CAP proposes stamp of approval for Web advertising

'Trustmark' to indicate legal, decent, honest and truthful ads -- when they can find some...

The advertising industry's self-regulation organisation, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is proposing a scheme to ensure UK Internet advertising is, in the words of the law, "legal, decent, honest and truthful". The CAP's plan is to institute a kind of kite-mark for banner ads, used to indicate those companies whose advertising has follows the CAP's code of practice and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rulings. Complaints against Web advertising would be investigated by the ASA, with the possibility that persistent offenders would be ejected from the scheme and be prevented from advertising on sites hosted by members of ISP bodies such as the London Internet Exchange (Linx) and the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA). Ultimately, persistent or deliberately misleading advertisers would be referred to the Office of Fair Trading for legal action under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988. The CAP is inviting consumer organisations, the advertising industry and interested parties to comment on its proposals, published on its Web site. "Statutory control of the Internet is virtually impossible, but the Net lends itself well to a system of self-regulation and consumers can have confidence in the advertising they respond to on the site if it is seen to be legal, decent, honest and truthful," ASA Director General Matti Alderson says on the organisation's Web site. The CAP's proposed scheme makes that idea a reality, said an ASA spokesman. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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