Presentation on theme: "Food and Drink Innovation Network 11 th December 2007 Maria Donde Committee of Advertising Practice A guide to the advertising rules and regulations for."— Presentation transcript:
Food and Drink Innovation Network 11 th December 2007 Maria Donde Committee of Advertising Practice A guide to the advertising rules and regulations for the food industry
This morning: 1.How is advertising regulated? 2.Key principles of advertising regulation and factual, health related claims: knowing the rules 3.Functional foods: Significant ASA decisions 4.Help and advice for advertisers and marketers
How is advertising regulated?
Two separate industry bodies that write and enforce the codes of practice ASA Broadcast Regulates TV and radio ads under contract from Ofcom ASA Non-Broadcast Independent of Ofcom, operates as it has done for over 40 years Basbof Broadcast Advertising Standards Board of Finance Asbof Advertising Standards Board of Finance Rules on complaints about ads in all media The CAP Code TV and Radio advertising standards codes
ASA & CAP Advertising Standards Authority Operates a one-stop shop for advertising complaints Investigates complaints under the advertising codes Publishes adjudications online Independent of the industry and government Committee of Advertising Practice Members are trade and professional organisations of the advertising and sales promotion industry Creates, reviews and amends the advertising codes Co-ordinates sanctions (with ASA) to ensure compliance with the codes
Media owners Advertisers Advertising Agencies Write the Codes Take action against offenders Pay for the ASA The role of CAP/BCAP
How we’re funded Levy collected by ASBOF / BASBOF Independent of ASA 0.1% levy on ad spend 0.2% on mailsort contracts
The ASA at work
The ASA’s remit We cover Print and press ads Posters Direct mail Television and radio ads Competitions, special offers and text messages Banners and pop-ups Teleshopping Cinema commercials Promotions Some virals We don’t cover xPackaging xShop windows xWebsites xTelephone calls xFlyposting xClassified ads xStatutory / public notes xPress releases xPolitical ads (election campaigns)
Complaints & Investigations Approx 26,000 received each year 49% non-broadcast, 51% broadcast Assessed against the advertising codes No minimum number of complaints required Complainant’s identity is not revealed unless they have a competitive or other interest If case to answer, ASA contacts advertiser. Informal Investigation Formal Investigation
Lord Smith ASA Council
Sanctions Adverse publicity Media refusal Withdrawal of trading privileges – including Mailsort Contracts Disqualification from industry awards Industry pressure Poster pre-vetting Referral to Office of Fair Trading / Ofcom
The Codes BCAP TV Advertising Standards Code; Rules on the Scheduling of TV Ads; Code for Text Services (Teletext), Guidance for Interactive TV Services; Advertising Guidance Notes BCAP Radio Advertising Standards Code CAP Code of (Non-broadcast) Advertising, Sales Promotions and Direct Marketing
Basic principles Advertising should be : Legal Decent Honest Truthful Socially responsible Clearly identifiable as marketing communications
How are the Codes different? Harm, offence, misleadingess – no real difference Product categories: CAP Code - statutory restrictions only, e.g. tobacco, prescription only medicines BCAP Codes – because of the power and intrusiveness of broadcast advertising, additional restrictions on TV/Radio, e.g.: guns, pornography, most betting and gaming
Legality CAP Code clause 50.11: Medicines must have a marketing authorisation from the MHRA before they are marketed and any claims made for products must conform with the authorisation. Medicinal claims should not be made for unauthorised products. Marketing communications should refer to the MHRA, the authorisation or the EC only if required to do so by the MHRA. TV and Radio codes similar rules (8.2.3 AND Section 3, 4.5 and 12) Food law administered by TSOs Medicines law administered by the MHRA New EC Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods
Men in white coats Men in white costs = permission to believe Complicated pseudo-scientific explanations of what a product is or how it works, including technical diagrams and language, can mislead. It MAY be acceptable, but this approach carries risks and scheduling restrictions apply to certain broadcast ads for vitamins and dietary supplements. It may also be a problem for general advertising of functional foods.
Misleadingness & Substantiation No ad may mislead directly or by implication, exaggeration, ambiguity or omission Advertisers / broadcasters must hold evidence to support all claims before publication / broadcast Ads should be presented in a way that makes clear they are commercial communications
Substantiation Clause 50.1 “Medical and scientific claims … should be backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people … Substantiation will be assessed by the ASA on the basis of the available scientific knowledge” CAP Help Note on Substantiation for Health, Beauty and Slimming Claims (see
Prove it Consumer surveys won’t prove a scientific claim General evidence for health benefits of a food or food ingredient may not be acceptable for a specific product Claims to maintain health need a high level of proof including (independent) product-specific tests, controlled and double-blinded Medicinal claims for unlicensed products are prohibited
Help Note on Substantiation… Collate data to form a body of evidence (the “totality” of evidence is important) when proving “new” or “breakthrough” claims (pt. 3) Evidence should normally include at least one adequately controlled experimental human study (pt. 3.3) If studies have not been published in reputable, peer- reviewed journals, an objective review should be carried out by a suitable qualified expert (pt. 3.4) Name of expert and review made available on request
ASA’s/CAP’s Use of Experts Sufficiently qualified to offer an impartial, competent and considered view Attempt to reflect generally accepted expert opinion Criticisms of our reviews are welcomed, so long as they’re objective Meeting between experts a possibility if disagreement on subjective interpretation of data
References to Ailments Clause 50.3 “Marketers should not discourage essential treatment. They should not offer specific advice on, diagnosis of or treatment for serious or prolonged conditions unless it is conducted under the supervision of a doctor or other suitably qualified health professional.” CAP Help Note on Health, Beauty and Slimming Advertisements that refer to Ailments (see
Dairy Crest “More Omega 3 may enhance some children’s concentration and learning”.
UK Tea Council
Hero – Fruit 2 day
EC Regulation & the ASA: Some Questions How will the new regulations affect the ASA? How do the Codes reflect legislation? Will they change? How will this effect the industry?
Getting help, staying informed and working together
You: The Industry CAP and BCAP are not closed organisations Committee members attend meetings and agree Code policy and development issues. CAP and BCAP Members include ISBA, IPA Broadcasters, Royal Mail, trade bodies etc.. Industry guidance is sought through the CAP panels: General Media Panel; Sales Promotion and Direct Response Panel.
Code changes Arise from: - Significant public concerns - Consumer standards and expectations - Nature of the medium - Forthcoming Code Review
Broadcast Advertising BCAP does not advise on individual ads (but can offer a broad interpretation of code rules) TV: BACC clears scripts and commercials for the majority of channels. A few channels clear their own ads Radio: talk to RACC All codes at
CAP Copy Advice Service - Free - Confidential - Fast (within 24 hours) - Help to avoid future problems with the ASA - We’ll support your case to the ASA The team will look at past ASA adjudications, CAP Compliance work and previous advice to provide guidance on the likely acceptability of the copy in question.
Help Notes Provide a comprehensive guide to a given sector or issue, for example: - Substantiation - Ailments - Advertising Food to Children All are available on our website: notes/
Advice Online A regularly updated searchable database of advice for non- broadcast marketing communications. Entries will change with landmark decisions by ASA. Visit our website to search the database:
Free quarterly newsletter News on High profile and landmark ASA Adjudications Code changes and developments Compliance Reports Common problems and how to avoid them Training and Events, including Advice:am seminars Subscribe at