Awareness campaign for CAP code starts


Back in September 2010 it was announced that the CAP code used by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will be extended to cover marketing on websites and online paid advertising from 1st March 2010. Since then some advertising businesses have been ensuring these requirements can be met and enforced.

With less than six weeks before this date, ASA are starting an awareness campaign to ensure businesses (and some advertising agencies) are aware of these changes.

Interestingly there is still a loop hole in the CAP code for non UK-Registered websites, as the Code specifically “does not apply to marketing communications in foreign media”. Although EU member states have a self regulatory organisation called EASA (European Advertising Standards Alliance) that co-ordinates cross border complaints, this does not extend to all countries.

However the code makes explicit reference to that fact that it includes all types of online advertising (section 1d), where ‘paid for space’, ‘paid-for search listings’, ‘preferential listings on price comparison sites’ and ‘viral advertisements’ are mentioned.

What does the CAP code cover?

The CAP code includes a range of topics, which sections on misleading advertising, privacy, distance selling and database practice. In common with Google and other advertising companies there are specific sections for advertising of  medicines, gambling, lotteries, alcohol, financial products, tobacco, food supplements and weight control products.

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