Final countdown for new Advertising Codes
18 August 2010
Final countdown to new Advertising Codes
The ASA is giving advertisers a final reminder that new Advertising Codes will come into effect on 1 September. The Codes maintain the general principles that ads should be legal, decent, honest and truthful but include enhanced protections for consumers, and in particular children.
The Codes were subject to a root and branch review followed by a full public consultation last year in order to ensure they remain effective and relevant for the future; protecting consumers and allowing responsible advertising to flourish. The ASA will continue to administer the new rules robustly on behalf of the public and advertisers.
What will this mean for consumers? The vast majority of ads in the UK adhere to the rules. But occasionally ads appear that prompt complaints. The new Codes have been brought fully up-to-date, so that they remain relevant and fit for purpose for the future. In some areas, the consumer protection offered by the Codes has been strengthened, providing the ASA with greater scope to respond to consumer concerns and keep advertising standards high.
Notably, for the first time, an over-arching social responsibility rule for TV and radio has been introduced – this reflects a rule that has existed for a long time for other media and provides a catch-all for the unexpected or unintended. New stricter rules provide further protections for children, for example a new scheduling restriction will prevent ads for age-restricted computer and console games from appearing around programmes made for, or likely to appeal particularly to them. While a new section on environmental claims will provide greater clarity for the public on what ‘green’ terms are likely to be acceptable.
The day to day work of the ASA will remain unchanged. But when dealing with complaints we will be applying tough but proportionate new rules so that consumers can continue to have confidence in the ads they see.
The new Advertising Codes can be found on the CAP website.