UK: Advertising practice committees consult on the introduction of new damage and protected features rules
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CAP and BCAP consult new rules on damage and protected features (as defined in the Equality Act 2010). The proposed rules are:
“Marketing communications should not contain anything that could be harmful. To comply with this rule, marketers must pay close attention to the likelihood of harming vulnerable people and the following characteristics: age; handicap; sex change; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race ; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation. “
“Advertisements must not contain any element likely to cause prejudice. To comply with this rule, broadcasters must pay particular attention to the likelihood of harming vulnerable people and the following characteristics: age; handicap; sex change; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race ; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation. “
The committees claim that the work of the ASA system on gender stereotypes, and more recently on racial and ethnic stereotypes, has provided CAP and BCAP with a new opportunity to examine the protection they offer to people with similar characteristics. protected. This work underscored the importance of having a framework in place that allows the CAP and BCAP, and ASA, to respond quickly and flexibly to prevent harm, including to those who share protected characteristics. Such a framework will enable the ASA system to continue its commitment to equality and diversity, and to define the ways in which it fulfills the public sector equality obligation and obligation, under the Law on communications from 2003 to prevent harmful advertising from being included in broadcast services. Instead of having to develop new rules to deal with specific harm to specific groups, the CAP and BCAP consider that global rules, which allow the assessment of new evidence, are faster and more effective in preventing damage while ensuring compliance with governance standards.
The principle that advertisements should not be likely to harm, both generally and specifically, persons sharing protected characteristics is at the heart of the work of CAP and BCAP and ASA. The CAP and BCAP consider that the introduction of explicit rules on damage and protected characteristics in both codes will send a clear message to stakeholders of the standards that the ASA system already applies in practice in its regulatory decision making.
Respondents are invited to indicate whether or not they agree with the proposals and to provide their rationale to [email protected] The consultation ends on August 24, 2021 at 5 p.m. To access the consultation, click on here.
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