Q&As

When can I say in my advertising that something is ‘new’?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Hart of Institute of Promotional Marketing
Published on LexisPSL on 15/02/2019

The following TMT Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Hart of Institute of Promotional Marketing provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When can I say in my advertising that something is ‘new’?

When can I say in my advertising that something is ‘new’?

Care must be taken when using the word ‘new’ in advertising. It may mean, for example, that a product is:

  1. completely new and has never been marketed before

  2. newly available to a particular retailer (but not new in itself), or

  3. newly available in the UK

The usual requirements in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, SI 2008/1277 and the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing that advertising should not be misleading apply. See Practice Note: Consumer protection from unfair trading. Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) has issued specific guidance on using the word ‘new’ and has stated that it will use common sense when advising on the issue. It does not appear to be a particularly topical issue in terms of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as the examples set out in the guidance are quite old.

As a rough rule of thumb, CAP advises that the word ‘new’ should be used only when the product or service has been sold for 12 months or for a shorter time. However, the position depends on the nature of the product being advertised and the marketplace in which the marketer operates.

For example, in a fast-moving market such as computing where upgrades and product developments happen quickly and often, 12

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