Trading Standards act on behalf of consumers and business, and advise on and enforce laws that govern the way we buy, sell and rent goods and services.
Trading Standards Officers investigate complaints about commercial organisations and, if all else fails, prosecute traders who break the law. The Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards team has been appointed by National Trading Standards to enforce advertising rules nationally.
Trading Standards acts as our legal ‘backstop’ for non-broadcast advertising. This means failure of an advertiser to comply with an ASA ruling, could result in them being referred to Trading Standards, who have the power to take legal action amongst other sanctions.
The ASA can and will refer advertisers to Trading Standards when they’re unwilling or unable to follow our rules, and our other self-regulatory sanctions have not brought them into line.
It is the ASA’s decision whether or not to make a referral to Trading Standards, where the ASA’s sanctions have not deterred a marketer from continuing with misleading advertising. It is then Trading Standards’ independent decision whether or not to investigate or take any enforcement action, in accordance with their own enforcement policy and administrative functions, in line with our Case Handling Principles (for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland).