U.K. to relax condom ad rules for TV

Part of major shake-up of advertising regulation

LONDON -- Condom ads will be allowed on all TV programming except shows aimed at children under 10, the Advertising Standards Authority -- the U.K. body which regulates commercials -- said Tuesday.

The move aims to promote responsible behavior and attempts to address the issue of teenage pregnancies in the U.K., the watchdog said.

The regulator said the changes amounted to a "relaxation" of the current scheduling restriction on condom advertising, which is 9 p.m. on the terrestrial channels and 7.30 p.m. on Channel 4.

"They can now appear pre-watershed but must be kept away from the youngest viewers (under-10s)," the ASA said.

"Ads must also comply with the strict rules on taste and decency and socially responsible advertising," the regulator added.

The move is part of a major shake-up of advertising regulation announced Tuesday, which will also see the creation of a single body to oversee advertising on television and radio, which comes into force Sept. 10.

The ASA insisted that it would ensure that there was "further commitment to protecting children" from such fare as violent or adult video games, and said that advertisements that were suitable for older children and young persons "but that could distress younger children" had to be "sensitively scheduled or placed."

It also said that it would strengthen data protection regulations so that information could not be collected in under-12s without parental consent.

Other changes included clamping down on companies making environmental and health claims on behalf of their product.
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