Did you know that the ASA have extended their remit to online marketing communications? The Advertising Standards Authority regulations are now extending to cover all commercial websites and all businesses now need to ensure that their online content abides by these new rules.
Up until recently the U.K. advertising regulations only applied to Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing. This meant that adverts that were banned by the ASA could still appear in commerical websites online, for example the Yves Saint Laurent's advertising campaign was prohibited by the ASA as it was seen to be advocating drug usage, however the advert was still posted on their website. The ASA have recognised this gap in the advertising legislation and have sought to rectify it. This legislation will come into force on the 1st March. Does your online marketing communications comply?
Inappropriate content is not the only aspect of commerical advertising that companies need to be aware of, the ASA legislation is also banning misleading claims. An example they highlight is the Metrocentre in Tyneside when it claimed that it was the "best shopping centre in Britain" in a televised advert, it was contested by the ASA, as the survey it was based upon was out of date and it was pulled. However, the legislation did not apply online, businesses have been able to make false claims online and empty promises. It is now the time for businesses to start looking closely at their websites to check they align with the new legislation.
In the past year, the ASA have received 2,500 complaints in regard to advertising content online, which they have been powerless to deal with, however once the ASA legislation is enforced digitally, these complaints will be acted upon. Organisations need to be particularly careful in posting content in online communities, such a YouTube. "It is time to look over your content and ensure you are making promises you can keep and uploading content that will not breach this new legislation" as said by Simon Morris from Bareface Media.To find out more from the advertising standards agency, click here....
Spend some time looking at what your online communications are saying. Bareface Media are on hand to advise how you can best maximise your online presence without falling foul of the new regulations.