What Does the Extended ASA Remit Mean for You?
On Monday 1 March 2011 the extended Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) remit will come into effect. A lot has been made of this ruling and the impact it will have on social media and digital marketing.
The ASA previously stated the remit will cover “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.”
One of the key takeaways for me is user generated content. As soon as a company is seen to respond to UGC, for instance a post on its Facebook page or Twitter account this is viewed as ‘official’ marketing communication and comes under the CAP code. Any claims made (even by users) within that content will have to be accurate and agencies need to be aware of their new responsibilities.
In addition, the ASA has added a number of possible sanctions for those falling foul of the new ruling:
- Enhanced name and shame policy – providing details of an advertiser and the non-compliant marketing communication on a special part of the ASA website
- Removal of paid-for search advertising – ads that link to the page hosting the non-compliant marketing communication may be removed with the agreement of the search engines
- ASA paid-for search advertisements – the ASA could place advertisements online highlighting an advertiser’s continued non-compliance.
The remit covers all marketing activity from organisations operating in the UK regardless of top level domain (co.uk, .com, .net). However, it does not cover classified private advertisements, press releases and other public relations material, editorial content, political advertisements, corporate reports or investor relations activity.
You can find out more information from the ASA’s website.