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News Archive

Below is a list of articles we issued in previous years.


Six things you need to know about promotional marketing

30 April 2015

Following a public consultation, Section 8 of the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing has been amended. Read on for six key things to remember when running and marketing a promotion.

Advice on Spring 'iMidges'

22 April 2015

The ASA has recently investigated two adverts for ultrasonic ‘mosquito repellent’ apps and found them in breach of the Code.

Don't pay the price by misusing the word "free"

22 April 2015

The ASA has undertaken action against a number of companies for misleading consumers as to the charges they will face when a “free” trial comes to an end.

The summer festival season is upon us!

22 April 2015

The music festival season is around the corner. So, how should prices be advertised to avoid misleading or confusing consumers?

Cosmetic advertising: Give your ads a nip and tuck!

09 April 2015

Cosmetic surgery isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, so before you publish your ads ask yourself whether it’s completely responsible.

VAT Advertising Advice for Residential Property Professionals

09 April 2015

The CAP Code requires that quoted prices include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers.

Service number charges icons

Ofcom's changes to service number charges

12 March 2015

From the 1st of July, Ofcom will be changing the structure of non-geographic call charges. Find out how to ensure your marketing materials are up to date.

Religious icons

Religious Offence: Making sure your ad sticks to the script(ure)

12 March 2015

With Easter just around the corner we’re reminding advertisers about the care they should take when depicting religious themes or imagery in their ads.

Swearing icons

Watch your language! Using swearing and expletives in ads

12 March 2015

Expletives have long been used by marketers as a way of drawing attention to their brand – FCUK, Castlemaine XXXX, anyone?  Following the recent ruling, we take a closer look at the importance of minding your P’s and Q’s. And F’s.

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Political advertising

25 February 2015

What constitutes a political ad for the purposes of the Code, and when do such advertisements fall within the remit of the Advertising Standards Authority?

Advertisers reminded of the need to be clear with kids online

05 February 2015

We are advising advertisers to review their online marketing to children to check that it’s obviously identifiable as advertising.

Making online marketing communications to children clearly identifiable

05 February 2015

We are advising marketers to ensure they make clear when online content is marketing material.

Valentines day dating

CAP's guide to dating services

28 January 2015

Competition between online dating businesses can be fierce, but marketers need to remember that customers want a website that’s ‘decent, honest and truthful’, not just good-looking.

2014: Four rulings in two minutes

15 January 2015

In 2014 the ASA published over 700 rulings, this article provides a selection of rulings which offer a diverse collection of discrete learning points under the Codes.


Sales promotions!

23 December 2014

Important things to consider when running sales promotions this festive season, helping you avoid misleading your customers.

BCAP publishes updated Terms of Reference for its payday loans review

22 December 2014

BCAP’s supplementary terms of reference have been published today.

May your ads be merry and right!

18 December 2014

If you’re producing a Christmas ad campaign think carefully when using imagery or themes that might offend against religious sensitivities.

The do's and don'ts of weight loss, detox and smoking cessation claims

18 December 2014

Targeting those want to lose weight, “detox” and stop smoking in the New Year? Read this quick summary of do’s and don’ts.

Food Information Regulations

12 December 2014

CAP and BCAP have made minor technical amendments to the UK Advertising Codes to reflect changes to the Food Information Regulations.

CAP and BCAP publish gambling advertising review

12 December 2014

We've published a Review of the evidence on gambling advertising and its impact on young people and problem gambling behaviour.

Targeting of Ads for Gambling Products

10 December 2014

Gambling ads must not be directed at those aged below 18 years of age. We explain the steps advertisers should take to ensure that their marketing is correctly targeted.

The Online Remit Extension: Practical guidance

09 December 2014

We look at the tests the ASA Council apply when determining whether an online communications fall within remit.

New guidance for electronic cigarettes ads

19 November 2014

We’ve created dedicated guidance to help the e-cigarette sector get to grip with the new rules to help ensure they’re advertised in a responsible way.

Renewal of co regulatory arrangement for broadcast advertising

04 November 2014

Ofcom has announced the renewal of the co-regulatory arrangement that recognises BCAP as the body responsible for setting and revising the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising.

Complaints about Gambling ads

30 October 2014

As a result of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 there is to be a change in the way gambling complaints are to be dealt with by the ASA.

A compact guide to cosmetic ad claims

16 October 2014

Ads in the health and beauty sector are often aspirational and glamorous. We outline how advertisers can cast their products in the best possible light without misleading consumers.

Change to remit: marketing of causes and ideas

14 October 2014

We have taken the decision to restrict our remit to include only causes and ideas marketing that appears in paid-for space, except where the marketing includes a direct solicitation of donations.

New UK advertising rules for e-cigarettes

09 October 2014

We have published new advertising rules for e-cigarettes to ensure they continue to be promoted in a responsible way. The new rules add to those already in place and will come into effect on 10 November 2014.

New ad placement guidance for on-demand services

25 September 2014

Today CAP published new guidance on the placement of ads in video-on-demand services.

