ITC - DOC by tyndale



As promised, please find attached the IPA's response to your consultation paper.

The substance has not altered dramatically from our draft, although we have
added the section relating to the proposed rules on children and scheduling
restrictions missing from our original..

I hope this is useful. Do call if anything seems unclear.

Best wishes.


Geoffrey Russell
Director for Media Affairs
Direct Line : 0207 201 8203
Direct Fax : 0207 823 1350
For all IPA activities see our website.Click on to register.

Sent:          Thursday, March 28, 2002 2:25 PM
Subject:       ITC Advertising Code


I wonder if, in addition to our more formal submission, I might pass on a few
comments from our Legal Director with regard to the sections dealing with financial

These are given below. I think that they are pretty straightforward but if you should
have any queries - do let me know.

Best wishes


ITC Advertising Code - financial advertising

It is accepted that the whole area of regulation by the FSA is complicated and
should not be repeated in the ITC Code.

However the overriding principle that financial promotions must be clear, fair and
not misleading could be laid down..

This is Clause 2.1.3 R of the Conduct of Business section of the FSA Handbook.
It might also be beneficial to users of the Code to know where to look for the
detailed regulations. They are largely contained in the above mentioned Codes of
Business, Chapter 3 of the FSA Handbook released this January 2002. It sets out
the exceptions and the requirements needed even if a promotion is acceptable.

At present the Code simply states

7.6 that providing promotions fall within (i) or (ii) they are acceptable.

While this is strictly speaking true it is not really helpful to practitioners. The
agencies need to know how to make their promotions acceptable to the
"authorised person".

While the Code does not want to go into the finer details it would be helpful to have
some indication as to exactly where the requirements for compliance are to be
found and indeed an indication of who is an "authorised person."

Geoffrey Russell
Director for Media Affairs
Direct Line : 0207 201 8203
Direct Fax : 0207 823 1350
For all IPA activities see our website.Click on to register.

Standards Code

     An IPA response
 to the ITC Consultation

                   27th March 2002

        ITC Advertising Standards Code
        An IPA response to the ITC Consultation

The IPA welcomes the opportunity to submit views to the ITC
on its proposals to create a more user-friendly code and to
simplify and refocus its rules and guidelines to match modern
public expectations.

1. The IPA and the ITC Code

  1.1.    The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has
     been the trade association and professional institute
     for UK advertising agencies since 1917. It represents
     all those companies concerned primarily with providing
     strategic advice on marketing communications, creating
     and/or placing advertising. The IPA‟s 217 corporate
     members represent the major part of the advertising
     agency business, handling advertising with an estimated
     value of around £7 billion in 2000 (over 80 per cent of
     advertising placed by agencies) on behalf of many tens
     of thousands of their client companies and
     organisations worldwide.

  1.2.    Given that IPA member agencies will be responsible
     for the development and airing of over 90% of the TV
     commercials made in the UK, we are critically
     interested in any changes to the Code by which these
     advertisements are regulated.

  1.3.    It is against this background of close involvement
     and direct user experience that our comments are made.

2. The format of our response
   In light of the highly detailed nature of the final draft,
   we shall restrict our observations to an overall comment
   and then individual responses to those clauses where we
   believe there is concern or, alternatively, when we should
   like to express our specific support for proposed


  3.1.    Overall
     In general terms, the IPA welcomes the ITC‟s initiative
     to render the current Code more accessible and user
     friendly and believes this goal has been broadly

3.2.    Specifics
   Having said the above, we would draw attention to the
   following clauses:

  Clause 3.2.2 (iv): “Advertisements must not include
  titles, logos, sets or theme music from any programme”

  While we understand the ITC‟s motive with regard to
  this clause, we would highlight potential problems
  regarding the banning of the use of theme music “from
  any programme”. Although we note that this will only
  apply “to music predominantly associated or identified
  with a particular programme” – we would draw a
  distinction between the use of music selected
  specifically to trade on consumer awareness of a
  programme and those instances where the music is simply
  attractive and appropriate for the job in hand.

  We are also concerned at the lack of any date in the
  clause. Would the theme tune to “Billy Cotton‟s Band
  Show” from the 1960s which – for those who can remember
  it – would still be “predominantly associated or
  identified “with that programme – be banned? Who would
  decide in those instances and by what criteria?

  Without wishing to be prescriptive, we would suggest
  such a restriction should only apply when:

   such a theme has been specifically composed for a
    given programme and/or is currently associated in the
    public mind with a programme which has been on air in
    the last three years and

   the advertisement is deliberately seeking to trade on
    public awareness of the music and/or programme
    concerned to boost its own impact.

