Professional Guidance Series: Advertising Practice

Advertisements for ecological and environmental services and products should, as in any business, accord with the appropriate advertising codes. The 12th edition of The UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) came into force on 1 September 2010. Formulated by the Committee of Advertising Practice, they are part of the self-regulatory system that involves the advertisers, the media and the advertising business itself.

Although the Code does not have the force of law, transgression results in a number of sanctions being employed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). In the final instance the ASA can refer a persistent offender to the Office of Fair Trading.

Copies of the full Code and its operation may be obtained free of charge from the CAP website ( or as a hard copy from publishers The Stationery Office. In Ireland, advertisers are regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), with the 6th edition of the Code of Standards for Advertising, Promotional and Direct Marketing in Ireland effective from 1 January 2007. The ASAI Code is available to download from their website (

The following extracts and notes are based on the UK CAP Code and are intended to indicate the scope of the Code and the aspects most likely to affect CIEEM members. They are not comprehensive and members should consult the full Code to clarify their own obligations. The ASAI Code in Ireland is similar to the UK CAP Code and therefore the following should also apply to advertising practice in the Republic of Ireland.