CAP and BCAP code review
This may be of interest to some or none of you. After hearing on the news this morning about the new Archibishop of Westminster calling on Catholics to make their views known, I thought I'd nudge a few people with feelings on this matter in the right direction.
The situation is this; a whole slew of advertising regulations are up for review, specifically regulations pertaining to sexual health and/or family planning advice. The issues that the Archbishop is taking exception to in particular are allowing condom ads before 9pm* and allowing independent family planning clinics (such as Marie Stopes, who offer - among other things - abortions and sterilisations) to advertise their existence.
What exactly is the Archbishop urging his acolytes to participate in? The CAP and BCAP code review consultation. CAP is the "medium neutral" advertising regulatory body - this includes, for example, billboards, magazines and cinema ads - and BCAP is specifically the broadcast advertising regulator. On the above page, scroll to the bottom and you'll find links to the code review in each case, and a handy word document for typing out your responses to each point into. You don't need to respond to all points, only the ones you have an interest in. Print off the covering letter, print off your comments, lick a stamp and send it in.
It's likely to be a pretty dull way to spend half and hour, but if you object to having a religious group force it's values into national regulations, I'd say it's well worth it.
Of course, I'm not telling you what to write - I expect me and madelgine will probably have differing views on allowing abortion clinics to advertise - but it's in everybody's interest to make your voice heard.
* rather disingenuously attacking the NHS condom ads as promoting drunk and public sex; ignoring the fact that the content of these ads are completely consistent with their target and message (condoms as prophylactics for promiscuous individuals), contrasted by the adverts I've seen by, for example, Durex (condoms as contraceptives for faithful, monogamous couples).