Legal Update - Trading Standards appointed as legal backstop for the ASA

Commercial Law – Advertising Standards Agency – Trading Standards – Misleading Advertising – Legal Sanctions


An agreement was recently reached between the Advertising Standards Agency (“ASA”) and Trading Standards that Trading Standards will act as the ASA’s “legal backstop”. This role was previously fulfilled by the Office of Fair Trading and it means that non-broadcast advertisers that continue to break the rules in relation to misleading advertising will now be referred to Trading Standards by the ASA.


Trading Standards can consider what legal sanctions should be imposed on such advertisers under consumer and business protection laws. Trading Standards will continue to exercise its powers independent of any referrals from the ASA.


ASA chief executive, Guy Parker, said: "We already enjoy a close and effective working relationship with Trading Standards. This new arrangement will help us become more joined-up and consistent as well as giving consumers and business confidence that an advertiser who doesn't play by the rules will face the consequences."


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© RT COOPERS, 2013. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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