Committee of Advertising Practice
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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is the sister organisation of, and is administered by, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). It is the body that created and maintains the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing which regulates non-broadcast marketing communications.
Role and responsibilities
The CAP, alongside ASA, is primarily responsible for the constant revising and updating of the British Code of Advertising, Direct Marketing and Sales Promotion (CAP Code), through its Code Policy team. The CAP also contains a Monitoring team, a Compliance team, and a Copy Advice team.
It works with advertisers across different industries and sectors to ensure they comply with the advertising Code, although while some rules are legally enforceable, the majority are self-regulatory and based on the commitment of involved stakeholders following best practice. CAP provides training and advice for advertisers to help them understand the Code, a lot of which is done free of charge.
In December 2016, CAP announced it had extended the broadcast ban on banning junk food ads to digital media, stopping the advertising of “high fat, salt or sugar food or drink products in children’s media”. This covered print, cinema and digital channels, including social media.
In March 2017, the Committee published new guidelines on working with online influencers, particularly on social channels. Their guidelines on affiliate marketing were published on 9th March and were designed to help advertisers and marketers understand the rules and quirks of specific social channels in order to make it clear to audiences when material is an advertisement, before the user clicks through to the content.
CAP is developing new rules on advertising that features stereotypical gender roles or characteristics, expected to be revealed by the end of 2017. These new rules are being established in response to the UK Advertising Standards Authority's report, “Depictions, Perceptions and Harm: a report on gender stereotypes in advertising“, which was released in part in response to Protein World's "Beach Body Ready" adverts which received 380 complaints.
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