The Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) is offering UK marketers the chance to win &£50 of vouchers redeemable at online retailer Amazon, in an attempt to increase usage of its copy advice team and reduce the number of consumer complaints about ads.
A spokeswoman for CAP says: “We’ve never done this sort of thing before, and we wanted to see how it works. Our copy advice team offers a free service that we would like to see more people make use of. Once marketers do use it, they come back – we’ve got lots of regular customers.”
CAP is the advertising industry body responsible for writing the two codes of conduct (one for broadcast, one for non-broadcast) which advertisers are supposed to adhere to.
It works closely with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Industry regulator Ofcom has given the two bodies joint responsibility for running the UK’s self-regulatory system, which is to be reviewed later this year.
The copy advice team – a team of experts – vets copy for non-broadcast ads and suggests changes that make them less likely to fall foul of the CAP code. However, the spokeswoman stresses, even with this vetting, ads may still be complained about and it is possible, though much less likely, that the ASA will uphold those complaints.
It is a legal requirement that all television and radio advertisements must be vetted by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Committee before going on air. However, there is no similar legal requirement to have non-broadcast ads checked.