The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has published guidance on the requirement to include significant terms and conditions upfront in initial marketing materials for promotions, available here. This provides further interpretation of section 8 of the CAP Code on Promotional Marketing.
CAP acknowledges that significant conditions may differ between promotions. It helpfully lists significant conditions which are likely to apply to all promotions including how to participate, closing date and the existence of any restrictions or limitations, such as age, date or geographical restrictions.
Several examples are also provided where complaints have been made about advertisers not including significant conditions clearly. For example, a complaint against an Amazon Prime ad was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because the initial ad did not state that customers would automatically be charged for a year’s subscription of £79 if they did not cancel their free trial. This information was considered by the ASA to be significant information which should have been included in the initial ad.
There are also a few examples about advertising through text messages and tweets. Whilst the ASA will take into account the medium used and limitations of space, it should still be possible for consumers to obtain easy access to significant terms and conditions and retain this information. In some cases it may be possible to include only the significant terms and conditions that practically can be included, state that terms and conditions apply and link to a source where the terms and conditions are clearly stated in full. The best course of action will depend on all of the circumstances.
Other topics covered in the guidance include where the other terms and conditions should be put in when running a prize promotion and what advertisers can do if the ad is significantly limited by time and/or space.
CAP is responsible for setting the standards for advertising, which are enforced in the UK by the ASA.
CAP Code (short for the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing) sets out the rules for non-broadcast advertisements, sales promotions and marketing communications.