Who: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
Where: United Kingdom
When: 27 March 2020
Law stated as at: 2 April 2020
The ASA has set out guidance on the key “dos” and “don’ts” when referring to the Royal family in ads.
In particular, members of the Royal Family should not be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission. Marketers must not claim or imply that a product or service is either endorsed by the Royal Family or affiliated with Royal events if it is not.
There are very limited exceptions to requiring permission, which include incidental references unconnected with the advertised product, such as a general reference to a Royal event that has taken place, or references to material such as a book, article or film about a member of the Royal Family.
Featuring the Royal Arms or Emblems, or referring to a Royal Warrant, is likely to be seen as implying or claiming an endorsement, and marketers must have obtained prior permission from the Lord Chamberlains’ Office References or the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association to do so.
Marketers must ensure that ads for souvenir products do not imply a product is official memorabilia if it is not.
Why this matters:
While this does not change any of the existing rules, the guidance is a good reminder that marketers must be careful not to contravene the ASA’s rules on referring to members of the Royal Family or Royal occasions.