Identifying advertising

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

  • Identifying advertising
  • Introduction to the self-regulatory regime
  • What is the role of the CMA?
  • CAP Code rules on identifying advertising
  • Video on-demand
  • Misleading advertising
  • Advertisement features
  • Key CAP Code rules
  • What is an advertisement feature?
  • How should advertorials be labelled?
  • More...

Identifying advertising

The rules applicable to advertising in the UK are found in both legislation and in self-regulatory industry codes of practice. A key principle is that advertising must be obviously identifiable as such.

This Practice Note considers the rules set out in the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) and UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) on identifying advertising and the various labels commonly used for this purpose. It provides an introduction to the self-regulatory regime and considers specific guidance on the application of the CAP Code rules in the context of:

  1. advertisement features

  2. native advertising

  3. affiliate marketing

  4. social media advertising

  5. influencer advertising

  6. podcasts and audio streaming

  7. vlogs and live streaming

  8. reviews, testimonials and endorsements, and

  9. direct marketing

It is important to keep in mind that there will be some cross-over between the specific guidance provided. For example, influencer advertising often consists of advertisement features and affiliate marketing carried out on social media. All guidance relevant to the specific scenario should therefore be considered.

This Practice Note also considers the advertising practices restricted by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, SI 2008/1277 (CPUTR 2008) which form the basis of the self-regulatory rules.

Introduction to the self-regulatory regime

The CAP Code sets out rules for non-broadcast advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing communications.

‘Advertising’ is not defined in the CAP Code. Instead,

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