Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in June

Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in June

Welcome to the latest edition of top five commercial developments—this month we're looking at June.

Advertising and marketing: ASA publishes annual report

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published its annual report for 2013. It says that 69% of the complaints made in 2013 related to misleading advertising and that it took action on 4,161 advertisements, which were either changed or withdrawn. The key points of the report were that action was taken on:
  • payday loan ads: alongside ASA bans of socially irresponsible advertisements that trivialised taking out a high interest loan, CAP published new guidance for advertisers in the payday loan sector clearly setting out the criteria for preparing their ads in a responsible way
  • copycat websites: the ASA banned several advertisements and claims on websites by companies charging a premium for services such as passport and driving licence renewals which are provided much cheaper or free by government sites. The ASA also commissioned research to help understand how these sites cause confusion and help tackle poor practice
  • theatre ticket pricing: theatre ticket providers were brought into line for failing to include compulsory administrative fees in prices on their websites until late in the purchasing process
  • letting agent fees: action was taken to require all letting agents to be upfront in their ads about non-optional fees, such as reference costs or admin fees, which they charge. Detailed guidance was issued to trade bodies and the lettings sector on how to avoid misleading prospective tenants

Looking forward, the ASA intends to focus on the advertising of e-cigarettes, alcohol scheduling and food advertising to children. It has published a two-part report on children and food advertising.

Advertising and marketing: BCAP launches review on payday lending advertising

The Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice (BCAP) has launched a review of how The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) is being applied to payday loan television advertising to ensure that young people, in particular, continue to be protected. Payday loan advertising has attracted concern across society, including government, media, consumer protection bodies and the public as the use of short-term, high-cost credit has increased during the economic

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