Work with the Advertising Standards Authority
National Trading Standards acts as the legal backstop for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA is recognised by government, the courts and trading standards as the ‘established means’ for the enforcement of misleading advertising. Government favours self-regulation and sees law enforcement as a last resort. This is set out in law with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 that includes the requirement for law enforcement bodies to use ‘established means’ before taking any action.
When the Office of Fair Trading was closed down (the original ASA legal backstop) government sought an alternative backstop arrangement and National Trading Standards became the ASA's new legal backstop.
National Trading Standards has a agreement with the Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards and provides funding for Buckinghamshire and Surrey to deliver this legal backstop on its behalf.
However, it is the ASA’s decision whether or not to make a referral to Buckinghamshire and Surrey, where the ASA’s sanctions have not deterred a marketer from continuing with misleading advertising. It is then Buckinghamshire and Surreys Council’s decision whether or not to investigate or take any enforcement action.
Buckinghamshire and Surrey Council acts completely independent of the ASA and National Trading Standards in their decision making. Buckinghamshire and Surrey considers any referrals they receive to determine if there are any breaches of relevant legislation. Buckinghamshire and Surrey Council will then take any appropriate action, in accordance with their own enforcement policy and administrative functions.
You can find out more about how the ASA’s advertising rules are enforced here.
Work with the Advertising Standards Authority Press Releases
Man who claimed to 'cure cancer' with blood test and food fined and handed Criminal Behaviour Order
20th April 2018
The National Trading Standards Work Areas
National Trading Standards has teams overseeing a range of issues, from copycat websites to doorstep crime.
Consumer Harm Report 2018
National Trading Standards’ annual Consumer Harm Report reveals more consumer detriment prevented and record prison sentences handed down. Report also highlights new and emerging threats facing consumers and businesses.
Friends Against Scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to Take a Stand Against Scams.
Scams Awareness Month 2018
Scams Awareness Month is a yearly campaign which aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who ‘don’t miss a trick’ when it comes to scams. Scams Awareness Month 2018 will take place in June.