'Copycat' websites update

24 September 2014

Today, CAP has sent letters to companies that advertise official services or documents on websites that are not the official government channel, commonly known as “copycat” websites.

Botox and other POMs

18 September 2014

Prescription-only medicines may not be advertised to the public. Find out what you can and can’t say in your ad.

'Exhaust'ive guidance? Environmental claims and electric vehicles

21 August 2014

We point out the most common pitfalls of advertising the environmental benefits of electric vehicles and help you to avoid your ad driving complaints.

Firm foundations for property ads

21 August 2014

If you work in the property sector, or create ads for those who do, we have advice on how to avoid misleading prospective tenants.

Selling sales - how to write a compliant recruitment ad

21 August 2014

The most common complaints about recruitment ads – particularly in the sales sector – are that a job isn’t as described or the earnings are exaggerated.

Copy Advice - Frequently asked questions

06 August 2014

The Copy Advice team offers fast, free and confidential services to help advertisers comply with the Advertising Code. Here we’ve answered a few of the general enquiries we commonly receive; from how the rules apply to social media to the substantiation needed to prove efficacy claims.

The 'Promotional' Price is Right

30 July 2014

Offering a price promotion on your product? Make sure the prices you advertise are genuine and meaningful for consumers.

"Guide prices" in ads for property auctions

28 July 2014

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has sent letters to the property auction sector regarding the enforcement of an ASA ruling, published last week, that requires advertisers to give greater clarification around “guide prices” in ads for property auctions.

Our commitment to good regulation

14 July 2014

Today CAP and the ASA have published their commitment to good regulation.

Top tips for affiliate marketers

10 July 2014

The Copy Advice team have produced guidance on the top 3 things affiliate marketers should do to avoid running into problems.

Free claims: apps & games

10 July 2014

There’s been a great deal of buzz about the recent ASA ruling on an EA Games direct mailing for Dungeon Keeper and the claim “free”.  Read our guidance here.

Complementary health check

26 June 2014

The Copy Advice team receives regular enquiries from practitioners of complementary therapies who are looking to ensure their ads comply with the Code. We highlight the common pitfalls as well as the help and advice we offer advertisers.

Making sure World Cup ads don't fall foul of the rules

26 June 2014

The ASA is reminding advertisers to exercise caution when preparing any World Cup themed campaigns by providing some useful tips on how to stick to the rules and avoid causing offence.

BCAP Payday Loans Review

25 June 2014

BCAP is launching a review of how the advertising rules are being applied to payday loan advertising appearing on TV to ensure that young people, in particular, continue to be protected.

BCAP consultation on rule 5.9

24 June 2014

BCAP is consulting on a proposal to remove wording from rule 5.9 of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising which prohibits advertisements from encouraging children to ask their parents, guardians or other persons to enquire about an advertised product or service for them.

Guidance and Code amendment on 'disrepute' clause

19 June 2014

Following a recent ASA adjudication that an ad had brought advertising into disrepute, CAP has issued some updated advice and amended the Advertising Code.

New consumer protection guidance for letting professionals reminds advertisers to give fees upfront

13 June 2014

The Competition and Markets Authority has published comprehensive guidance for lettings professionals to help improve their understanding of, and compliance with, consumer protection law.  

Medicines sections of the Codes amended following consultation

13 June 2014

CAP and BCAP have published the outcome of a consultation on proposals to amend the medicines sections of the CAP and BCAP Codes.

The Appliance of Compliance

12 June 2014

An update on the work of the Compliance team, featuring letting agents, Viagra, amber “teething” jewellery, referrals to Trading Standards and the regular “repeat offenders” review.

Testimonials in marketing communications

12 June 2014

Planning on including testimonials in your marketing communications? If so, did you know that you still need to hold evidence to prove claims within those testimonials?

CAP quizzes Glasgow 2014

05 June 2014

We are already receiving enquiries from advertisers wondering whether they can link with the upcoming Commonwealth Games.  To help out, we asked Glasgow 2014 some questions and here are their answers.

CAP and ASA Annual Report 2013: Every UK ad a responsible ad

29 May 2014

Our Annual Report 2013 published today reveals how our work over the last year has achieved some significant changes in advertising practice for the benefit of consumers and business as well as outlining our ambition –  to make every UK ad a responsible ad.

'Ref'erencing the Football?

15 May 2014

Considering a campaign for the summer and wondering whether you can tie in with this year’s football World Cup?  Ensure you avoid an own goal with your advertising this summer.

Are you Socially Aware?

15 May 2014

Digital ad spend continues to grow year-on-year, and social media constitutes a significant part of this. But, what are the rules when using it to advertise?  The key starting point is making sure users can clearly differentiate between ads on social media and genuine social interaction.

ASA Chief Executive: Making Ads Responsible in a Rapidly Changing Media Landscape

09 May 2014

ASA Chief Executive, Guy Parker, gave a keynote address ‘Making Ads Responsible in a Rapidly Changing Media Landscape’ at Advertising and Marketing Law 2014 on 7 May.

New guidance for new homes sector

01 May 2014

CAP has worked closely with the industry trade organisations, the Home Builders Federation and Homes for Scotland, to produce new guidance for the new homes sector which will help home builders to advertise their products without potentially misleading consumers.

