Advertising industry recommends ASA extends its remit online

Advertising industry recommends ASA extends its remit online

LONDON - The Advertising Association (AA) has submitted recommendations to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), to extend the remit of the ASA to include communications on websites, and other non-paid for space online, such as social networks.

The move follows months of speculation and mounting pressure on the advertising community to be more accountable in the way it communicates to children.

The recommendations, if accepted, will bring companies' marketing communications on their own websites, and other non-paid for space online, such as brand activity on social networking sites, within the scope of the CAP Code.

All other marketing communications activity in paid-for space online - such as paid-for search marketing and display advertising - is already within the ASA's remit and subject to the CAP Code.

It is anticipated that the extended remit will come into force during the third quarter of 2010, once formally ratified by CAP and the ASA, and after appropriate consultation.

Calls for change have come from a number of high profile reports, including the Byron Review, Digital Britain, the Buckingham Report and, most recently, The Sexualisation of Young People Review.

Rae Burdon, chief operating officer at the AA, said: "Contrary to general understanding, much advertising online is already in remit and there's a very high level of compliance with the existing rules.  

"There are some complex issues in the remaining space which require careful analysis. The industry has delivered to CAP a clear mandate that first and foremost will protect consumers and children, that will also - crucially - protect editorial content, and that will, if accepted, maintain CAP/ASA's reputation as a world-class operation.

"The whole industry has pulled together to make this happen. What's important now is effective implementation and raising consumer and stakeholder awareness."

The non-broadcast and broadcast Advertising Codes were reviewed last year, and a full consultation process has recently been completed. The new codes are expected to be published this month and will come into effect in the autumn, at the same time as the new extended digital remit.

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