Firms warned off royal baby ads

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NEWS of a royal baby for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has led to a flurry of media attention – with hundreds of column inches – including computer generated images of how the royal ­offspring might look.

But advertisers were warned against diverting royal baby frenzy onto themselves by linking their products to the couple.

Guidlines from the Commision for Advertising Practice said it was important to ensure tadvertisers did not overstep the mark by suggesting their products had ­official endorsement.

The CAP guidelines said: “Linking campaigns to events is likely to be tempting but advertising shouldn’t go as far as claiming or implying that a particular product is endorsed by the royal family or that a product is affiliated to royal events when it is not. This is in line with the general provisions on misleading advertising.

“Specifically, members of the royal family shouldn’t normally be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission and the royal arms or emblems must not be used without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.

“References to a royal warrant should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association.

“The Lord Chamberlain’s office has issued guidelines regarding the sale of souvenir products. Advertisements for souvenir products are not, in and of themselves, likely to be considered to imply a royal endorsement, although care should be taken in the copy to ensure that the ad doesn’t imply that a souvenir product is official memorabilia.

“We would advise against images which have been provided for souvenirs or other specific uses in marketing communications for unrelated products.”