Monday, 28 March 2011

Can Wills and Kate endorse your product ?

A lot of advertisers will be wanting to jump on the Royal Wedding bandwagon.

But what can or can't you get away with in your radio advert ?

An agency client forwarded us a note from Global Radio which we thought you may find useful.

The recent announcement from Clarence House that Prince William and Kate Middleton are to marry next year poses many questions: will there be a national holiday? Who will design the dress? Is hat-wearing going to be mandatory across the British Isles? And most importantly as far as advertisers are concerned: can we refer to this happy event in our advertising?

Broadly speaking, advertising should not claim or imply that a particular product is endorsed by the Royal Family or imply that a product is affiliated to royal events when it is not. This is line with the general provisions on misleading advertising and the fact that the CAP Code urges marketers to obtain written permission before implying any personal approval of the advertised product and reminds marketers that those who do not want to be associated with the product could have a legal claim (rule 6.1).

Specifically, members of the Royal Family should not normally be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission (rule 6.2) and the Royal Arms or Emblems must not be used without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s office. References to a Royal Warrant should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association (rule 3.52). For information regarding the sale of souvenir products please see the guidance issued by Clarence House.

The ASA has in the past upheld complaints about advertising that implied Royal Endorsement. However, the Code states that an incidental references unconnected with the advertised product, or references to material such as a book, article or film about a member of the Royal Family, may be acceptable.

We would expect that advertising products with references to the Royal Wedding which do not feature the prospective bride and groom such as 'invite everyone round to watch the wedding and enjoy X', are likely to be acceptable in the same way as marketing referencing sporting events would be.

Get your radio commercials made in advance of the royal wedding. Contact Airforce now on 01249 821679. Initial script ideas are free.