ASA given greater powers over internet advertising
Will the ASA ever have a firm grip on internet ads, or is the market so large that it will never be properly regulated?
ASA extends reach to internet ads
Wednesday, September 01 2010 by Steve Swallow
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been given greater powers that will see it extending its reach to internet ads. The changes have been made to offer more consumer protection online and ensuring marketers keep up with their social responsibilities.
Before the amendments come into place, the ASA’s remit covers internet ads in paid-for spaces, as well as sales promotions. However, it will soon apply to the full extent of marketing communications carried out online.
Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the organisation, said: “We have received over 4,500 complaints since 2008 about marketing communications on websites that we couldn’t deal with.” However, from March 1st, he identified that people will be able to approach the ASA with their concerns and hopefully have them dealt with effectively.
Any non-compliant internet ads will have sanctions imposed on them by the group, which may lead to the marketing material being removed from search engines. Furthermore, the ASA has the ability to advertise which companies have failed to comply with the code of practice if they continue to flout the regulations.
Both marketing communications on the firms’ own websites and on spaces that are not paid for – such as Twitter and Facebook – will be monitored by the ASA. Journalistic and editorial content, however, will not be covered.
Committee of Advertising Practice chairman Andrew Brown clarified: “Extending the online remit of the ASA has been a top priority for UK industry over the last couple of years. Our aim has been to extend further in the online world the principles that are already well-established in our system.”
Also from today (September 1st), the way in which the ASA regulates video on-demand (VOD) advertising will change, with companies required to comply with new statutory requirements. The ASA is keen to stress, however, that the changes will not affect all VOD advertisers.
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