Advertising Law

Our experts guide our public and private sector clients through the swiftly evolving legal landscape of advertising law.

Our support covers the full spectrum, from strategic planning and execution to defending adverts in the context of regulatory investigations and complaints.

Clients value our commercial perspective, our experience in navigating novel legal issues, and developing strategies to achieve their business goals.

We advise on all facets of advertising, marketing, and promotions, including:

  • Advising clients on regulatory compliance and commercial matters related to their advertising strategies.
  • Supporting clients with advertising disputes, encompassing both customer and competitor complaints, with assistance throughout the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) complaints procedure.
  • Understanding UK Advertising Codes which lay down rules for advertisers and media owners to follow, including the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) and the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (CAP Code).
  • Contesting numerous ASA decisions, including through recourse to the Independent Reviewer.
  • Contesting enforcement actions by the CAP.
  • Advising clients on the application and impact of targeted regulatory interventions, including The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021 and other legal measures and rules aimed at restricting the promotion and marketing of foods classified as HFSS (high fat, salt, and/or sugar).
  • Assisting clients in engaging with Trading Standards and the Competition and Markets Authority concerning consumer protection issues.
  • Helping clients to understand the rules about ‘green’ claims or claims about environmental sustainability.

 

  • Advising a well-known global food and beverage company in defending the credibility of certain environmental claims (alleged to be ‘greenwashing’) made in its advertising campaigns in the context of a regulatory investigation by the ASA.  This involved working with the company to prepare formal representations in objecting to the ASA’s preliminary ruling, focusing on how the ASA had reached its preliminary ruling based on errors of law, unlawful procedure, and a failure to apply correct human rights law standards.  The challenge was successful and resulted in the investigation being closed without official findings being made.
  • Advising several companies, including global food and beverage brands, particularly in connection with restrictions on the promotion of foods which are high in fat, salt or sugar.  This advice has focused on shaping the application of new regulations through engaging in consultation, including by developing evidence about market/competition impacts, rationality and corporate human rights.  This has also included advising corporates and advertisers on compliance with new rules, and successfully defending marketing strategies and adverts in the context of investigations and complaints.
  • Advising on submissions on behalf of a major international food business to the Independent Reviewer of Advertising Standards Authority successfully seeking to overturn an earlier ASA decision on the basis of public law grounds. This case is one of the only times a BCAP Decision has been reversed in favour of the advertiser.

Going Green

It is vital for the legal industry to support the environmental agenda. Our specialist teams are finding more and more ways to support our clients green goals and obligations. Visit our green goals page for more details on how we can achieve green aims both for our clients in the work we do as well as a business and employer.

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