Ads slammed by ASA to face ban from awards ceremonies

The Committee of Advertising Practice issues guidelines to prevent what it terms "offside goals".

Watchdogs are renewing their warning to industry awards organisers not to accept entries that have fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority.

And in an effort to curb illegal advertising activity, they are calling for the rejection of entries that have included flyposting even if a flyposter is not part of the campaign that is submitted.

The Committee of Advertising Practice, which has issued the warning, admits it has no sanctions against organisers who choose to ignore it. But Andrew Brown, the CAP chairman, said: "The ad industry supports self-regulation, so we would expect those running awards to conform to the rules."

The initiative comes as the war against flyposting escalates. The Outdoor Advertising Association has hired a company to photograph flyposting activity in London.

Some industry leaders have argued that it is often difficult to pinpoint the source of a flyposting campaign. But Brown said: "It seems pretty unlikely that an advertiser can claim no knowledge of flyposting carried out in its name."

The CAP says it has no evidence that awards organisers are flouting the rules, but was anxious to stop what it called "offside goals".

As a result, it is asking that awards judges should not consider campaigns submitted in their original form if the ASA has subsequently ordered them to be amended.

Nor should creative work be eligible if it has been the subject of a CAP ad alert. These are warnings to media owners about advertisers attempting to get an ad published even though the ASA has ordered its withdrawal.

However, Brown insisted that CAP did not want the rules interpreted too rigidly.

"We don't want campaigns to be declared ineligible because of a technical breach of the codes. But if the intent of a campaign is to gain notoriety by breaking the rules then it should be deemed ineligible," he said.

FLYPOSTING HISTORY

1996: The Body Shop faces prosecution after illegally flyposting its first brand ad campaign.

2001: Outdoor industry hits out at D&AD's decision to award gold Pencil to Mother for Britart.com campaign.

2002: Controversy over flyposting campaigns for the VW Lupo, Red Bull and More Th>n.

2003: Greenpeace threatened with legal action by Viacom Outdoor after flyposting the London Underground. Ansell Healthcare, the manufacturer of Mates condoms, asked to pay compensation by Maiden Outdoor for flyposting

2004: Sony scraps all illegal flyposting after threat by Camden Council to issue ASBOs against some of its executives. Warner Music UK agrees to do the same. Westminster Council issues warnings to BMG, Mean Fiddler, MTV, Sanctuary, V2 and Warner. Music For Nations fined £1,000 by magistrates for each of five flyposters in Soho.

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