Feeds

Ad watchdog to bite Facebook, Twitter

ASA extends tentacles online

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Advertising Standards Authority is to take responsibility for more online content, not just the paid-for advertisements it currently regulates.

The ASA already covers content like banner adverts, pop-ups and paid-for search terms. From 1 March 2011 the new ASA rules cover content hosted by companies themselves, such as their own websites.

From 2008 to 2009 the ASA rejected 3,500 complaints about websites because they fell outside its remit. In 2009 the body received just short of 30,000 complaints.

The ad watchdog will also consider user-generated content under some circumstances - if companies solicit such content then use it as a marketing tool, or if such material is given over unsolicited and then used by the company for marketing purposes.

The decision to extend the Committee of Advertising Practice Code was taken in response to an industry-wide formal recommendation.

Some material will remain outside the remit of the ASA. This includes press releases and PR material, classified adverts, political adverts, editorial content and corporate reports.

Investor relations material is now explicitly excluded, as is "heritage advertising" - old adverts which might not comply with ASA rules but are not part of current promotional campaigns - like "Guinness is good for you", we guess.

All this will be paid for by levying a 0.1 per cent levy on paid-for adverts appearing on search engines. This will be kick-started by seed capital from Google.

The ASA gets two new powers to go with its new remit. It can ask search engines to remove links to non-compliant pages and may place its own paid-for adverts to highlight a company's failure to comply.

The ASA press release is here. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.