In 2004, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the broadcast arm of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) assumed responsibility for the day-to-day regulation of broadcast advertisements. Ofcom entrusted BCAP and the ASA with that responsibility in recognition of CAP and the ASA’s successful regulation of non-broadcast advertisements.

BCAP is responsible for maintaining the Broadcast Advertising Standards Codes, which include rules on the content and scheduling of broadcast advertisements. The present television and radio advertising standards Codes were last reviewed in their entirety over six years ago; the television Codes in 2002 and the radio code in 2000. 

While the Codes have changed since then in response to changes in society they are otherwise unchanged from those published by the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority.

BCAP considers it is timely to conduct a major review of the broadcast Advertising Standards Codes to ensure the rules for broadcast advertisements are up-to-date and fit for purpose.

BCAP proposes to add to, delete, replace or amend existing rules in line with its general policy objectives. But proposed changes to the existing Codes are the exception and not the norm; most of BCAP’s proposed Code includes standards established in the existing Codes, which have stood the test of time and continue to offer necessary protection for the public and a level playing field for the broadcast advertising industry.

As digital broadcast media converge, it is important, where justified, to have greater consistency in the setting of standards for broadcast advertisements. BCAP therefore proposes a single, user-friendly Code covering TV and radio advertisements for the benefit of the public and the broadcast advertising industry. The interpretation of the Code will continue to take into account the particular characteristics of TV and radio and other contextual factors that determine whether a broadcast advertisement complies with the Code.

The new consolidated BCAP Code was published in March 2010. Relevant documents along with all non-confidential responses to the consultation and our evaluation of them are published here.

Supporting documents:

  BCAP Code review consultation overview.pdf

  BCAP Code review consultation Annex 1.pdf
  BCAP Code review consultation Addendum.pdf
  BCAP Code review consultation Annex 2.pdf
  BCAP Code review annex 3.doc

Evaluation tables:

  BCAP Evaluation Section 1 Compliance.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 2 Recognition of Advertising.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 3 Misleading.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 4 Harm and Offence.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 5 Children.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 6 Privacy.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 7 Political and Controversial Issues.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 8 Distance Selling.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 9 Environmental Claims.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 10 Prohibited Categories.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 11 Medicines.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 12 Weight Control and Slimming.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 13 Food.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 14 Financial products.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 15 Faith, Religion and Equivalent Systems of Belief.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 16 Charities.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 17 and 18 Gambling and Lotteries.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 19 Alcohol.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 20 Motoring.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 22 Premium Rate Services.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 24 Homework Schemes.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 25 Instructional Courses.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 27 Intro and dating.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 28 Competitions.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 31 Other Categories of Radio Advertisements that Require Central Copy Clearance.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 32 Scheduling.pdf
  BCAP Evaluation Section 33 Other.pdf  


  BCAP Business Responses A.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses B.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses C.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses C - part2.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses D.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses E-F.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses G.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses L.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses M.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses N.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses P.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses Q-S.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses R.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses T.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses U-V.pdf
  BCAP Business responses W.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses Y.pdf
  BCAP Business Responses Y-2.pdf

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