Radiocentre Trustmark is an initiative aimed at reassuring listeners that they can trust the advertising messages they hear on commercial radio. There is no compulsory pre-vetting for online and press advertising, but the system for radio is different. All radio ads for special category advertisers must be pre-vetted and approved by the clearance team at Radiocentre, the commercial radio industry’s trade body. Use of the Trustmark logo displays a commitment to best practice by ensuring that all special category radio ads are approved by the Radiocentre Clearance team. Those signed up to the scheme will be able to display the Radiocentre Trustmark logo on their website and marketing communications. Use of the logo is granted on condition that the logo acts as a link to this page, the Radiocentre Trustmark homepage. Radiocentre Trustmark participants known to have broadcast a special category advertisement without Radiocentre Clearance approval will be reminded of their obligation, whether a complaint has been received or not and we will seek to help them ensure compliance in future.
What are the special categories?
The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) recognises that some radio advertising sectors need special care to avoid having a detrimental effect on listeners. The code defines the following sectors as the special categories:
- Consumer credit, investment and complex financial products and services
- Gambling products and services
- Alcohol products
- Medical and health and beauty products and treatments
- Food, nutrition and food supplements
- Slimming products, treatments and establishments
- Films, DVDs, video, computer and console games that have an 18+ certificate or rating
- Dating and introduction services
- Commercial services offering individual personal and consumer advice
- Environmental claims
- Matters of public controversy including matters of a political or industrial nature
- Religious organisations
- Charitable causes
- Adult shops, stripograms, escort agencies and premium-rate sexual entertainment services.
If a station were to broadcast ads for special category services without this clearance, in breach of the code, they would risk an automatically upheld ASA ruling and ultimately repeat offenders could be referred to Ofcom which could impose fines and revoke their licence.
How do I join Radiocentre Trustmark?
Radiocentre members – Clearance services are provided to Radiocentre members. By joining Radiocentre, radio stations commit to ensuring that they send all special category advertisements (as defined by The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising) to Radiocentre Clearance for approval. Permission to use the Trustmark logo and a link to our website for further details is included in Radiocentre membership.
Advertising agencies / brands that choose to join must ensure that they send their special category advertisements to us for clearance. They will then be able to use the Trustmark. Contact us to find out more on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7010 0608.
Non-members who do not send their advertisements to Radiocentre Clearance for approval would be breaching the BCAP code should they broadcast special category ads. They would therefore not be eligible to join Trustmark.