CAP Gambling Review

29 April 2014

CAP has announced that it is reviewing the latest evidence underpinning the gambling rules to ensure that consumers continue to be properly protected.

Compulsory costs and charges

16 April 2014

All non-optional costs and charges must be included in the price quoted for a product unless they cannot be calculated in advance.  Discover what the options are when calculating prices, to ensure compliance with the Advertising Codes.

Consumer credit advertising

03 April 2014

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over regulation of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading on 1 April 2014.  If you’re unsure of the ad rules, we've outlined the key regulatory requirements in this area.

Understanding Online Behavioural Advertising regulation in Europe

25 March 2014

Join a free webinar run by the EDAA (European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance) to understand more about Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) regulation in Europe.

Comparing prices with your competitors

20 March 2014

We're providing useful tips for marketers who are making a price comparison with another marketer’s price on how to stick to the ad rules.

New words on the blog...

19 March 2014

We've taken part in a Q&A to provide greater clarity to any bloggers or brands who are looking to enter into commercial relationships on how to stick to the advertising rules.

Making price comparisons with previous prices

06 March 2014

The advertising rules around pricing are strict and, to the uninitiated, can seem quite complex. But we can help make sticking to the rules in this area that bit easier.

Consultation on new advertising rules for electronic cigarettes

27 February 2014

Today we're launching a public consultation on proposals to introduce new rules for the advertising of electronic cigarettes.

CAP and ASA announce new measures to maintain effective regulation of food and soft drink advertising

25 February 2014

We are announcing our intention to conduct new research and compliance work to ensure that the regulation of food and soft drink advertising continues to be effective and proportionate.

“Free”? You bet! CAP and BCAP’s New Gambling Help Note

14 February 2014

CAP and BCAP have recently published a new Gambling Help Note. A key focus of the Help Note is on “free bet” offers.

Advertising under control: Government response to Keogh Review

13 February 2014

The Government has today announced its response to the ‘Keogh Review’ into cosmetic interventions. CAP, BCAP and the ASA engaged fully with the Review and sought to address concerns about standards for cosmetic surgery

New Help Note on gambling ads

31 January 2014

CAP and BCAP have launched a new Help Note on the rules for gambling advertisements.


All we want for Christmas is compliant advertising

19 December 2013

If you’re wondering what to get the ASA for Christmas this year, look no further.

“Native ads”: the return of the conundrum

19 December 2013

Broadly, “native ads” are those which mimic the form and function of the context they are viewed in, but must still be obviously identifiable as marketing communications.

The Food rules: One year on

19 December 2013

Last year key changes to the regulatory framework for food advertising came into force which had a fundamental effect on how the ASA investigates complaints about health claims made on foods.

A spoonful of Copy Advice guidance helps the Medicine Code Rules go down

18 December 2013

Section 12 of the CAP Code can seem a complicated area, but CAP’s prescription is just the medicine to help you get your ads right.

New scheduling guidance and monitoring programme for alcohol TV ads

17 December 2013

BCAP has today published a new, strengthened, guidance note on the scheduling of TV advertisements to help broadcasters identify which television programmes should exclude ads for alcohol and other age restricted products.

Stopping unexpected costs – Letting agents must now disclose fees in ads

05 December 2013

Since the 1st November CAP has required lettings agents and private landlords to make sure that fees are prominently displayed in ads alongside rental prices.

This Blog Insight is brought to you by CAP

13 November 2013

If you’re seeking to increase awareness of your brand, remember marketing communications must be obviously identifiable.

New guidance for non-surgical and surgical cosmetic advertising

05 November 2013

Following the Government's review of cosmetic products and procedures, we recently published an updated Help Note on Cosmetic Interventions

Charity and public service ads

01 November 2013

The ASA has announced it will be looking more closely at charity and public service ads to ensure it continues to reflect public concerns.

Motoring: Electric vehicles

24 October 2013

There has been an increase in the marketing of these vehicles and subsequently an increase in the number of complaints received about these ads.

CAP and BCAP propose new rules for electronic cigarette advertising

18 October 2013

Due to uncertainty amongst industry about what they can and can’t do in their ads we're taking swift action to develop new advertising rules for electronic cigarettes.

Spread the Xmas joy with compliant advertising!

11 October 2013

Christmas comes early for marketers and this Insight explores some of the important issues you should take into account whilst striving to make your ads stand out from the crowd.

Surgical and Non-surgical Cosmetic Interventions Help Note

11 October 2013

We have strengthened our existing Help Note in order to reach a wider audience and to provide guidance which covers the marketing of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic interventions.

OBA Half year Report

07 October 2013

The ASA /CAP have today published a half-year report on regulating Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA). 

Payday loans and social responsibility

01 October 2013

We’ve highlighted some of the key areas to consider when creating advertising for short term loans - make sure your ads are socially responsible.

Hamish Pringle to represent ASA on industry panel

25 September 2013

Hamish Pringle has been appointed as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Council’s representative on the Sales Promotion and Direct Response panel

Gambling section of CAP Code amended following consultation

16 September 2013

CAP has published the outcome of a consultation on a proposal to amend the Gambling section of the CAP Code.

