For our afternoon class we went to Clearcast, a copy clearance company, and met with Ayesha Holbrom. She lectured to us about advertising in the UK. Here is some of what we learned:
· The Broadcast Committee Advertising Process or BCAP Code is a non-legal set of clauses that all television advertisements in the UK must abide by.
· Every advertisement must be legal, honest, truthful and decent.
· When a complaint about an advertisement is received, the ASA must investigate it. This process begins with the complaint, then the defense from both the advertiser and Clearcast. Next a draft recommendation is given followed by a final decision on whether or not to pull the advertisement from the air.
· A complaint can be made by a regular citizen or by a competitor of the advertiser. A citizen’s identity will remain anonymous, but a competitor’s will not. An advertiser must be aware of false claims such as misleading, omission and exaggeration and must have evidence to back up any claims they make.
· Ads must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to audience and society.
· Ads must comply with the law and broadcasters must make that a condition of acceptance.
· Ads must not cause serious or widespread offense against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
· Ads must contain nothing that could cause physical, mental, moral or social harm to people under the age of 18.
· Some ads are subjective while others are objective.
-Subjective claims are based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions and are generally not capable of objective substantiation.
-Objective claims are not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts. They are capable of substantiation with objective evidence.
I found this lecture to be very interesting because, if this kind of scrutiny were given to the majority of the advertisements in the USA, I think most would not be allowed to be shown on television. A brief survey of the class found that nearly every student thought this lecture was very interesting and enjoyed their time at Clearcast. Some of the ads we were shown were very similar to commercials we have in the US, and some were the exact commercials. There was a bit of controversy over one ad that we were shown: It was a Heinz commercial featuring a gay couple and a kiss between them at the end. We all agreed that this commercial would never be shown in the US and even found that the American Heinz Company had the commercial pulled from television once they heard about it. There were hundreds of complaints to the ASA about this commercial; most of them saying it should not be shown until after 9 p.m.
Some commercials have certain time restrictions because they may not be appropriate for certain viewers. See time chart.
-- By Jenna Talley
-- By Jenna Talley