Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in August

Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in August

Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January (Hal Borland)

January? Most of us are back in the office and accounting for the lazy days of summer now. Meetings are starting to take over diaries like an infestation of Japanese knotweed and, to the surprise of many, telephone calls are actually getting answered.

Things are getting done.

So, before you get too excited and start to tick off everything on your 'to do' list, take 5 to check out August's top 5 commercial law developments:

Advertising and marketing law: CAP removes distance-selling rules from the CAP Code

Between November 2014 and January 2015, the committees on non-broadcast (the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP)) and broadcast advertising (BCAP) consulted on proposals to remove the distance-selling rules from the UK Codes of Non-broadcast and Broadcast Advertising.

The CAP and the BCAP proposed removing the distance-selling rules from the Codes because:

  • the rules preventing misleading advertising effectively govern information requirements for advertisements,
  • post-contractual matters are not strictly speaking advertising issues, and
  • low levels of complaint persuaded the BCAP that consumers already seek redress elsewhere.

Following the consultation, the CAP and the BCAP have removed the distance-selling rules from the Codes with effect from 6 August 2015.

The changes do not affect consumers' statutory rights but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will no longer look into complaints in this area.

Advertising and marketing: CAP launches new vlogging guidance

The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotions and Direct Marketing (the Cap Code) provides that advertisements must be obviously identifiable as such. Therefore, if a video blogger or vlogger is paid to promote a product or service and an advertiser controls the message, it becomes an advertisement.

New guidance from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) clarifies that if vloggers are advertising, they must be upfront and clearly signpost the fact.

The guidance aims to help vloggers better understand how and when the advertising rules apply to their vlogs, and comes in response to calls for greater clarity from vloggers about when material in vlogs becomes advertising and how they can make this clear.

The CAP guidance follows an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling in 2014 in which several vlogs, in which there was a commercial relationship between the advertiser and the vloggers, were found to be misleading because they did not make clear to consumers that they were advertisements.

The guidance provides a non-exhaustive list of vlogging scenarios with pr

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