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.
Rule 3.43 states “Marketing communications must not take unfair advantage of the reputation of a competitor’s trade mark, trade name or other distinguishing mark or of the designation of origin of a competing product”. Advertisers should be careful to ensure that they do not use competitor’s names or branding in any way that might mislead consumers about who is supplying the product or service.
In 2012 the ASA ruled that stating “Special Offers on all EPSON Cartridges” in a link but taking consumers to a web page that featured non-Epson products was likely to mislead consumers, because it suggested the products might be manufactured or endorsed by Epson (DVD-and-Media.com, 21 November 2012).
In the same year it also upheld a complaint about the website for Mazda UK Ltd. The name Mazda UK was flanked on either side by an image of wings reminiscent of those in the Mazda Motors UK Ltd logo. Because there was no official connection between Mazda UK and Mazda Motors, the ASA concluded that the ad took unfair advantage of the reputation of Mazda Motors' trademark name, trademark logo and trade name (Mazda UK Ltd, 19 December 2012).