Advertiser codes regards use of Royal Family in ads to be up dated

- The arcane 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 arcane 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 use of Royal Family members in advertising provoked huge controversy in 1996 when the Queen was said to be furious about a Live TV ad featuring a mock-up picture of the Princess of Wales kissing Paul Gascoigne.

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 and first revealed in Campaign (1 May).

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 under which political advertising has to conform to the 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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