A little while ago, I gave a talk about copywriting at WiRE Gloucestershire. At the meeting before, I asked if anyone had any questions they’d like me to address in the talk. A popular topic was around the legalities of copywriting – what can you say and what can’t you say. I was reminded of the subject again recently when working with a client and thought it would be useful to look at the topic in more detail.
At the most basic level, I would say the rules are pretty simple. Don’t make exaggerated claims or claims about your business, product or service you can’t prove. Don’t libel (make a false statement about) anyone or any other business. Essentially, don’t lie or mislead!
For most of us most of the time, that’s probably enough.
However, if you work in certain sectors (such as health, cosmetics, finance or alcohol), or simply want to be a bit more careful and sure of what you’re saying, there are wider regulations to be aware of.
These regulations can be found at the Committee of Advertising Practice website. The CAP is responsible for writing and maintaining the UK Advertising Codes and providing authoritative advice on the rules. Its website is packed with useful stuff. You can:
- download the various codes
- check out an A-Z of Advertising Guidance
- request (free) advice on the rules
If you’re in any doubt, this website is the place to go!
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