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Video on Demand – new information from CAP

Committee of Advertising Practice news update CAP News

Video on Demand (VOD) a difference a note makes

17 August 2012

It’s been two years since the ASA was designated by Ofcom to co-regulate advertising included within notifiable on-demand programme services, or video-on-demand (VOD) services as they’re more commonly known. Advertising in VOD services was already subject to the CAP Code by then, and marketers bore the primary responsibility for ensuring that their advertising complied with the CAP Code. What changed in late July 2010 was that a new set of rules, derived from the Communications Act 2003 (as amended), became the responsibility of the ASA to enforce – and they were to be enforced against VOD service providers. 

You can read those rules here, in Appendix 2 of the published CAP Code. The ASA will consider complaints that advertising falls short of the standards set out in the Annex. The ASA will take up complaints that fall under Appendix 2 with the on-demand service provider; complaints that fall under the other rules in the CAP Code will be taken up with the marketer. 

As stated above, the rules only apply to advertising included within notifiable on-demand programme services. On-demand service providers will know if their service requires to be notified to the Association of Television on Demand (ATVOD), whose responsibility it is to determine if an audiovisual on-demand programme service falls within scope of the Communications Act. However, on-demand service providers may find it harder to determine what advertising falls within scope of the rules enforced by the ASA. On-demand services are offered to viewers on a variety of platforms, carrying a variety of different communications. 

CAP and the ASA recognise the need to make clear the extent of responsibility that on-demand service providers have for ensuring that commercial communications on their platforms adhere to the rules on Appendix 2. To help those service providers, CAP has produced this guidance, in consultation with Ofcom