New guidance for letting agents and private landlords

10 September 2013

Today CAP has sent letters to relevant trade bodies across the lettings sector, with detailed guidance on how they can ensure they prominently include information about non-optional fees around rental prices (the “asking rent”) in their ads.

What is “native advertising”?

05 September 2013

You may have read about “Native advertising”, an online approach that seeks to target ad content so it melds with the users’ interests. It’s acceptability under the CAP Code will depend on how it appears in context as this Insight explains.

Advertising to children

27 August 2013

Advertising to children isn’t child’s play, but our advice on the most common pitfalls will help see your ads safely through the new term.

Promoting our promotions guidance

27 August 2013

A quick insight into the recent updates to our sales promos guidance.

Medicines consultations

21 August 2013

CAP and BCAP have launched two consultations on the medicines sections of the Advertising Codes

Financial codes

21 August 2013

CAP has updated the finance sections of the BCAP and CAP Codes.

Holiday Promotions

08 August 2013

Holidays are here – and so are the ad campaigns and offers promoting them.

Make sure your ads are in tip-top shape

08 August 2013

Advertising your product or service as a weight control aid or regime?

Botox on the brain?

24 July 2013

Marketers should take note of the CAP rules and ASA precedent, and also be mindful of current issues which might change how this product is marketed in the future.

ASA establishes position on display of talk time conditions

24 July 2013

A recent ruling articulated the ASA's position on the need to give sufficient prominence to talk time conditions for pay monthly contracts.

New Chairman of GMP appointed

09 July 2013

Tim Duffy, UK Group Chairman of M&C Saatchi, has been appointed Chair of the General Media Panel (GMP).

Delivering a royal baby ad

27 June 2013

Linking campaigns to events is likely to be tempting, but advertising shouldn’t go as far as claiming or implying that a particular product is endorsed by the Royal Family or that a product is affiliated to royal events when it is not.

Farming: methods for your adverts

27 June 2013

In recent years there has been a rise in claims regarding farming methods and food production

Wind energy

17 June 2013

CAP has published a Help Note on Wind Energy-related advertising. It provides an easily accessible summary of the ASA’s position on ad claims in this area.

Day 2 at The Business Show

07 June 2013

As The Business Show draws to a close, we can happily say it’s been a very productive and enjoyable couple of days.

Complementary Therapies – Tips and guidance

06 June 2013

In 2011 the Copy Advice team produced a range of guidance materials for complementary therapies, in response to a rise in complaints about advertising in this sector. We’ve looked back and highlighted some of the most common pitfalls and explain how you can use these materials to avoid them.

The rules of social engagement

06 June 2013

Online advertising is increasingly becoming the shift of focus for how companies reach their audiences.  Here are some key tips in a social context, to help you get your ads right first time.

Day 1 at The Business Show

06 June 2013

So the day has finally arrived: we’re at the Business Show 2013! After lots of preparation and finessing we’ve set up shop, and are ready to talk advertising.

ASA and BCAP welcome new research on TV alcohol advertising

24 May 2013

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have today welcomed research by our co-regulatory partner, Ofcom, into children’s exposure to alcohol advertising on TV.

CAP at the Business Show 2013

14 May 2013

Whether you’re an SME or a Start-up this will be a great opportunity to find out more about the Advertising Codes, and how to comply with them.

Smoothing out the wrinkles of your cosmetic advertising

09 May 2013

Are you using production techniques or including before and after photos in your advertising material?

“Organic”: context changes everything

09 May 2013

Consumer understanding of the word ‘organic’ has changed over time and advertisers need to ensure that they are not misleading consumers.

CAP and ASA Annual Report 2012: Providing help and advice, getting a fair deal for consumers and competitors

30 April 2013

Our Annual Report published today reveals it was a record year in terms of the training and advice we provided to helping advertisers get their ads right.

Letting agents – don’t leave it too late to disclose admin fees

11 April 2013

The Advertising Standards Authority has called on letting agents to disclose admin fees in their property ads

Free trials: They don’t need to be a trial

11 April 2013

Some Dos and Don’ts you should consider before offering a "free trial"

Advertising prices with compulsory charges? This article is just the ticket.

27 March 2013

The rulings make it clear that advertised prices for tickets must include all unavoidable fees and be more up front about booking fees.

If it looks like TV advertising and sounds like TV advertising, VOD is it?

14 March 2013

CAP has produced a Help Note that contains further information and guidance on VOD advertising.

Brand Ambassadors and Peer-to-Peer Help Note

28 February 2013

CAP is today publishing new guidance for marketers to ensure that the use of children in peer-to-peer marketing and as brand ambassadors is undertaken responsibly and in accordance with the rules in the CAP Code

Two pricing rule changes, completely free of charge

20 February 2013

CAP and BCAP have today announced changes to rules governing price comparisons rules and the use of price claims that are inclusive or exclusive of VAT.

Advertising Daily Deals

05 February 2013

Whether charging through crowds in the January sales or looking for bargains online, who doesn’t like a good deal? Read CAP’s overview of advertising daily deals.

