Newspaper Society opposes financial advertising bill

Britain’s newspapers are urging the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to water down new laws that could force them to turn away thousands of pounds worth of advertising.

Britain’s newspapers are urging the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to

water down new laws that could force them to turn away thousands of

pounds worth of advertising.



They fear they could land in court if they fail to carry out the checks

needed to ensure that the ads comply with the upcoming legislation.



Their action has been sparked by the Financial Services and Markets

Bill, which is expected to get Royal Assent by October.



The Newspaper Society, which represents 1,400 titles in the UK, is

worried about what it claims is an unacceptably wide drafting of a

clause in the bill covering ads that include an invitation to

invest.



Newspaper Society executives say the clause may catch advertisers to

whom the legislation was never intended to apply. Property advertising,

which often focuses on investment potential, is a major area that could

be hit.



’This is causing us considerable worry and the ad industry should be

worried about it too,’ Philip Circus, the Newspaper Society’s

advertising law consultant, said. ’Newspapers may be reluctant to accept

certain ads if they feel their position isn’t safe.’



Under the new legislation, which updates the 1986 Financial Services

Act, financial ads may only run if they have been approved by somebody

authorised by the Financial Services Authority.



The Newspaper Society is calling for the clause to be amended so that

property and other advertising is not accidentally caught up in it. It

is also calling for newspapers to be freed of the obligation of checking

their financial ads.



Topics