  Clause 4.1(c): “Unacceptable products – betting and
  gaming prohibited by law”

  The IPA would endorse the Gambling Review Body‟s
  recommendations that existing restrictions on the
  advertising of betting and gaming be removed, subject
  to content controls.

  Clause 4.2 Note:   “Advertisements which incidentally

show people smoking should not glamorise the activity”

We should be grateful if this note clarified those
types of smoking which are permitted incidentally.

Clause 6.1.2(d): “the identity of the advertiser is
made apparent when advertising might otherwise be
materially misleading”

We should appreciate clarification of the above –
particularly as to how this might relate to any
“teaser” ads which might precede a main campaign.

Clause 6.2.4 Note: “Ideally neither the principal
offer nor any important qualifications should appear
solely in the forms of superimposed text

Please could you define “any important qualifications”?

Clause 6.3 Note (v): “A comparative advertisement is
acceptable if it does not discredit or denigrate”

Could you insert the word “unfairly” in front of
“discredit” – since any adverse comparison could be
held to “discredit” the losing product?

Clause 6.4: “Advertisements must not unfairly attack
or discredit other products or services, advertisers or
advertisements either expressly or by implication”

Could you clarify further unfair attacks “by

Clause 6.7 Note on Testimonials

Could this note be expanded to illustrate when an actor
is deemed to be giving a testimonial vs acting?

Clause 7.3: “Unless advertisements are clearly
addressed to a specialist audience and shown either on
specialist financial channels or in breaks within
appropriate financial programming, they must be
considered to be addressing non-specialist audiences”

We understand and endorse the above, but would comment
that currently the broadcasters do not have the ability
to approve ads on the basis of specialist stations or

Clause 8.2.10: No advertisement for a medicinal
product may suggest that the effects of taking the

product are better than, or equivalent to, those of
another identified or identifiable medicinal product or

Would it be possible to have a note here which
indicated that “top end parity statements” eg “no other
over-the-counter product works faster” would still be

Clause 8.3.4 Note: “Advertisements should not
encourage frequent consumption … or depict situations
where it could be reasonably assumed that teeth are
unlikely to be cleaned overnight after consumption”

We believe this statement is far too prescriptive.
While we might understand the position with regard to
children slightly more – this approach would have
banned the legendary “I‟m a secret lemonade drinker”
commercial, which depicts an adult raiding the fridge
at night. Similarly, it might place in jeopardy ideas
involving – say – camp fires/camping – or “standby”
comedy scenarios like the midnight food “cravings” of
expectant mothers. We believe the nation has the right
to expect advertising to set a suitable example in
matters of safety, but this note smacks of “nannying”
to an unacceptable degree.

Sections 9 and 10
While IPA member agencies would fully endorse the ITC‟s
overall objectives in the above sections, we have real
concerns with regard to the guidance notes relating to
Scheduling Restrictions (Clause 10.4: Notes).

As it stands, the table contained in these notes would
be potentially confusing and extremely difficult to
apply, although we understand this „illustration‟ is
likely to be dropped from any final paper.

Elsewhere, we would very much appreciate greater
guidance with regard to the following:

a)   the scale of the perceived problem of harmful ads
     (ie are these likely to be frequently or very
     rarely encountered);

b)   the definition which the ITC would apply to the
     term “Ex Kids”, which appears different from that
     used by the broadcasters;

c)   further illustration of material which is deemed to
     be “inappropriate”, “distressing” and “harmful” by

   the various age breaks put forward by the

Clause 9.1 Community Standards Note 2: “Provided
advertising does not offend against standards which are
considered fundamental, more risqué material may be
acceptable if it is carefully scheduled in programmes
containing comparable material”.

While we note the above, as with Clause 7.3 the
broadcasters do not have the ability to approve
advertising on this basis.

Clause 9.5 Note (iii) Exceptions to requiring
permission to show living people without their
permission: “advertisements where the appearance is
brief and incidental, for example is a crowd scene”

We applaud this inclusion as both practical and

 Clause 12.8.2(a)(iii) Children must not appear except,
for example, in street scenes or as non-featured
members of a family group

We applaud this clarification permitting the inclusion
of children incidentally or within a socially
responsible context.

For further comment and information, please contact:

Geoff Russell Director for Media Affairs

           Institute of Practioners in Advertising
             44 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8qs
  telephone: 020-7235 7020    fax: 020-7245 9904 website:


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