Dorothy Agnew

Member Article

Advertising advice available from Hampshire law firm

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently ruled that travel consumer review website Tripadvisor should not have implied that all the reviews featured on its website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted. As a result, Moore Blatch solicitors are offering advice to local businesses to help them comply with current advertising laws.

Solicitor Dorothy Agnew said, “Any business which undertakes non broadcast advertising must ensure their messages comply with something known as the CAP code, or they risk adverse publicity and other sanctions used by the ASA, such as the refusal of advertising space.”

The ASA administers the code set out by the UK Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), also known as the CAP Code, which applies to all non broadcast advertising, sales promotions and direct marketing. They adjudicate decisions for non-compliance with the code, and have the authority to refer an organisation to the Director General of Fair Trading.

The code contains a wide range of rules designed to ensure that advertising does not mislead, harm or offend customers, is socially responsible and is prepared in line with the principles of fair competition. Any advertising on the internet must also be compliant or the company responsible risks being named and shamed by the ASA, as seen in the ruling involving Tripadvisor.

The CAP Code is continually reviewed and updated, and in 2011 the digital remit was extended to cover advertisements and other marketing communications on a company’s own website, or in other non-paid-for space online under their control.

Dorothy continued, “The range of advertising types set out in the CAP code apply to a range of businesses and it’s important that they ensure their public messages comply with these rules as well as other advertising legislation. The changes to the code were made over a year ago and now cover online advertising and marketing, and with most businesses having some form of internet presence it’s vital they review their practices. At Moore Blatch we can help with advice on how to actively promote your company’s messages in line with the current legal framework.”

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Liz Pusey .

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