ASA website control not likely until next year

The introduction of new rules regulating marketing communications on company websites has been delayed until March next year.

It had been anticipated that the extension of the Advertising Standards Authority’s remit and the necessary change to the Committee of Advertising Practice codes it administers would come into force in the third quarter of 2010. 

However, it is understood that the new codes will now come into force in the first quarter of 2011.

It is thought the delay was caused by concerns over the scope of the new rules, but that a consensus decision has now been reached.  

The Advertising Association proposed changing the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) codes to include marketing on companies’ own websites and social media pages in March.

At present, the ASA’s online remit and CAP’s codes cover paid-for marketing communications such as pop-up and banner ads, paid search and viral ads.

The AA said at the time that the proposed change seeks to “address societal concerns” and “increase protection for consumers”.

The ASA estimates that nearly two-thirds of the complaints it receives about online marketing are not presently covered by the code.

A spokesman for the ASA says that an announcement on the extension of the remit is due “imminently” and a “period of grace” will follow. 

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