As is the case with just about everything, with advertising comes the legal side of things. When planning or creating an advertisement for your brand, be it an advanced television advert or an ad you aim to be placed across free ad-supported platforms like TikTok, you must obey and comply with advertising rules and regulations which are set out and monitored by advertising agencies.
However, there is no need to worry! We are here to outline all you need to know about the rules and regulations of advertising so that you understand completely which rules are in place when planning an advertising campaign, as well as how you can follow them to avoid any consequences.
Complying with advertising regulations
More often than not, advertising guidelines and standards are relatively straightforward to comply with. You probably won’t need to worry too much about them as long as your ad is morally right, legal, decent, honest, and truthful. Any statements you make about your product or service must adhere to an abundance of rules, regardless of the media you use.
In the UK, advertising regulations are overseen by two governing committees, one for broadcast advertising, such as linear or advanced television, and the other for non-broadcast advertising. The creation, revision, and enforcement of the advertising codes of practice are under the jurisdiction of both.
Who regulates advertising?
In the UK, advertising is regulated through a combination of codes of practice and laws. The independent advertising regulator in the UK is called the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA’s sibling organisation, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), is in charge of creating the Advertising Codes. The ASA and CAP are dedicated to enforcing regulations in a manner that is open, reasonable, focused, uniform, and responsible.
Advertising Standards Authority
All UK advertising throughout all media and channels is governed by the ASA. For non-broadcast advertising, the approach combines self-regulation with co-regulation for broadcast advertising. They take measures to outlaw offensive or misleading advertisements in response to consumer complaints and concerns. They also monitor ads to ensure they’re abiding by the guidelines in addition to reacting to complaints. The ASA enforces two codes: the CAP code and the BCAP code
Advertising codes: CAP BCAP
The CAP Code covers non-broadcast advertising, such as direct marketing, online ads and press ads, while the BCAP Code covers the rules and regulations for broadcast advertising. Since the BCAP code outlines rules for broadcast advertising, this includes both ads that are broadcast on TV and radio. The ASA does not take into account how many complaints an advertisement has received when determining whether it violates the CAP Code or BCAP Code standards.
Advertisers are given the chance to present proof that the advertising was published as intended if the ASA decides to look into a complaint. If the problem is severe, the ASA may order the marketer to stop broadcasting or halt publishing the advertisement until the inquiry is finished.
So, now that you know the basics of the rules and regulations for advertising, you have the tools you need to ensure that your ads are compliant with all the necessary codes and laws.