The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has produced a checklist in an attempt to reduce misleading advertising and increase compliance with the CAP Code and BCAP Code. The CAP Code is the code of practice that seeks to ensure that adverts are not misleading. Although the CAP Code does not have legal force, it is best practice to comply with it, as failure to do so can result in bad publicity and ultimately an inability to obtain advertising space. The BCAP Code applies in the same way to broadcast media.
Both the CAP Code and the BCAP Code prohibit misleading advertising, which is advertising that is likely to deceive consumers and make them take transactional decisions they would not otherwise have taken. Despite this, many of the complaints received by the ASA, which enforces the Codes, are for exactly that.
It is hoped that the checklist will help advertisers to comply with the Codes and it includes warnings relating to accurate pricing, testimonials and comparative advertising.