Legal update: CAP guidance, political advertising, data protection, gig economy

A roundup of updates from our Legal and Public Affairs Team for June 2017.

CAP Guidance now in effect - Recognition of Advertising: Online Marketing to Children Under 12

As mentioned in our earlier update in February 2017, CAP has published new guidance which identifies situations where marketing communications directed at under-12s are likely to require “enhanced” disclosure to ensure recognition. The guidance explains that marketers may need to take a different approach to disclosure for communications that are targeted at under-12s than for other ads. As of 1 June 2017, this guidance is now in effect. There will be a six month transitional period, in which the ASA will give marketers the opportunity to resolve any complaints received informally on the basis of their agreement to change their ads.

CAP and BCAP’s joint statement on the position of audio description and other forms of access services

CAP and BCAP have published a joint statement on the position of audio description and other forms of access services where they are provided for advertising material. Audio description is an additional narration which explains what is happening on-screen for the benefit of the blind and partially sighted. Access services facilitate the inclusion of additional content to improve accessibility; including signing and subtitling. The statement confirms that audio description and access service content in advertising falls within the remit of the CAP and BCAP Codes. It also confirms that audio description is not mandatory for advertisements but that when it is used, essential visual elements, for example on-screen text which qualifies spoken claims, should be included. The statement advises marketers to discuss the addition of audio description to broadcast advertising with Clearcast and to non-broadcast advertising with CAP’s Copy Advice Team.

CAP guidance on Children and age-restricted ads online

On 6 June, CAP published guidance on age-restricted ads online, such as those for alcohol, gambling or HFSS products. The guidance is intended to support marketers in being able to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to target age restricted online ads appropriately. Particularly, marketers placing interest-based ads online are advised to make good use of targeting options to help ensure that their ads are directed at the relevant audience e.g. those over 16 or 18 years of age. The guidance advises that should the ASA receive a compliant that an age-restricted ad has been delivered to media directed at, or of particular appeal to, children, the marketer should be able to demonstrate that it had chosen interests that are likely to favour an adult audience or could reasonably be said to exclude the restricted age group from its audience.

Topical summary on the regulation of political advertising

The ASA does not regulate political advertising. Here is a short summary explaining why and the history behind the current position.

Data Protection Developments: Part 2 webinar

You can now catch up on the second in the series of IPA webinars on the General Data Protection Regulation produced with the law firm, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, by listening here.

Update on employment status and the gig economy

This employment law alert updates members on the latest employment status developments and their implications for future working relationships. 

The IPA Legal Department deals with a variety of member enquiries on the law and regulation of marketing communications and employment law in the UK (English Law and UK regulation). It also represents members and lobbies Government on related issues. For enquiries on marketing communications issues, email For enquiries on agency employment legal issues, email You can also follow us on Twitter.

Last updated 21 January 2022