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 Advertising Standards Authority.

Marketers should ensure that any ads for ladders or stepladders do not depict or condone an unsafe practice. In 2010, the ASA investigated an ad for a ladder in which a man was shown working at roof height without a secured base. Although the advertiser stated the ladder was shown on a concrete floor, and explained that the product was a full four-section ladder with a lock hinge (which should be used as detailed in the ad), the ASA was concerned that the ladder was not obviously secured, and the man was shown to be working on a small platform without any means to prevent him falling off from either side. The complaint was upheld (Easylife Group Ltd, 24 March 2010).

Additionally, the ASA has investigated and upheld complaints about ads for ladder stabilisers that it felt condoned unsafe practices. CAP understands that if a free-standing ladder fitted with a stabiliser is used on soft or uneven ground, safety measures should be taken, such as placing flat hardwood under the legs. Marketers should be careful not to imply, either in claims or visually, that a free-standing ladder fitted with a stabiliser can be used on uneven or soft ground (such as grass) without taking precautions (Postbox Mail Order Ltd, 16 November 2005).

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