New ad protocol as CAP modifies royal and political rules

The permission system confronting advertisers wanting to use images of the Royal Family is being brought up to date in new codes being introduced this summer.

The permission system confronting advertisers wanting to use images

of the Royal Family is being brought up to date in new codes being

introduced this summer.



At the same time, the ad industry is expected to confirm its intention

to hand over regulation of party political advertising to a government

electoral commission.



The changes will be formalised in an updated code to be published by the

Committee of Advertising Practice, which sets the rules for the UK’s

self-regulatory system. They are currently undergoing final legal checks

before going to Office of Fair Trading officials, who must ensure that

they comply with the Competition Bill.



The new code will not change the rules on the use of Royal Family

members in ads. But it will no longer be necessary for advertisers to

get permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s office. Instead, they will

have to make a direct approach to the ’appropriate authority’ such as

Buckingham Palace.



Meanwhile, there will be discussions about how political advertising can

be put under the control of an impartial election commission, as

recommended by the Neill Committee on Standards in Public Life last

year.



The main parties are split on the issue. Labour wants political

campaigns brought fully under the CAP code but the Tories back the

present system where political advertising has to conform to rules on

taste and decency but does not have to prove its claims.



Andrew Brown, the CAP chairman, said: ’It isn’t that the industry

doesn’t think political advertising should be regulated, only that it

shouldn’t be its arbiter.’



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