Who: The Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”)
Where: England and Wales
When: 14 October 2014
Law stated as at: 10 November
The Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”), which writes the ASA-enforced CAP UK Code of Non broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (“CAP Code”), has decided to restrict the CAP Code’s remit in relation to “offline” marketing communications of causes and ideas.
It will extend only to ads appearing in “paid for space”, except where the communication includes a direct solicitation for donations. Wording to this effect has been inserted into the Introduction to the CAP Code. As it largely reflects this approach already, CAP’s online remit as regards causes and ideas marketing will not be changed.
The decision comes after a two year pilot of the Online Remit Extension (the “ORE”), and a review announced in 2010 into the advantages and disadvantages of continuing to regulate marketing communications for causes and ideas, in all media.
The ORE, which came into effect in March 2011, extended the ASA’s remit to advertisers’ marketing communications on their own websites and other non paid-for space under their control. Prior to the ORE, the only online advertising content that was covered by the CAP code and regulated by the ASA, were paid-for banner ads and online promotions. The extension to non paid-for space did not include online marketing of causes and ideas, except where it included direct solicitations of donations or fund-raising.
As a result of CAP’s decision, which took effect from 14 October 2014,if a marketing communication for causes or ideas appears in space that has been paid for, or the communication contains a direct solicitation of donations, the CAP Code will apply. “Paid-for” space includes donated space, as this space would usually attract commercial value.
The decision will be subject to a 12 month review. In the meantime, CAP no longer accepts complaints received in relation to marketing of causes and ideas in non-paid for space.
Why this matters:
The change is logical as it brings the ASA’s off line and online remits into alignment in the area of cause or idea marketing.