0370 270 6000

The ASA extends its reach online

11 March 2010

The Advertising Standards Authority can require that adverts deemed to be misleading, unfair or offensive, are not to be repeated. But with the expansion of digital media, a noticeable gap in the ASA’s jurisdiction has emerged – the ASA only adjudicates on complaints relating to paid-for advertising.  

Now this gap is to be plugged. The Advertising Association has recommended that the ASA’s remit be extended to cover marketing communications on companies’ own websites. It means that website owners will now need to review their own websites’ content to ensure that they can prove that they comply with the CAP codes.

Key provisions from the Code include that:

  1. marketers must hold evidence to substantiate their claims
  2. marketers should ensure that prices are clear and match the products illustrated
  3. special care should be taken when products intended for adults may fall into the hands of children
  4. claims comparing your products to your competitor’s products are subject to strict conditions.

If the recommendation is adopted, these changes could come into effect from September 2010.

With advertising in digital media becoming increasingly dominant in the marketplace, this was an obvious decision to make. Our immediate thoughts are: will businesses seek to use this to their advantage by complaining about their competitor’s websites? And what implications will this have on the use of user-generated content in marketing?

Related opinions

Right to Work Checks: Changes from 6 April 2022

From 6 April 2022, right to work checks on all migrant or settled prospective employees must be online and checks on British or Irish nationals will be manual (free) or digital (charged for).

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up