Rules will apply to online advertising from March 2011
The Advertising Standards Authority has announced that its code of advertising practice will soon apply to UK websites and other online communications such as Twitter.
From 1 March 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will regulate advertisers’ own marketing communications on their own websites and in other non-paid-for space online under their control.
This will affect all kinds of business website, including sole traders, charities and freelance operators, and will apply to
Advertisements and other marketing communications by or from companies, organisations or sole traders on their own websites, or in other non-paid-for space online under their control, that are directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods, services, opportunities and gifts, or which consist of direct solicitations of donations as part of their own fund-raising activities.
User-generated content may now fall under the rules
Content has become highly fragmented thanks to things like social media and affiliate schemes. So there are numerous grey areas in the above, and the ASA has launched a consultation to try to gather opinion about the fine details. In the meantime, they have specified that the Code of Advertising Practice will apply to
- Advergames, such as those appearing in paid-for space on Facebook
- User-generated content, when adopted by an organisation and used in online advertising
There are plenty of exclusions, and the ASA lists a few for information:
- Classified private advertisements
- Press releases and other public relations material
- Editorial content
- Political advertisements
- Corporate reports
- Natural listings on a search engine or a price comparison site
- Marketing communications in foreign media
- Claims in marketing communications in media addressed only to medical, dental, veterinary or allied practitioners, that relate to those practitioners expertise
The ASA has issued a press release today from which you can download the proposed new rules in PDF.