Advertising law and regulation
Advertising law and regulation

The following TMT practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Advertising law and regulation
  • Regulatory regime overview
  • Non-broadcast advertising
  • Scope of the CAP Code
  • Essential definitions in the CAP Code
  • Key points of the CAP Code
  • Broadcast advertising
  • Scope of the BCAP Code
  • Important definitions in the BCAP Code
  • Key points of the BCAP Code
  • More...

This Practice Note introduces the laws and regulations governing advertising in general and covers:

  1. Regulatory regime overview

  2. Non-broadcast advertising

  3. Broadcast advertising

  4. Complaints under the CAP and BCAP Codes

  5. Informal resolution of complaints

  6. Sanctions under the CAP and BCAP Codes

  7. What happens if the ASA gets it wrong?

  8. Making changes to the Codes

  9. Direct marketing

  10. Sales promotions

  11. Ambush marketing

  12. Intellectual property rights

  13. Sector advertising

There are various sector-specific rules on advertising, which are addressed in Practice Note: Sector advertising law and regulation.

Regulatory regime overview

The rules applicable to advertising in the UK are found in both legislation and in self-regulatory industry codes of practice, primarily the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) and UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) (explained below).

The main pieces of current legislation are currently:

  1. the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, SI 2008/1277 (CPUTR 2008), and

  2. the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008, SI 2008/1276 (BPR 2008)

For more detailed information on these Regulations, see Practice Notes: Unfair trading with consumers and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008. In summary, the rules deal with issues such as price advertising, false or misleading advertising and comparative advertising.

The self-regulatory framework is very important in the UK, although in the area of broadcast advertising it is carried out under the statutory regime governed by the Communications Act

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