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Posts Tagged ‘website legality’

“Advergames” are subject to regulation too

Monday, June 4th, 2012

As you must be aware, businesses have started to advertise their products via computer games on their websites, and also on social media websites and as downloadable content or apps on mobile devices.  If you too are thinking of developing an “advergame” in order to advertise your goods or services, please note that as with any other on-line advertisement, you must abide by the CAP Code (the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing).

In 2008 for example, The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) investigated a football game available on the free games website Mousebreaker.  The game in question featured Carling lager branding, and was linked to the Carling lager website.  Carling’s parent company, Coors, had paid for the link.  The game, it turned out, was effectively an advert for an alcohol brand, and because over 25% of Mousebreaker’s audience is under the age of 18, it was held to breach Rule 18.15 of the CAP Code.

If you have any concerns or queries regarding the legality of your marketing strategies, please contact Jo Tall at jo@offtoseemylawyer.com.

Is your promotional material legal?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

As many of Off To See My Lawyer clients are running businesses related to the health industry, we thought you may be interested to hear the outcome of a particular recent Advertising Standards Agency enquiry.  Six complaints were made about the claims of Miruji Health & Wellbeing’s product “Sit & Slim”.  Miruji Health & Wellbeing had made claims in an advertisement in the local press, and on their website, that their “slimming and therapeutic massage chair and programme” had been clinically proven by the NHS to induce weight loss, relieve stress, and lower blood pressure.  It even went on to say that the chair could provide a solution to obesity.

The ASA established that there had in fact been no formal NHS clinical research.  A casual study had taken place at a mental health hospital among staff participating in a free trial.  The hospital in question did not treat obesity.  Therefore this aspect of the advertising claims being made by Miruji Health & Wellbeing was a misleading endorsement, and as such held to breach two of the CAP Codes.

With regards the claims that the chair could treat high blood pressure, the ASA considered that high blood pressure is “a medical condition for which advice, guidance and treatment should only be conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional”.  The advertisements therefore also breached one of the CAP Codes (- in this case, the “Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products” rule).

On the subject of obesity treatment, and the claims that customers could lose weight using the chair and programme alone – the advertisements were held to have breached the CAP Code relating to “weight control and slimming”.

If you have any concerns about the legality of your own advertisements or the claims you make in your promotional material, please contact Jo Tall via jo@offtoseemylawyer.com and she will provide you with appropriate advice relating to the CAP Codes, and any other legal issues that require consideration.

EU Regulation on “cookies” to be more strictly enforced in May 2012

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Prior to May 2011, the owners of UK websites were legally permitted to set up a system whereby small data files called “cookies” could be automatically installed onto the hard drive of the computers of any visitors (to the website).  These cookies record the on-line browsing activities of the visitor – both for the essential purpose of facilitating certain transactions (such as the sale of a product), and for the less essential purpose of targeted advertising.

On 25 May 2011, however, the UK implemented new EU Regulations which essentially require the consent of the consumer/ website user before a cookie is installed on his/her computer. The Regulations recognise the fact that certain information needs to be retained in order for an on-line transaction to take place.  Therefore it qualifies the rule by applying it to any personal information which is not “strictly necessary”.

The UK authorities allowed for a 12-month “grace period” which is due to end on 26 May 2012, which means that a breach of the new law could mean a monetary penalty – and in some cases even a criminal prosecution, if deemed serious.

Of course, Off To See My Lawyer adapted its template Privacy Policy in time for 25 May 2011, and we have been advising our clients accordingly – so existing clients need not be concerned about the end of the 12-month “grace period”.  For any prospective clients, however, please contact Jo Tall at jo@offtoseemylawyer.com for advice on how to comply with this E-privacy law.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has ordered the Lancashire Police Authority to tighten procedures when publishing information on its website.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

The privacy watchdog said that the Authority had breached the Data Protection Act when it published details of an individual’s complaint online even though it was marked as restricted. The Authority also failed to remove the details immediately once the complainant had brought the breach to its attention.

An order by the ICO to the Lancashire Police Authority means it must now ensure information is checked and made ready before being released on the website.

Story courtesy of ComputerActive.

Website legality talk at BHive

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Don’t miss my workshop on website legality tomorrow,Thursday 31st March, at the lovely BHive club in Covent Garden from 1-2. See www.bhive.co for more details. Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. I want your websites to be “practically perfect in every way!”

Off to see my lawyer founder, Jo Tall, will be running an interactive workshop on Website legality

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Where: at B.Hive, the new networking club and meeting place for female entrepreneurs in Covent Garden. http://www.bhive.co/

When: 3rd Feb 2011, 1pm-2.30pm

“Hope to see you there!”