To keep the non-broadcast (CAP) and broadcast (BCAP) advertising codes up to date, the Committee of Advertising Practice has recently published revised versions. Changes to the financial and political ad rules are included.
Updates to CAP and BCAP Codes
Osborne Clarke London
The bodies responsible for the UK's advertising codes, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), and its equivalent for TV and radio the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have recently made technical updates to their Codes to reflect recent changes in the law.
The areas which have been amended which are of significant interest cover the rules relating to financial and political advertisements.
The CAP Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing ("CAP Code") governs non-broadcast advertising and the BCAP TV and Radio Advertising Standards Codes govern TV and radio ads ("BCAP Codes").
1. Amendments to Financial Rules
Part 53 (Financial Products) of the CAP Code now refers marketers to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005. Moreover, the CAP Code has been updated so as to emphasise that the FSA does not provide pre-publication advice on proposed financial marketing communications and that technical guidance is only available on specific matters or rule interpretation only.
For more information on this service, readers are recommended to contact the FSA Financial Promotions Review and Remediation team (see www.fsa.gov.uk).
As for the BCAP Codes, these now state that financial TV channels may advertise a prospectus approved by another EU regulatory authority for the purposes of the EU Prospectus Directive 2003/71/EC and Prospectus Regulation 2004/809/EC.
Changes have also been made in relation to rules on credit and lending advertisements. The CAP Code and the BCAP Codes now state that advertisers must comply with the Consumer Credit (Advertisements) Regulations 2004. Should the advertisements involve distance marketing, the advertisements now must also comply with the Financial Services (Distance Marketing) Regulations 2004.
In terms of financial promotions, all the updated codes now refer to the FSA Handbook, which states that they must be "clear, fair and not misleading" and has much more to say on the topic as well.
2. Amendments to Political Rules
The specific roles of ASA and CAP relating to political advertising issues has also been clarified in the recent updates. The Codes now clearly state that the setting of standards and investigation of complaints in relation to political advertising have not been contracted out to BCAP and the ASA and remain matters for Ofcom. The ASA refers complaints about political advertising to Ofcom.
The fully updated Codes are effective immediately and can be found on the CAP website on www.cap.org.uk