Ad description

An unsolicited direct mailing for Top-Cote, seen 26 March 2016, was delivered in a plain white envelope. Inside, a leaflet promoted protective wall coatings.


Stop Junk Mail, a not for profit organisation, challenged whether the ad was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.


Wallshield (UK) Ltd t/a Top-Cote did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.



The ASA was concerned by Top-Cote’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 response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such. We noted that the envelope was completely blank, and contained no text to alert recipients to the fact that it contained a marketing communication. Therefore, we concluded that the ad was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and was in breach of the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule  2.1 2.1 Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such.  (Recognition of marketing communications).


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Top-Cote to ensure their marketing communications were obviously identifiable as such.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.7     2.1    

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