Gender portrayal and stereotyping

05 February 2013

Advertisers should be mindful of the line between ads that use images, jokes or ‘shorthands’ that resonate with their target market and those that might offend others.

Placement and Scheduling

10 January 2013

The UK Advertising Codes are not about the content of ads alone. Who is likely to see an ad, where, and in what medium, can make a difference.

Detox and diets

10 January 2013

Whatever weight-loss claims you’re making, make sure you read CAP’s Insight article for the dos and don’ts on detox and diet ads.


Regulatory statement: CAP announces guidance on use of children as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing

20 December 2012

Following a year-long review, CAP is publishing new guidance for marketers in the first quarter of 2013 to ensure the responsible use of children as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing.

Code update: Food Sections

14 December 2012

Today, CAP has made a series of technical amendments to the food sections of the UK Advertising Codes.

Food: Tomorrow’s the Day

13 December 2012

14 December is the day for the key changes to the regulatory framework for food advertising to come fully into force

‘Expecting’ royal baby ads?

05 December 2012

It’s never too early to start planning, so here is a reminder of the rules which apply when wanting to tie-in ads to happy tidings of the Royal kind.

Betting websites featuring under-25s

29 November 2012

Today CAP has launched a consultation on one of the rules governing betting websites.

New transparency and choice rules for Online Behavioural Advertising

21 November 2012

New rules around Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) will be included in the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing from 4 February 2013.

10% rule

21 November 2012

Does your advertised savings claim apply to 10% of discounted products?

Five New Year Resolutions for January Sales

08 November 2012

Avoid ASA attention this New Year by committing to these five resolutions to keeping your promotions compliant.

Significant Conditions in Sales Promotions

25 October 2012

An overview of significant conditions of sales promotions, an area where unfortunately marketers can trip themselves up by inadequately explaining.

Toying with Advertising to Children

25 October 2012

It may be only October but Christmas is just around the corner. Here are some simple points to remember to make sure you stay on our good list.

Sexualisation of children: perfume and underwear ads

11 October 2012

Protecting children from inappropriate sexual imagery is a priority for the ASA and issue at the top of the political agenda.

Questions and answers from Adviceam

10 October 2012

Befitting of a seminar about online advertising, delegates were able to follow commentary, post comments and ask questions using Twitter. Read our Q&A.

Don’t Scare the Children

28 September 2012

Read CAP’s guidance on advertising featuring traditions which by their nature involve frightening people, being scary and setting fire to things.

Announcing our new and improved website

21 September 2012

The ASA and CAP have launched refreshed websites.

VOD a difference a note makes

17 August 2012

All advertising must comply with the Code, but when does an ad have to comply with the particular rules on Video-on-demand?

Ofcom invites views on the co-regulation of VOD ads

10 August 2012

Invitation to respond to the review of the designation for the regulation of advertising in demand programming.

Speed Claims in Broadband Advertising now to cover mobile data services

06 August 2012

Today, CAP and BCAP are publishing a revised Help Note extending the scope of the guidance to cover mobile data services.

CAP is now on Twitter

20 July 2012

Our aim is to help keep the ad industry, media and others up to speed with regulatory developments and key announcements.

Don’t pay the price by misusing the word “free”

18 July 2012

It has long been the case that marketers must ensure that they do not describe a product or service as “free” if it is not. This may seem straightforward, but the ASA regularly considers complaints about ads for products or services which at first glance appear to be free, but upon closer inspection are anything but.

Independence and Impartiality

05 July 2012

A fundamental cornerstone of the CAP and BCAP Codes is that marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.

marketers make the most of new advertising formats whilst staying on the right side of the Advertising Codes

The Rooney makeitcount.gonike tweet

20 June 2012

One of the most basic rules in the CAP Code is that “marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such”.

Misleading Advertisng CAP codes

Misleading Advertising

14 June 2012

Sixty one percent of the complaints the ASA received in 2011 were about misleading advertising. It’s a key issue and a very broad one that marketers in all sectors need to be mindful of, so here we give a quick guide on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

Food AdviceOnline

Food for thought

14 June 2012

Copy Advice are conducting a review of the AdviceOnline articles which refer to heath claims made on foods.

CAP logo

Industry at the heart of 50 years of ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’

30 May 2012

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have today published their Annual Report 2011 which marks five decades of industry self-regulation.



17 May 2012

What are advergames, which rules apply and what is the ASA’s experience of regulating them?

Cosmetic Advertising

Production techniques in cosmetics advertising: 12 months on

17 May 2012

In April 2011, CAP and BCAP launched a Help Note on the use of production techniques in cosmetics advertising. How has that guidance impacted on complaint levels and ASA adjudications over the past 12 months?

2012 Olympics

Marketing and the Olympics: we quiz LOCOG for answers

10 May 2012

As advertising plays a big part in the success of any Olympic Games we took the opportunity to ask the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) about its role in protecting the advertising rights of official Olympic partners and what pitfalls non-partners should avoid.

