12 February 2011

A decent website?

Advertising code extended to all websites

The Code of Advertising Practice is being applied to all websites from 1 March. I blogged this week about the legal requirements for your website, but now it also has to follow the Code if it directly promotes products or services to consumers (including businesses) in the UK. That includes a Facebook page or LinkedIn company page.
You may think that all your promotional material is already legal, decent, honest and truthful, but do you hold documentary evidence to prove all claims that are likely to be regarded as objective? Is it clear that opinions are not intended to be objective claims?
For a start, very few law firm websites don’t claim to be a “leading” practice!
Some parts of the Code go beyond the content of advertisements: for instance products ordered must generally be delivered in 30 days, and the CAP duplicates and extends some parts of the Distance Selling Regulations, and brings in general obligations to treat customers fairly – and appears to apply them to business-to-business sales. Of course it does not have the force of law – its terms are enforced by the Committee of Advertising Practice through advertising industry sanctions, so it does not give customers direct contractual rights. But an adverse finding could be highly embarrassing. Remember, many complaints come from competitors!

1 comment:

  1. The way the Code will be applied to companies' own websites is underlined by the adjudication against TripAdvisor when the ASA said "reviews you can trust", "honest travel reviews" from "real travelers" were misleading because they could not be substantiated, and TripAdvisor have been told not to claim or even imply that their reviews "were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted": http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2012/2/TripAdvisor-LLC/SHP_ADJ_166867.aspx


enter your comment or greeting