This year, Her Majesty the Queen reaches a landmark 70 years as Head of State and the associated festivities – including a four-day bank holiday- offers marketers a unique opportunity to grant their campaigns a royal sheen. But unless you seek swift dispatch to the Tower, please ensure that your Jubilee ads adhere to these important rules:
Don’t feature the Royals without permission
Whilst you may be tempted to include a depiction of Elizabeth II or the family Windsor in your upcoming campaigns, Rule 6.2 makes clear that members of the Royal Family should not be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission. Incidental references unconnected with the advertised product- such as a generic “Congratulations, Your Majesty” message – may be acceptable, but in general, avoid unless you’ve received the Royal seal of approval.
Souvenirs of The Sovereign must comply with our general rules
Featuring the Queen on your celebratory China set does not absolve marketers from following the rest of the Advertising Codes. In 2012, the ASA banned an ad for a “Prince William Royal Bridegroom Porcelain Doll” on the grounds the image of the doll looked nothing like the product actually being sold.
It’s also worth noting that whilst souvenir products are not, in and of themselves, likely to be considered to imply royal endorsement, care should be taken to ensure the ad doesn’t imply a product is official memorabilia if it is not. 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.
Don’t use the Royal Arms/Emblems or refer to a Royal Warrant without authorisation.
Featuring the Royal Arms or Emblems or referring to a Royal Warrant is likely to imply official endorsement and as such, marketers are strongly advised against doing so, unless they hold relevant permission. Rule 3.52 states that any use of the former is prohibited without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, and any reference to the latter should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association.
For more guidance on how to ensure your non-broadcast ads are problem-free this Jubilee, our Copy Advice Team won’t take 70 years to provide free, fast and bespoke advice.
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