Olympic ticket Ads

Unauthorised Selling Of Olympic Tickets

10 May 2012

Whether you’re looking forward to the Games or not there is a strong chance you could be asked to run an ad for someone selling tickets to them.

Sexual imagery in outdoor advertising

Sexual imagery in outdoor advertising: drawing the line

19 April 2012

Following the Department for Education’s report on the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, authored by Reg Bailey, the ASA reviewed its assessment of sexual imagery in outdoor advertising.

"As seen on TV"

04 April 2012

Wouldn’t it be good if advertisers identified which goods had been “seen on TV”.

Ad Tweets

Ad Tweets

04 April 2012

In March 2012 the ASA published its first adjudication about celebrity endorsements on Twitter.

sales promotion

Amended Distance Selling rules in the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising

23 March 2012

Following a public consultation, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice has decided to restrict the scope of the Distance Selling rules in the BCAP Code.

Energy related products

New advertising rules for energy related products

15 March 2012

From the end of March 2012, ads for types of energy-related products (e.g. dishwashers, TVs, fridges etc) must comply with new rules.

New Telecoms Help Notes: get up to speed

15 March 2012

From 1 April, CAP and BCAP’s Help Notes on broadband speed claims and the use of “unlimited” claims in telecoms advertising will come into effect.
Post-it notes with advice word written on image

New ad rules on unplanned pregnancy advice

20 January 2012

The Committees of Advertising Practice are today announcing new rules surrounding the advertising of unplanned pregnancy advice services.

Boy eating biscuits

CAP launches review into child brand ambassadors and peer-to-peer marketing

13 January 2012

The review comes in response to a recommendation made in the Bailey Review of the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood.
Chris Macdonald, Chair of GMP

CAP announces new GMP Chairman

11 January 2012

Chris Macdonald, Chairman of McCann Worldgroup London and CEO of McCann London, has been appointed Chair of the General Media Panel (GMP).

Stephen Locke, AAC Chairman

New Chairman of AAC announced

05 January 2012

Stephen Locke has been appointed the new Chairman of BCAP’s Advertising Advisory Committee (the AAC). 


Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown awarded CBE in New Year Honours List

03 January 2012

The former Chairman of CAP, Andrew Brown, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List for services to the Advertising Industry.
Blue flames

New rules on energy labelling

15 December 2011

CAP and BCAP have published a Help Note on energy labelling rules that will come into effect in the Advertising Codes in March 2012.
Christmas shopping bags

Empowering and protecting consumers

12 October 2011

The ASA has responded to a recent Government consultation that calls for changes to help empower and protect consumers. These proposals could impact on the work of the advertising regulatory system. Find out what impact these proposed changes could have on the ASA.


ASA concludes process review

12 October 2011

The ASA has been reviewing its core regulatory processes with a view to becoming more effective, efficient, cost-effective and in tune with its stakeholders.  Read on to see how this may improve your experience of dealing with the ASA.

Glasses of red wine

Scotland calls time on alcohol price promotions

12 October 2011

On 1 October, Scotland banned off-licensed premises from making available certain types of alcohol promotion.  To ensure consumers are not misled by ads that imply these promotions are available in Scotland when they are not, CAP and BCAP have produced guidance to assist compliance with the Advertising Codes.

Happy child with paint on his hands

Let children be children

12 October 2011

Concerns about commercialisation and sexualisation of children has been high on the political agenda following the Bailey Review. The ASA has been taking steps to reduce the amount of sexualised imagery used in outdoor advertising where children are likely to see it.

Help note thumb

Up to speed with telecoms advertising?

12 October 2011

Two new Help Notes were published in September  - one on broadband speed claims and the other on the use of “unlimited” claims in telecoms advertising. Their aim is two-fold; to help advertisers comply with UK Advertising Codes, and to protect consumers from misleading claims. Read our comprehensive guide to telecoms advertising.

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Weaving an untangled web – extension of the ASA’s online remit

12 October 2011

The extension of the ASA’s online remit in March was a landmark regulatory development, especially for those responsible for marketing claims on their websites and social network sites under their control.

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Under the influence (of the ASA)

12 October 2011

Two ads for alcoholic drinks, one for Heineken and the other for Cell Drinks, both presented a light-hearted and fun approach to their products. But the ad for Cell Drinks was found by the ASA to have breached a number of rules relating to the portrayal of alcoholic drinks whereas Heineken’s ad was deemed acceptable. So what are the rules and where does the ASA draw the line?

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Changes in advertising of 'unlimited' and broadband speed claims

29 September 2011

New guidance, published today, brings clarity to advertisers and consumers on the use of “unlimited” and “up to” speed claims in telecommunications and broadband ads.

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Advertising Code writing bodies welcome new industry panel on children

09 June 2011

CAP and BCAP welcome today’s announcement that the Advertising Association has set up a new industry panel to address some of the concerns outlined in the Bailey Review.

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ASA/CAP Annual Report 2010: Achieving change through engagement

12 May 2011

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Annual Report 2010 published today, highlights a year of significant change. Whether it was the introduction of new Advertising Codes, assuming responsibility for video-on-demand ads, preparing for the extension of our online remit or the comprehensive review of our processes, it has been a very busy year.

