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Legal Development Watch

Making a complaint about the advertisement of a competing business

If you wish to raise any complaints about an advertisement (or the advertising technique) of one of your competitors, you can no longer go straight to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).  As of 1st December 2011, you need to first approach your competitor and state in sufficient detail the factual basis for the complaint you wish to make.  You may only approach the ASA in the event you can’t reach an agreement with your competitor, and you will need to provide evidence of the fact you have made attempts to resolve the conflict yourselves.

Please note the following:

  • Bearing in mind your correspondence may later need to be provided to the ASA as documentary evidence, you may wish to send it by registered post.
  • The letter needs to have been signed or authorised by a senior officer of your business, and addressed to a senior officer of the competitor’s business.
  • If the complaint relates to an on-line marketing communication, your letter should refer to a screen shot of the page(s) or a relevant link.
  • You will need to allow five working days for a substantive response.  If they do not respond within that period, you may submit a complaint to the ASA.
  • When submitting the complaint to the ASA, ensure you include copies of all relevant correspondence between the parties.

If you have any further queries, please contact the team at Off To See My Lawyer.

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