Easter Advertising Advice from the ASA

Two sets of seasonal advice for marketers has been published by the ASA this Easter; a key time for the food sector.

Avoid causing Religious Offence this Easter Avoiding causing religious offence during Easter - ASA | CAP

Given the sensitivities surrounding people’s religious beliefs, the ASA reminds marketers to take care not to cause serious or widespread offence when using religious references in their campaigns in or around Easter.

The ASA make 3 key points

  1. Marketers are able to use religious language and imagery in their advertising, provided it is not mocking or disrespectful nor seek to trivialise the Christian faith. 
  2. Whilst something may be distasteful to some, it may not necessarily be considered mocking or derogatory.
  3. While humour can sometimes help to reduce the likelihood of causing serious or widespread offence, the line when it comes to religion can often be very thin.


Don’t be a bad egg, make sure your Easter promotions are cracking  Don’t be a bad egg, make sure your Easter promotions are cracking - ASA | CAP

In a tongue in cheek topical update the ASA summarised some critical points of advertising advice:

Don’t eggs-aggerate savings

Savings claims must be based on the genuine TUI UK Ltd - ASA | CAP price at which the product is usually sold, they must be accurate and they must not exaggerate the saving that could be made by the consumer.  Generally, the sale price should not be available for longer than the normal price, and the reference price given should be the most recent price available.

Don’t egg-nore significant conditions

Rule 8.17 requires that ads for promotions include all significant conditions Promotional marketing: terms and conditions and significant conditions - ASA | CAP that it would be misleading to omit. These are conditions which could affect whether someone chooses to participate in a promotional offer or not. Significant conditions should usually be made clear in the initial piece of marketing material.

Don’t egg consumers on with irrelevant or misleading information

Marketers should ensure that their ads do not place undue pressure on consumers to make a decision to purchase and must beware of crossing the line into misleading pressure selling tactics, (rules 3.31 and 3.32).  Countdown clocks dylanqueen.co.uk - ASA | CAP or ads which highlight a high level of interest PUA Training Ltd - ASA | CAP from consumers are examples of tactics the ASA may consider problematic for placing undue pressure on consumers to make a decision.

Don’t under egg-stimate the level of demand

Before advertising a promotion you should ensure you have made a reasonable estimate of demand and that you can demonstrate that you’ve done so.  If the availability of your promotional items is not enough to meet this demand, or if customers need to make a purchase to qualify for the promotional item, you must make any limitations on availability explicitly clear in the ad – “subject to availability” might not be enough.

However, if you have any specific advertising, marketing, labelling or IP queries please don't hesitate to contact us directly at Mills & Reeve LLP

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Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

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