Between November 2014 and January 2015, CAP and BCAP consulted publicly on proposals to remove their distance selling rules. The rules fall into two general categories: rules relating to pre-contractual information; and rules relating to post-contractual matters.

CAP and BCAP proposed the removal of both categories of rule on the basis that the rules preventing misleading advertising effectively govern information requirements for ads, and that post-contractual matters are not strictly speaking advertising issues; low levels of complaint persuaded BCAP that consumers already seek redress elsewhere in case of difficulty.

These changes do not remove consumers’ legal rights / protections but distance selling is no longer covered by the Ad Codes, and, therefore, the ASA will no longer look into complaints in this area.

Trading Standards has responsibility for enforcing distance selling legislation, and continues to do so, and the ASA will refer complainants to Trading Standards in cases where they raise distance selling issues.

CAP and BCAP have welcomed responses to their consultation from the Trading Standards Institute and National Trading Standards Board indicating support for both proposals. Our evaluation of all responses to the consultations can be found here. CAP and BCAP have decided to make the proposed changes to the Codes, and they will take effect from today.

For more details around the original consultations, evaluation of responses and regulatory statements, see our Closed Consultations area.

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