Members of the British Toy and Hobby Association sign a Code of Practice every year which requires them to undertake that all advertising of toy and hobby products, in whatever form, is legal, decent, honest and truthful. It must conform with both the BCAP Code (The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising), the CAP Code (UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing) and the Advertising Association’s Principle on Under 16s Peer to Peer Marketing;

“young people under the age of 16 should not be employed and directly or indirectly paid or paid-in-kind to actively promote brands, products, goods, services, causes or ideas to their peers, associates or friends”.

Where a particular form of advertising or marketing is not covered by existing codes, members are required to apply the spirit of those existing codes to that form of advertising or marketing. In addition, members are asked to work towards compliance with the Association’s guidelines for communications with children across all media (as amended, updated or re-issued from time to time).

In order to help members achieve and maintain high levels of responsible marketing practices the BTHA suggests members use the tools and resources shown below to aid them in achieving the guidelines of the Association;

Gender Debate on Marketing

If you are approached on this topic, please contact the BTHA for more details and latest guidance.


The Advertising Associations Principle on Brand Ambassadors

In 2011, following the Bailey Review, the Advertising Association developed a code of practice regarding the use of children as Brand Ambassadors. The BTHA immediately became a signatory to the code and from January 2012 all members of the BTHA sign the code as part of their membership commitment.

[btha icon type=’pdf’]¬†Brand Ambassador Pledge

[btha icon type=’pdf’]¬†Draft Guidance

CAP Code advisory service

BTHA members may wish to take advice from the CAP Copy Advice service. Copy Advice is an essential service for advertisers, agencies, media owners and media service providers who want to check how their prospective non-broadcast ads or multi-media concepts measure up against the UK Advertising Codes.

Provided by the people who write the rules, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), with guidance from those who enforce them, this unique service is fast, free and confidential.

CAP comprises representatives of advertisers, agencies, media owners and other industry groups, all of which are committed to upholding the highest standards in advertising. Copy Advice supports the industry’s commitment and boosts compliance by providing guidance to practitionersprimarily (but not exclusively) through Copy Advice.

The Copy Advice service can help members ensure they avoid breaking the rules and potential action by the Advertising Standards Authority by giving free advice on non-broadcast marketing communications before they are launched, even giving advice on companies own websites. Contact them directly or contact for more guidance on this service.


Advertising self-regulation

The UK toy industry has successfully self-regulated itself for many years. Members of the BTHA are committed to ethically marketing their products with children’s welfare in mind. Responsible self-regulation allows industry to move quickly to adopt best practice when new media or technology becomes available. The BTHA believes in promoting this best practice to members, promoting available tools for the industry to responsibly self-regulate marketing campaigns, and updates its own codes and guidelines to reflect new media and techniques when necessary.