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Protecting children is at the heart of our work

11 May 2011

It can’t have escaped adland’s attention that concern about the commercialisation and sexualisation of children is high on the political agenda. Advertising is under the spotlight too, but the UK’s advertising self-regulatory system has many positive things to say about the role it plays in protecting children from inappropriate or harmful marketing material.

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Acting in the interests of consumers and industry: new ASA Council members appointed

11 May 2011

Advertisers, agencies and media owners will no doubt be fully aware of the occasions when the ASA Council finds an ad in breach of the Codes. What they may not be as familiar with is who the people behind the decisions are.

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Ad Campaign – ASA says thank you to Industry

11 May 2011

In January the ASA launched a two-phase cross-media ad campaign designed to alert website owners of the ASA’s extended online remit. The campaign has relied entirely on free space donated by media owners, and the ASA is hugely grateful for industry’s support of the self-regulatory system, manifest in the significant media schedule donated to date.

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A strong foundation for getting your cosmetics claims right

11 May 2011

Whether they appear in broadcast or non-broadcast, ads for cosmetics are in danger of breaching the Advertising Codes if they unduly exaggerate what a product can do in practice. To help marketers get it right, CAP and BCAP have issued joint guidance on the Use of Production Techniques in Cosmetic Advertising.

Andrew Brown, ex-Chairman of CAP and BCAP

Changing of the guard

11 May 2011

On 30 March, an audience drawn from all parts of the advertising industry and the self-regulatory system gathered together to bid farewell to the outgoing Chairman of CAP and BCAP, Andrew Brown, who had chaired CAP since 1999 and BCAP since 2004.

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Advertising guidance brings greater clarity for cosmetics sector

04 April 2011

New guidance, published today, for the cosmetics sector will help the industry to advertise their products without misleading consumers.


The ASA Supplement to the Update on the Process Review

09 March 2011

The ASA’s second update on how it is responding to the independent recommendations made in the Process Review is now available.

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Changes to the CAP Code

04 March 2011

The digital remit of the CAP Code has now been extended: both the Introduction and the section on ‘How the System Works’ towards the end of the Code have been amended to reflect the change in remit. The accompanying document is a marked copy of the relevant sections of the Code, which shows these changes.

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UK ad industry extends its commitment to responsible advertising

01 March 2011

1 March is a landmark moment for advertising self-regulation. The extension of the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising (the CAP Code) and the ASA’s online remit has come into effect. The rules now apply to companies’ own marketing communications on their own websites. It is a development that shows self-regulation at its very best – industry taking responsibility to protect consumers with real and lasting action.

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CAP updates database practice rule

14 February 2011

CAP has updated its rule on database practice for collecting data from children for marketing purposes. In 2010, the ICO produced guidance on personal information online. CAP has updated its rule to ensure it is consistent wth that guidance and joined up with the ICO.

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New Copy Advice website audit offers a health check for online marketing communications

31 January 2011

From 31 January, the CAP Copy Advice team is introducing a new bespoke website audit service for advertisers. The audits will offer a tailored  and expert assessment of companies’ websites against the CAP Code with a view to giving their marketing communications a clean bill of health and providing compliance guidance.

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CAP and BCAP consultations on “Up to” and “Unlimited” Claims

26 January 2011

CAP and BCAP are consulting on their proposals for new advertising guidance on the use of “Up to” broadband speed and “Unlimited” usage claims in telecommunications advertising. The new guidance will help ensure clarity in advertising.

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ASA launches B2B ad campaign

17 January 2011

The Advertising Standards Authority has today launched an ad campaign to let businesses know that it will soon be regulating more online marketing. Reflecting its commitment to the self-regulatory system, the industry has played an invaluable role in supporting the watchdog’s campaign.


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CAP and BCAP statement on the impact of advertising on body image

16 December 2010

In November 2010 CAP and BCAP (B/CAP) received evidence from Jo Swinson MP concerning the harmful effects of media images on body image and behaviours. After careful consideration of the evidence presented to it, B/CAP considers that there is not persuasive evidence to support a proposal to include a rule that bans digitally altered models in advertising aimed at under-16s.


The ASA's update on the Process Review

07 December 2010

The ASA has published an update on its response to the recommendations made in the Process Review.

James Best, Chairman of CAP and BCAP

James Best is appointed the new Chairman of CAP/BCAP

21 October 2010

The Advertising Standards Board of Finance (Asbof) today announced the appointment of James Best as the new Chairman of the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP and BCAP).

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Change to Rules on Employment advertising

21 October 2010

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has made a revision to the CAP Code’s Employment, Homework and Business Opportunities section to reflect recent changes in legislation.

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Digital remit extension and public relations

28 September 2010

Following a constructive meeting, CAP, ASA and the CIPR have agreed a number of actions to clarify the ASA's extended digital remit as far as it relates to public relations.

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Landmark agreement extends ASA’s digital remit

01 September 2010

The digital remit of the ASA is to be extended significantly to deliver more comprehensive consumer protection online. From next year, marketing communications online will be subject to rules to keep them legal, decent, honest and truthful.

