Principles for Television Advertising

The rules about advertising which follow are abstracts from the 4th edition of “Principles for Television Advertising” issued by the Independent Television Authority in August 1961. They are based on the recommendations of the Advertising Advisory Committee appointed by the Authority under Section 8 (2) (b) of the Television Act, 1954. It is the duty of the Authority under the Act “to comply and secure compliance with the recommendations” of the Advisory Committee “subject to such exceptions or modifications, if any, as may appear to the Authority to be necessary or proper having regard to the duties incumbent on the Authority” otherwise than under subsection 8 (2). The Authority has accepted the Committee’s recommendations and they therefore govern all advertising on the Authority’s service until further notice. The Principles for Television Advertising are kept under review and are revised from time to time as necessary.

It should be noted that paragraph 2 of the “Principles for Television Advertising” expressly reserves the right of the programme contractors and the Authority to impose stricter standards of advertising conduct than those laid down in the “Principles” and its two Appendices. This right is comparable to the recognised right of owners of other advertising media to reject any advertisements they wish.

The “Principles for Television Advertising” represents a general code of television advertising conduct. Appendix 1 to the “Principles” contains rules about specific classes of advertisements and methods of advertising. Appendix 2 is a reprint of the “British Code of Standards in relation to the Advertising of Medicines and Treatments” which, under paragraph 2 (a) of Appendix 1, governs the advertising on television of medicines and treatments.

Under Section 4 (5) of the Television Act the Authority is obliged to consult the Postmaster-General about the classes and descriptions of goods or services which must not

be advertised and the methods of advertising which must not be employed and to carry out any directions which he may give them on the subject. The Authority has consulted the Postmaster-General about the rules here published and he has accepted those to which Section 4 (5) is applicable.

If an advertiser or advertising agent is in doubt about any advertisement, he should approach The Independent Television Companies Association Ltd., Television House, Kingsway, London, W.C.2, or the contractor or contractors with whom he proposes to place the advertisement. He should not approach the Advertising Advisory Committee or any of its members direct.