#best practice, ASA launches ad campaign, preparing for new online marketing regulation

ASA launches ad campaign to prepare business for new online marketing regulation

The ASA has launched a new advertising campaign to highlight the extension of the CAP remit to include online marketing. The campaign runs until 27th February 2012 The press release from the ASA explains:

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is launching a cross-media ad campaign (outdoor, radio, press, online) to raise awareness of the fact that its remit is being extended to cover marketing on websites from 1 March 2011.

From 1 March, marketing communications on companies’ own websites and in other third party space under their control, such as Facebook and Twitter, will have to adhere to the non-broadcast advertising rules as set out in the CAP Code. The ad campaign seeks to raise awareness of the ASA’s extended remit and calls on companies to ensure marketing messages on their websites are legal, decent, honest and truthful. It also encourages business to make sure their websites comply by seeking help and advice.

To help businesses and website owners, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the industry body that writes the Advertising Codes, offers a full range of training and advice resources. Businesses and agencies are urged to sign up to CAP Services to ensure they are up-to-speed with how the extended remit will impact on them and how they can avoid being in breach of the rules.

From 1 March 2011, the CAP Code 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.”

The new remit focuses specifically upon material which can be properly accepted as constituting an advertisement or other marketing communication. It acknowledges that websites can include marketing communications and other types of communication including, for example, editorial, public relations e.g. press releases and investor relations material that must remain outside the jurisdiction of the ASA.

As a point of disclosure, I am working with The Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) as a consultant to reach out to digital agencies in the UK. The IPM is the only UK trade body (with a membership comprised of over 300 marketing agencies, brand owners and service partners) with an industry compliance unit for promotional marketing, providing industry guideline and promotional copy clearance – to ensure compliance to the CAP code for mechanic, prizes and description, licensing and partnerships. This is in anticipation of the change in remit of the ASA on March 1.

See: Marketing Week


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