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New Advertising Codes are here - make sure you comply

01 September 2010

The new Advertising Codes have come into effect today, 1 September 2010. It is important that all those involved with producing advertisements and other marketing communications understand and comply with the revised Codes to avoid the reputational or commercial damage that could result from breaching the rules. CAP Services are here to provide advice on your campaigns and we offer a range of training tools in specific sectors to help you comply.

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Final countdown to new Advertising Codes

18 August 2010

CAP and BCAP are giving advertisers a final reminder that new Advertising Codes will come into effect on 1 September. It is crucial that advertisers ensure they know what the rules are to avoid prompting complaints from consumers or competitors and being subject to an ASA investigation.

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Video-on-demand (VOD) advertising

02 August 2010

From 1 September 2010, the way the ASA regulates advertising on TV-like video-on-demand (VOD) services will be changing. The ASA has been designated by Ofcom as the co-regulator for advertising appearing on VOD services.

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Webcast of Advice:am seminar on the new CAP and BCAP Codes

14 July 2010

The new UK Advertising Codes will come into effect on 1 September 2010 when the ASA will begin to apply the new rules. Watch the advice seminar to help you get up to speed with the changes.

CAP Chairman announces his retirement

13 July 2010

Andrew Brown has announced his retirement from the Chairmanship of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP). Andrew has chaired CAP since 1999 and BCAP since 2004 having led the industry task force that negotiated the ‘contracting out’ of broadcast advertising regulation from Ofcom.


More effective, efficient and in tune with our stakeholders - The ASA’s Preliminary Response to the Process Review

24 June 2010

The Advertising Standards Authority has published its preliminary response to the Process Review of its core functions, conducted with the help of independent consultants. The review has helped to identify a number of improvements which will benefit consumers as well as advertisers by making our operations quicker, more efficient and effective.

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Child’s play: Why advertising regulation takes a grown-up approach to protecting children

24 June 2010

Arguably, the cornerstone of the UK advertising regulatory system is the emphasis it places on protecting children. This has always been the case but it is perhaps now, more so than ever, that the system has to demonstrate its commitment to, and effectiveness in, upholding this aim.

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Be CAP Code smart about Environmental claims

24 June 2010

If you want to be CAP Code smart, avoid advertising claims such as “environmentally friendly” unless you can provide convincing evidence that your product will cause no environmental damage.

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Chewing the Fat – Food Compliance Survey 2009

24 June 2010

The results of the CAP Compliance team’s 2009 Food Compliance Survey are in: 99.4% of the ads surveyed complied with the Codes.

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Publishing hard copies of the Advertising Codes

24 June 2010

In March, we launched the new ‘BCAP Code: the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising’ and the new ‘CAP Code: the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing’. Three months later and we are on the brink of publishing the hard copies of the Codes. So why the delay?

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New Travel Marketing Help Note: Preparing your campaign for take-off

24 June 2010

As one of the most dynamic and often turbulent consumer markets to work in, advertising is critical in the Travel Sector. CAP’s recently published Travel Help Note contains significant revisions to the previous guidance and aims to address potential pitfalls by bringing together, in one document, advice relevant to a broad cross-section of travel marketers.

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Message in a bottle

24 June 2010

In recent years there has been an increased focus on the controls around advertisements for follow-on formula milk. Read on to get some helpful pointers.

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Participation TV

24 June 2010

Telephone-based psychic readings and adult chat services are currently heavily restricted categories of TV advertising. Ofcom has recently announced that it will amend the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising, which will come into effect from 1 September, to ensure that the regulation of those services remains proportionate to the aim of protecting the viewing public from harm and offence.
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Telecommunications Marketing: CAP to Review Performance and Usage claims

24 June 2010

CAP and BCAP have undertaken to launch a review of broadband speed and ‘unlimited’ usage claims in telecoms marketing in response to concerns from stakeholders, including consumers about whether those claims mislead.

ASA/CAP Annual Report 2009

CAP/ASA Annual Report 2009: Responsive regulation for an evolving industry

26 May 2010

The CAP and ASA Annual Report 2009 is now published and reveals how the two organisations work together to ensure responsive and effective regulation in an evolving industry.

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CAP and BCAP win EASA Best Practice Award

22 April 2010

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have won the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) Best Practice GOLD award 2010. The accolade is in recognition of CAP and BCAP’s comprehensive and highly successful review of the UK Advertising Codes.

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New Advertising Codes launched

16 March 2010

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) today launch new UK Advertising Codes, following a comprehensive review and a full public consultation.

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CAP welcomes announcement on extension of CAP Code online

08 March 2010

We welcome the Advertising Association’s (AA) announcement recommending the extension of the CAP Code to cover marketing communications on companies’ own websites.

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Post-conception Advice Services in the BCAP Advertising Code - Delay in BCAP’s regulatory decision

01 March 2010

BCAP announces that its proposal to include a rule in the BCAP Advertising Code about post-conception advice services will be subject to further discussion with Ofcom. This will not delay the launch of the Broadcast Advertising Code scheduled for publishing shortly.

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