CAP have given guidance on what they actually cover

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With the marketing world constantly evolving, new guidance has recently been issued on just what media are covered by the CAP Code. The Code is the rule book for all non-broadcast advertisements, promotions and direct marketing communications in the UK and is then enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority.

So exactly what media are covered by the Code?

  1. All publications and printed material -this includes third party adverts, leaflets, inserts, advertorials, brochures, catalogues and even carrier bags
  2. All Direct Marketing – including postal mailings, text messages, emails and recorded messages
  3. All Outdoor adverts – Posters, billboards and any ‘paid-for’ spaces like ATMs, till receipts, taxis and buses and even beer mats
  4. Online – Video and music streaming services and platforms, pop-up ads, PayPerClick listings and promoted posts on social media. All online ‘advertorial’ content including vlogs, blogs and social media posts. Online space that is ‘not-paid for’ is monitored such as a brand’s own website, social media pages and viral marketing is covered too
  5. All cinema ads – Ads shown in cinemas but not TV and Radio adverts (these are covered by the similar, but not identical BCAP Code)
  6. Miscellaneous – Affiliate marketing, targeted online behaviour advertising and promotional marketing in non-broadcast media such as on-pack offers or instore leaflets, are covered too.

So, that’s pretty much everything – apart from perhaps Editorial and PR, which is unpaid media coverage. Marketing communications in foreign media are not covered but the ASA can take action where the material targets UK consumers.

Within the CAP Code is Section 8 on Promotional marketing. A summary of the key rules promoters should always follow includes:

  • Run promotions fairly and be clear on who is responsible for what
  • Consider the suitability of the promotion for the target audience and media
  • Be aware of the specific rules for free offers
  • Be clear on the difference between a gift and a prize
  • Meet the requirements regarding availability
  • Provide terms and conditions at the right time and make sure they cover all the key points
  • Plan ahead to avoid the risks of changing terms or disappointing consumers

Every promotion that the team at PromoVeritas run is driven by a desire to ensure compliance with the Code and to protect the reputation and budgets of our brand and agency clients. No-one wants a very public negative ASA ruling. For a fuller picture of the types of material that Advertising Standards Authority can regulate click here or contact PromoVeritas for regular updates and advice on +44 203 325 6000 or email



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