Advertising code of conduct
The objective of this policy is to produce guidance on the type of advertisements which appear in our publications, on our website, our intranet and other physical sites (including but not limited to billboards, hoardings, printed materials, vehicles etc.
The policy is aimed at providing positive advice to Hounslow employees and prospective advertisers on what is and what is not acceptable forms of advertising for the borough without being too prescriptive or detailed.
The council does not take the approach of defining the advertising that is permitted rather it follows an approach of allowing all advertising unless it falls into a number of prohibited categories listed below.
The council’s starting point is that all advertising falls within the rules and guidelines laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) www.asa.org.uk and upholds the rules laid out in the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion https://www.asa.org.uk/about-asa-and-cap.html and the Code of recommended practice on Local Authority publicity www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/coderecommended
The basic principles of these codes are that advertisements should be:
- Legal, decent, honest and truthful Created with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society
- In line with the principles of fair competition generally accepted in business
- And that the codes are applied in the spirit as well as the letter intended
- Not in contradiction to the Council’s priorities and values.
The appearance of an advertisement on the Council's website or any other Council asset is not an endorsement by LBH of that company, product or service.
- We will not accept any advertising of a racial, religious or political nature.
- We will not accept any advertising which may be construed as offering services of a sexual nature.
- We will not accept any advertising from gambling organisations, manufacturers of tobacco or alcohol products.
- We will not accept any advertising which we consider reasonably objectionable.
- We will not accept any advertising where UK citizens are excluded from its benefits.
- We will not accept any advertising from organisations simply offering entry to a competition following the completion of a form containing any personal information.
- We will not accept any advertising likely to subject the council to prosecution.
- We will not accept any advertising from same day/pay day loan companies.
- We will also not accept advertising or sponsorship from any organisation that is in financial or legal dispute with the council, and we will also show caution when accepting advertising or sponsorship where:
- an organisation is in the process of a planning application;
- an organisation who is in the process of a tender application;
- an organisation is in conflict with local residents over a planned development in the borough; and
- association with an organisation may conflict with the work of the council and our partners
- Advertisers may not copy or duplicate content from LB of Hounslow’s website except where copyright licence has been obtained. Nor can they create a link to the council’s website in such a way as to make it seem like it is the advertiser’s website.
- Advertisers may not use any of the council’s logos or trademarks without prior written consent.
- Advertisers must not imply that the council is endorsing their website, products or services without the express permission of Hounslow Council.
- Advertisers also need to ensure that they do not infringe any third party intellectual property rights.
Where services or advertisers are unsure or in doubt about the policy, please consult the council’s Communications department by email or call 020 8583 2180.
- Disclaimer Notice: Acceptance of advertising or sponsorship does not imply endorsement of products and services by Hounslow Council. To make this absolutely clear all Hounslow Council publications that include advertising or sponsorship should carry the following disclaimer:
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of advertisements or sponsorship contained in this publication, Hounslow Council cannot accept liability for errors and omissions. We will not accept any responsibility for claims made by advertisers and their inclusion in (name of publication) should not be taken as an endorsement by Hounslow Council.
Style and content of advertising
Hounslow Council wishes to take an equally open approach to styles of advertising.
- Advertisers must recognise public sector organisations cannot permit advertising which is sexual in nature, features partial or complete nudity or which appears to promote or give undue publicity to illegal or even inappropriate behaviour or lifestyles.
- Humour in advertising is to be approached with caution since much humour can often mock specific groups of citizens or poke fun at particular types of behaviour or situations, even if kindly and affectionately done.
- Deciding whether or not the style or content of an advertisement makes it inappropriate for display is a question of judgement for which Hounslow Council will be the final arbiter.