10 UK & International ad reg pointers for 2018

02nd November 2017

Last week our Business Affairs team held an industry briefing event on developments in UK and International ad regulation.


Our Head of Copy Clearance Niamh McGuinness shared her UK knowledge and Business Affairs Manager Danny Turner brought us up to speed on international developments. Below are our top 10 takeaway points from the session to help you prepare for your 2018 campaigns and beyond.


UK Developments


1. Ads for foods High in Fat Salt or Sugar (HFSS) remains a hot topic and there are constant calls to restrict ads to post 21:00. Further restrictions on advertising were expected following the Government obesity strategy in 2015 but these did not materialise. Instead the Government introduced a sugar tax and asked for an increase in public health messages about healthy eating.


2. New guidance is on the way to accompany current gambling rules and is likely to suggest change in tone to some ads and removal of calls to action like “Bet now”. There’s been no indication that advertising causes problem gambling.


3. There will be a change in how the speed of broadband services can be advertised. The 10% rule will go because such a large proportion of customers don’t achieve it. The likely change will mean advertisers can refer to speed customers can achieve at peak times.


4. Guidance on on-screen text is being reviewed and changes are due next year.


5. There is a new rule coming in 2018 for sexualisation of under 18s: Ads should not portray anyone who’s under/seems to be under 18 in a sexual way.



International Developments


6. Belgium has a draft regulation in place meaning there could be a ban on gambling ads around Sport & Kids TV.


7. Germany is looking into a possible ban on food advertising directed at kids.


8. France is introducing a new code on the “Portrayal of Human Beings” in advertising. It will address issues relating to dignity, decency, stereotypes, ethnic or religious references, submission, addiction, violence, image and attributes of a person.


9. In Poland there is a ban on alcohol ads accept for beer, but there is a further call to make beer ads post 11pm only.


10. The Netherlands will be releasing a new code for cosmetics treatment performed by doctors & infant formula, taking their number of codes to 22.