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Regulator launches online course to help marketing people navigate advertising regulations

Published:  14 August, 2015

The Committee of Advertising Practice has launched its first e-learning module to help drinks companies and their staff better understand the rules on marketing alcohol.

The paid-for course includes a step-by-step guide to Advertising Standards Authority rulings and the rationale behind decisions, a breakdown of the alcohol rules and how and when they apply and a guide to common mistakes and exercises to put the learning into practice.

It includes continuous assessment and a certificate for anyone completing the course.

The CAP is a sister body to the ASA that is responsible for writing UK advertising codes.

Committee director Shahriar Coupal said: "We urge anyone involved in marketing alcohol to take advantage of our module.

"It's written by the code experts and can help save the time, money and reputational damage of having a campaign investigated and, potentially, banned by the ASA.

"Despite the strict alcohol rules, there are many creative routes for advertisers to take and our focus is on providing them with the support they need to make sure their ads are also responsible."

In 2014, the ASA received 187 complaints about 140 ads in the alcohol sector resulting in 27 ads having to be changed or withdrawn.

So far in 2015 it has received 47 complaints about 38 alcohol ads with two being formally investigated. In another six cases, advertisers have agreed to amend or withdraw their ads without the need for a formal investigation.