Businesses who want to complain about adverts issued by their rivals in the UK now need to show they have tried to resolve their dispute privately before they can complain to the country’s advertising watchdog.
New rules from the Advertising Standards Authority that came into force yesterday require advertisers to contact competitors directly if they have a complaint about their adverts.
The ASA said that there may be rare occasions when a competitor complainant will have a good reason not to correspond with an advertiser. In these cases it may bypass this procedure if it believes the complainant raises a potentially serious breach of the Advertising Code, or if there are other good reasons to believe that inter-party resolution of the complaint is not appropriate.
Guidelines setting out how complainants should approach rivals are set out here.