Marketers who use direct mail and new media face tighter restrictions under rules governing non-broadcast advertising which came into force this week.
Marketers must obtain explicit consent before they advertise by e-mail or text mobile phones unless the intended recipient has received similar products before, according to revisions to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code.
Unsolicited marketing via e-mail must be clearly identified so recipients don't need to open them.
All direct marketing material must make consumers aware they have the right to cancel any orders they place, while describing an individual element as free', if its cost is included in the price of a package, is outlawed.
Revisions to the code also prevent marketers suggesting the consumption of alcohol can be therapeutic.
However, the code makes no mention of misleading claims in advertising material ­ a controversial issue for supermarkets ­ which were clarified in a CAP help note in January.
The industry has three months to conform to the regulations and the Advertising Standards Authority, which polices the code, will consider complaints made under the old rules until June 4.

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