When Written: Feb 2011
Advertising on the Internet in the UK now comes under the ASA
Anyone placing adverts or making claims about their products or services via the internet will from the 1st of March have to follow the advertising guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority ( ASA ). Previously Internet based adverts have not come under this sort of regulation. Only companies based or trading from the UK are covered so don’t start to assume all internet adverts will be ‘truthful and honest’ but interestingly it does cover posting on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter as long as such postings are part of an organization’s marketing.
If you want to have your organization’s web site audited then this is available as are a series of training courses. But what will happen if you fall foul of this regulation? Well not a lot it seems, there is a ‘name and shame’ area on the ASA website, possible removal of paid-for search advertising and removal of the site from search engines with their obvious agreement, and that is about it. Whether the likes of Google and Bing will remove content on request by the ASA in a sufficiently timely matter to hurt the advertiser remains to be seen. It will still be important to make sure that you comply, but then again I’m sure you all do. If you want to check the small print, then take a look at the Committee of Advertising Practice web site at http://www.cap.org.uk/CAPServices/Digital-remit-advice.aspx
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton