Q&As

Who regulates advertising on the internet?

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Produced in partnership with Jude King of Facebook
Published on LexisPSL on 22/11/2017

The following TMT Q&A produced in partnership with Jude King of Facebook provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who regulates advertising on the internet?

Who regulates advertising on the internet?

The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) is written by the Committee of Advertising Practice and regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The CAP Code governs all forms of non-broadcast advertising, including all online advertising. Historically, the ASA’s online remit was very limited with a focus on paid-for advertising and web-based sales promotions. However, from 1 March 2011, the ASA’s remit and the scope of the CAP Code was extended to cover all online marketing communications regardless of whether it is paid or non-paid advertising. Therefore, it now includes marketing messages which a company posts on its own website as well as on any other non-paid online or social media space controlled by the company. See News Analysis: Is online advertising insufficiently regulated?

In extending the ASA’s remit and the scope of the CAP Code, the ASA made a distinction between editorial content and marketing communications. The former falls outside the ASA’s remit and the latter falls within. Therefore, strictly editorial or journalistic communications which do not contain marketing messages, such as information relating to the company’s history, investor relations material, press releases or generally,material related to causes or ideas fall outside the ASA’s remit.

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