Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. The information on this page reflects changes to the law.
An advertisement includes every form of advertisement or notice or marketing material, whether aimed at members of the public or a specialised audience, including:
Most written and other material published by a service provider is likely to count as an advertisement if its aim is to tell customers or service users about a service.
A service provider is allowed to target advertising material at a particular group of people, including a group who share a particular protected characteristic.
But, unless services are covered by one of the exceptions to equality law, an advertisement must not tell you that, because of a particular protected characteristic, you cannot use the service or would not be welcome to use the service, or would receive worse terms in using the service.
However, a service provider does not have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people in advertising its services.
If a business advertises in a newspaper, it does not have to put out an equivalent advertisement on the radio just because disabled people with a visual impairment may not have been able to read the written advertisement.
Equality good practice: what to look for
Even though organisations do not have to make reasonable adjustments when they are advertising their services, they can do this if they want to, for example, by advertising in ways that will be accessible to disabled people with a range of impairments, such as providing Easy Read information for people with a learning disability.