Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Does the ASA's remit cover the Coalition for Marriage advertisement?

Followers of this blog may be aware that the Advertising Standards Authority has taken up a complaint against an advertisement being carried by the 'Cranmer' blog. You can see the advert and follow the initial reaction here. Read further on the blog for the story so far.

However, in doing a bit of digging around myself, I found this statement on the ASA's own website regarding online advertising:
From March 1st 2011, the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP Code) has applied in full to marketing messages online, including the rules relating to misleading advertising, social responsibility and the protection of children. Journalistic and editorial content and material related to causes and ideas - except those that are direct solicitations of donations for fund-raising - are excluded from the remit.
Now forgive me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the C4M advert come into the category of 'material related to causes and ideas'? If so, then it is outside the ASA remit unless it is soliciting funds, which, as an advert, it is not.

Maybe I'm being thick. Or maybe not. In our increasingly 'Brazilian' present, I'm not sure.

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  1. Very good point, and I have raised it with the ASA.
    But just to demonstrate how puerile, even trivial, and certainly vindictively motived, is the ASA's charge of "homophobia" against Cranmer, I (somewhat tongue in cheek) asked them to define the word. The photos in question actually portray an excellent balance - i.e. men and women, brides and bridegrooms, as we would expect of course, but not in a single instance two females.!
    No homophobia there then.

  2. John,

    I don't know whether this is true of "Cranmer's blog" but I understand that it is usual to pay a blogger a fee for carrying material which the "advertiser/donor" wishes the readers of a blog to see.

    I have no idea if C4M paid Cranmer for carrying this material and I have no means of finding out because I don't have an appropriate account with Google and I share my broadband account with my husband. If a fee was accepted, Cranmer could repay it and C4M could then give it back as a gift. The alternative, as my son tells me, is to register the site in a West African country - my son says that this is increasingly happening. I do know that GodTV had to be run from Israel to get around asking for money because of EU regulations.

    Most bloggers have other "economic strings to their bow" like employment, pension or savings - and blogging is a hobby. I'm not sure this is true for Cranmer.

    Beryl Polden

  3. However, in doing a bit of digging around myself, I found this statement on the ASA's own website regarding online advertising,