are not acceptable:

10.1.1    breath-testing devices and products that are intended to mask the effects of alcohol

10.1.2    betting systems and products that are intended to facilitate winning games of chance

10.1.3    all tobacco products. Also non-tobacco products or services that share a name, emblem or other feature with a tobacco product (as provided for by rule 10.4), rolling papers and filters

10.1.4    guns (including replica guns), gun clubs and offensive weapons. “Offensive weapons” are items made or adapted to cause injury. References to clay pigeon shoots are permitted only as part of a wider range of outdoor pursuits

10.1.5    prostitution and sexual massage services

10.1.6    obscene material. “Obscene material” is material that offends against the Obscene Publications Act 1959 (as amended)

10.1.7    products for the treatment of alcohol and illegal-substance dependence.  Services offering treatment of alcohol and illegal-substance dependence are acceptable if they comply with rule 11.10

10.1.8    pyramid promotional schemes. “Pyramid promotional schemes” are those in which consumers pay or give other consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the introduction of other consumers into the scheme, not the sale or consumption of products

10.1.9    the acquisition or disposal of units in collective investment schemes not authorised or recognised by the FSA, without the prior approval of BCAP.

10.1.10 Television only – Escort agencies

10.2    No advertisement may indirectly promote an unacceptable product or service. For example, advertisements must not refer the audience to a website or a publication if a significant part of that website or publication promotes a prohibited product or service.



10.3    Advertisements must not promote smoking or the use of tobacco products.

10.4    If it shares a name, emblem or other feature with a tobacco product, a non-tobacco product or service may be advertised only if the advertisement is obviously directly targeted at an adult audience, makes or implies no reference to smoking or to a tobacco product, does not promote tobacco or smoking and does not include a design, colour, imagery, logo style or the like that might be associated in the audience’s mind with a tobacco product.

10.5    Advertisements that might be of particular interest to children or teenagers must not refer
to tobacco or smoking, unless that reference obviously forms part of an anti-smoking or
anti-drugs message.


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