Top tips for advertisers this festive season

15 December 2021

The holiday season is right around the corner and with that, comes Christmas specials and New Years’ deals galore. Below are some tips for advertisers to help minimise the risk of a breach of the ASA codes:

  • Advertising alcohol: As a restricted product, a high standard of social responsibility applies to all alcohol advertising and the Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code sets out the key requirements. Advertisements must only target adults and should not portray or suggest the effects of consuming alcohol will enhance an occasion like Christmas Day. Advertisers must avoid the depiction of excessive, irresponsible, or harmful drinking behaviours.
  • Beware of being misleading ads: Advertisers need to take care when they’re making claims in their ads, for example when it comes to delivery times or availability of items over the Christmas period. Advertisers need to ensure they’re able to meet any reasonable demand created by their ads.
  • Don’t offend: Many of the complaints received by the ASA regarding offensive advertising around Christmas are to do with the portrayal of religious practices or use of religious music in a commercial environment or beliefs. Christmas is a time that holds religious significance for many people. Advertisements must not contain anything that is indecent, or exploitative, or degrading, or likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence, or give rise to hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule. Light-hearted advertisements which play on humour or satire may be found to be acceptable in some situations, however advertisers should proceed with caution and consider the medium and targeting of such advertisements.
  • Extra care for kids: When ads promote products that fall under the Children and Young People’s Advertising Code it is important to ensure they do not encourage children or young people to urge their caregivers to purchase products for them or condone peer pressure by implying inferiority for not having the advertised product.

More information on the ASA Codes are here.