From the 1st March 2011 the Advertising Standards Authority will be regulating all ONLINE advertisements and other marketing communications – a power they didn’t have before. I’m sure there’ll be load of Web Freedom Fighters screaming about this one with shouts of “Free Speech” but the reality is that many claims made on the web probably do need regulating. There’s still an ongoing mistrust of online shopping that this will only help to improve.
Importantly, the regulation will cover advertising and marketing messages for ALL businesses in the UK regardless of type or size of the company. It will also cover all related communications under the control of the business including social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as email and text messages.
This new regulation adds to the Disability Discrimination Act and Companies Act that already make requirements of companies to show certain company information and make their sites accessible by special needs users. The downside of course is that the ASA only has jurisdiction in the UK so consumers and business users will still have to use caution for non-UK sites.
Don’t think it’s just consumer sites that are affected – B2B companies are covered by this regulation just as much. Over the coming months, as the ASA starts to “name and shame” businesses, I expect we’ll see many business owners and marketing directors taking a closer look at what’s being said on their sites and in their electronic communications.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/gK7dfV