Tips on advertising regulated products and services

Marketing and advertising are key areas for the majority of businesses all over the world, however, those businesses that are advertising products or services that are regulated face additional challenges. These products and services include those in industries such as gambling, medicinal products, financial services and food products.

The gambling industry is probably the one that has received the most attention recently and that includes companies that are advertising services and products such as bingo, online casinos and sports betting sites and physical bookmakers. According to the Gambling Commission, who license and regulate the brands and businesses that provide gambling in Great Britain, ‘the advertising of gambling products and service must be undertaken in a socially responsible manner and you must comply with the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority’.

Therefore, it is very important when advertising these products and services that companies pay strict attention to these guidelines. Businesses can contact the CAP’s Copy Advice team for free and pay for advice on making sure any adverts are compliant.

It is also very important in the gambling industry to ensure that the industry code for socially responsible advertising is also followed. The CAP code requires that marketing for gambling must not be likely to appeal to those under 18, so this is also something to think about when designing any advertising campaigns. For example, if a gambling company is using sponsorship of a sports club as a form of advertising, they must ensure that their brand is not promoted via any junior sections of the club’s website.

It is key for any company advertising gambling related products within the UK to ensure they are complying with the rules set out by the Gambling Commission and if unsure about anything make sure it is checked out for compliance before it is published. In fact, well known and established UK gaming companies like mFortune Bingo are extremely careful and meticulous when it comes to this aspect of their business, as any mistakes can prove costly and detrimental to the brand’s reputation.

The advertising and promotion of regulated medicinal products is also another example of something that must be done with care. This is regulated by a combination of both European and national legislation. The MHRA published a “Blue Guide” which provides a lot of very useful information and information on the requirements of the relevant legislation in regards to advertising and promotion of medicines in the UK.

There are also useful guidelines on the GOV.UK website in regard to the advertisement of such products. Any over the counter medicine, including pharmacy medicine is allowed to be advertised to the general public. However, prescription-only medicine can only be promoted to healthcare professionals and those who are able to supply as well as prescribe the product legally.

There are many restricted products and services in addition to gambling and healthcare that will require adherence to rules and legislations, such as junk food and financial products and it is very important that any company advertising these products/services takes time to do research and seek out advice to check that all advertising is meeting the required laws and standards

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