June 1, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 152


June 01, 2023

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May 30, 2023

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Rare Enforcement Notice Issued by UK Advertising Regulator for “Hot Air” Ads

On 9 March 2023, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) took the rare step of issuing an Enforcement Notice against any advertiser distributing ads for electric plug-in mini-heaters that claim – directly or indirectly – that such products are a viable alternative to central heating.

As noted in our previous blog, the ASA recently banned a number of ads which suggested that electric plug-in mini heaters would save consumers money while quickly and efficiently heating a room. The regulator considers such claims to be materially misleadingly and a clear-cut breach of the mandatory CAP Code that all UK advertisers must comply with. The watchdog has urged all advertisers operating in this area to take immediate action to ensure that all advertising complies with the rules.

The ASA has threatened the use of a referral to its legal backstop: Trading Standards, should any advertiser fail to comply with its requirements. It is very rare for the ASA to refer an advertiser to Trading Standards, such measures being reserved for only the most series issues of non-compliance where the ‘teeth’ of court fines and criminal penalties are necessary to secure a level playing field for consumers. This is because the ASA itself does not have the power to issue fines or impose criminal sanctions.

The continued focus in this area alongside greenwashing claims, shows that the UK advertising regulators are on the look out to protect consumers during the cost-of-living crisis.

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 80

About this Author

Carlton Daniel Intellectual Property Attorney Squire Patton Boggs London, UK

Carlton Daniel advises on intellectual property rights, commercial contracts and consumer regulatory law. He handles both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Carlton has a particular focus on providing advice to clients in the advertising, marketing and media sectors, and also to businesses operating in the food and drink, retail, automotive and tech sectors.

Intellectual property rights: Carlton has significant experience advising on the exploitation and protection of trade marks, designs, copyright, databases, confidential information and patents. As...

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Sera Kaplan Intellectual Property and Technology Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm Leeds

Sera Kaplan is an associate in the Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group based in the Leeds office.

Sera completed her training with the firm and has experience in general commercial, data protection, and intellectual property matters. Sera also has experience with supporting large value M&A corporate transactions.

Sera previously worked in the in-house legal team of a publicly listed global out-of-home advertising company and has undertaken several client secondments during her time with the firm,...