Some limitations are imposed on a voluntary basis by firms themselves and by industry-based organisations such as the Advertising Standards Authority. But the law must provide the ultimate source of regulation in areas such as:
- consumer protection: laws regulating product safety, honesty in product description and rights to refunds and exchanges
- credit : laws requiring lenders to provide full information about a loan including the Annual Percentage Rate (APR); also giving time for borrowers to change their minds
- information: obligation to disclose information held about consumers
- child protection: age limits for the sale of alcohol and tobacco products; film certification.
Overall the law has to find a balance between the importance of profitable business enterprise and the need to protect consumers from unfair or anti-social marketing activity.