Images on www.britainfirst.org, a website for a political party, and an ad on Facebook:
a. The website 'Shop' page included pictures of various products, including an embroidered baseball cap, a beanie hat, a hoody, a members' only jacket and three polo shirt designs. The design on each item of clothing included the political party's logo with an image of the Royal Crown above it. One product, the "Embroidered British Crest Polo Shirt", also included an image of Scottish Royal Arms. The product pages for each item included a larger picture of the clothing.
b. The ad on Facebook stated "ATTENTION ALL CARD CARRYING MEMBERS! As a member you are entitled to order an 'official' members only jacket at the subsidised price ...". A picture of the jacket, the design of which included the party logo and Royal Crown, was shown above the text.
An internet user challenged whether the pictures showing the design on the clothing in ads (a) and (b) breached the CAP Code, because they understood the advertiser was not entitled to use images of the Royal Crown and Scottish Royal Arms.
Britain First did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Britain First's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We understood from the Cabinet Office that the Lord Chamberlain's Office, responsible for authorising official use of the Royal Crown and Scottish Arms, had not granted permission for Britain First to use the Royal emblems on their merchandising. The design on the clothing was clearly visible on the website pages and in the ad on Facebook and, because we had seen no evidence to show that Britain First was entitled to use the emblems, we considered that the images of the Royal Crown and Scottish Arms had been used without prior permission and therefore breach the Code.
The advertising breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.52 3.52 Marketing communications must not use the Royal Arms or Emblems without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain's office. References to a Royal Warrant should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders' Association. (Endorsements and testimonials).
The ad must not appear again in its present form. We told Britain First not to use images of the Royal Crown and Scottish Arms in their advertising unless they held appropriate official authorisation that allowed them to do so.