ASA powers extended to social media


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to have its remit for the online world extended, to ensure the digital world is governed by the same standards as other media.

The regulatory body will be able to make adjudications on companies' marketing communications on their own websites, as well as social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

From 1 March 2011, the ASA will be able to remove paid-for search advertising if it is deemed to be non-compliant with regulations.

Furthermore, the ASA will be allowed to place its own paid-for search ads online to highlight an advertiser's continued non-compliance.

Currently, the body can only adjudicate on ads in paid-for space and sales promotions wherever they are online.

"This significant extension of the ASA's remit has the protection of children and consumers at its heart," said ASA chairman Lord Chris Smith.

"We have received over 4,500 complaints since 2008 about marketing communications on websites that we couldn't deal with."

The extended powers were granted by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). Between now and March, website owners will be encouraged to ensure their sites are in line with the new rules.

"Our aim has been to extend further in the online world the principles that are already well established in our system, namely those of effective consumer protection and fair competition," Andrew Brown, chairman of the CAP.

Read on to look at our top 10 technology advert bans the ASA has picked up on in the past.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.