Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in October

Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in October

The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in (in case you hadn't noticed): time for this month’s October update, highlighting news and developments in October which affect commercial lawyers.

Consumer protection: Consumer Rights Bill due to come into force on 1 October 2015

The Department for Business and Skills has published a brief summary of plans to implement the measures in the Consumer Rights Bill, ahead of the legislation coming into force on 1 October 2015, pending Parliament's approval.

It confirms that training and advice to local and national enforcers will be provided in due course to assist businesses in implementing the new law. Guidance is due in April 2015.

Advertising and marketing: CAP amends remit for cause-related marketing

The Committee on Advertising Practice has reviewed its remit for ‘offline’ causes and ideas marketing and decided to restrict it to include only causes and ideas marketing that appears in paid-for space, except where the marketing includes a direct solicitation of donations.

This decision will itself be subject to a 12 month review and took effect from 14 October 2014. It does not affect CAP's online remit over causes and ideas. In 2010, CAP committed to reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of continuing to regulate marketing communications, in all media, for causes and ideas after a two-year pilot period of its online remit extension.

The concept of causes and ideas marketing is a wide one, and the ASA examines a diverse range of marketing material under its current remit, including, for example:

  • environment-related campaigning leaflets (eg anti-wind farm and other developments);
  • government health and safety campaigns (eg posters to promote giving up smoking or prevent drink-driving);
  • marketing by charities and pressure groups (eg websites soliciting donations or posters encouraging people to espouse certain charitable or political causes); and
  • various other categories of causes and ideas marketing.

CAP says that it assessed various options against its existing policy objectives,

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