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.
Members of the Royal Family should not normally be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission but an incidental reference unconnected with the advertised product, or a reference to material such as a book, article or film about a member of the Royal Family, may be acceptable (Rule 6.2).
Implying Royal endorsement of products or services is misleading in the absence of the relevant authorisation and permissions. Marketing communications must not use the Royal Arms or Emblems without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s office. References to a Royal Warrant should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association (Rule 3.52). Marketers may wish to consider consulting the Lord Chamberlain’s Office’s website for more specific guidance about what is and what is not permitted by the Crown.
Advertisements for souvenir products are not, in and of themselves, likely to be considered to imply a Royal endorsement, although care should be taken in the copy to ensure that the ad does not imply that a souvenir product is official memorabilia. In light of rule 6.2, we would advise against using images which have been provided for souvenirs or other specific uses in marketing communications for unrelated products.
As always, advertisers must ensure that advertising for souvenir products connected to the Royal Family is not misleading. In October 2012 the ASA upheld a complaint against an ad for a Prince William Royal Bridegroom Porcelain Doll because the image in the ad was found not to be an accurate representation of the product and therefore breached the Code (The Bradford Exchange Ltd t/a The Ashton-Drake Galleries, 10 October 2012). There is no minimum number of complaints required to spark an investigation. However, advertisers should be aware that the popularity of such products can result in a higher level of complaints if something goes wrong (Associated Newspapers Ltd, 29 August 2012).