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ASA extends marketing rules to online ads

September 06, 2010
Online advertising in the UK will soon be subject to the same regulations as other forms of media, with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) extending its remit to the world wide web.

The ASA will have the power to regulate ads on websites and social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, from 1 March 2011. Businesses have until that date to ensure their marketing campaigns comply with the same advertising standards previously reserved for mediums such as TV and print ads.

BBC News reports that the new rules will apply to all advertisements or statements that are intended to sell products or services, but will not extend to journalistic and editorial content connected to causes or ideas, in order to protect online freedom of speech. However, direct donation or fund-raising requests will fall under the jurisdiction.

This news comes after months of debate and growing pressure on the online advertising community from groups such as the Advertising Association (AA) to be more responsible and accountable for content, especially with regard to children and other vulnerable people.

The authority received over 3,500 complaints about adverts last year, but more than half of these related to online ads and thus fell outside of its remit. The ASA also revealed that 75 per cent of complaints received are about misleading content, and a key focus of complaints is adverts that are unsuitable for children.

"This is a massive step," an ASA spokesman said. "Consumers don't differentiate between adverts on TV or online and this ensures that claims online will be subject to the same strict scrutiny of those in traditional media."


Source:  bigmouthmedia.com

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